Happy half birthday to us

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Happy half birthday to us

Shawn and I officially opened up the folkjam.org site on September 1st, 2006, although our first outside contribution came early on August 27th from a user who found us through the development groups where we asked questions.

We started off thinking we would put the site up, attract a few jams and move on. Quite a bit has changed in six months, starting about two weeks later when we were mentioned on the Cyberpluckers Autoharp mailing list. At that point typical traffic for us was about 30 visitors a day. When 2000 visitors came through in a period of a few hours our outlook changed. The $5/month shared hosting account that we had could not keep up and the site to slowed down or simply not respond. Our user base went from 10 to 40 users in a matter of days, and our listings began to grow.

Even six months later those numbers look quaint to us. Our monthly hosting bill still has a 5 in it, but it has some other numbers around it now. Month by month our traffic is steadily increasing. We are impressed that our recurring jam session listings passed the 300 mark this week and very pleased that over 450 people have decided to make this community theirs too by registering. I am confident that these numbers too will look quaint on September 1, 2007.

Thanks for your support, feedback and patience as we have worked out a lot of kinks. We are especially appreciative of the support and guidance we have received from Scott Tichenor of the Mandolin Café. We contacted Scott for advice shortly after our site melted down in September and found not just advice, but a mentor and champion for what we are building. Thank you Scott, and thanks also to Dan Biemborn of the Mandolin Archive for your early guidance on how to properly set up appropriate hosting for the demands of a site such as ours.

We are very close to releasing our next major feature set, folkjam groups with tools and features that are specifically designed to help you coordinate and organize local jam sessions. We will begin an open beta program soon, so stick around. If you are interested in being part of the beta drop us a line on our feedback page and we will send you an invitation when we are ready. I had really hoped to release groups today, but my newborn child (end of December) takes priority and has adjusted the development schedule a wee bit.

Chief Fiddling Officer and co-founder, folkjam.org

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