Reveling In Microsite Goodness

As promised at the middle of last month, the new official resource site for the Take A Friend To The Orchestra program is up and running. The virtual ribbon was cut last night and you are now free to stop by and stay awhile. I’m very pleased with how this microsite turned out and like any worthwhile effort, it’s designed to be simple to use, easy to navigate, and provide a variety of indexed search options. But most of all, it’s designed to inspire…

Not only are Take A Friend To The Orchestra (TAFTO) contributions indexed by year but you can now browse entries by type, 10 in fact. So if you want to read all the contributions from academics, you can get there in a single click. If bloggers are more your thing, it’s the same deal and so on and so forth for broadcasters, composers, conductors, journalists, managers, musicians, patrons, and even playwrights (pretty diverse bunch, eh?).

One particular offering I’m thrilled to see return is the lost contribution from Marcus Maroney, which was only available in print as it served as the official forward for the collected TAFTO essays publication before it went extinct in favor of an online repository (another fatality in the online vs. print gang wars). At the very end of his contribution, Marcus penned what is perhaps one of the best lines in all of TAFTOdom, but you’ll have to stop by the new site to read it.

Another plus with the new microsite makes it possible to associate each contributor’s bio directly with his/her respective contribution so no more hunting around to find out about who’s inspiring you. Lastly, all of the contributors have a headshot so you can see who you’re reading.

So what are you waiting for? Go, explore, have fun, and get empowered!

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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5 thoughts on “Reveling In Microsite Goodness

  1. I absolutely love that you have headshots now … maybe it’s not a big deal to others, but I really like to have a face with a name. Thanks, Drew, for all your work on this!

  2. Thanks Patty – that was capable due to a great little wordpress plugin called “Author Image.” It allows users to upload a headshot directly to their user account and it also creates a widget that can be placed in any widgetized content area. It’s a great alternative to using Gravatar and in this instance, it was a much easier and less time consuming solution.

  3. I assume the poll was directed at professional violinists and if so, I don’t really find that percentage surprising. If anything, I think it’s a little low. I don’t recall where exactly but I thought there was a TAFTO entry that touches on the subject of how infrequently professional orchestra musicians attend orchestra concerts when they aren’t an active performer. Although purely anecdotal, I know players that don’t like attending concerts with non-musicians becasue they have an aversion along the lines of “asking a doctor at a party for free medical advice.” I’m not saying it’s good or bad, but just is. Others simply don’t want to go to concerts on their evenings off.

    Regardless, I think it would be fascinating if there were some serious scientific research into this.

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