2012 Orchestra Website (mini) Reviews

Yes, it’s 2013 but the annual orchestra website reviews typically occur in the fall but we missed the usual 2012 publication target thanks to Orchestra Crisis 2012/13 (details here). Nonetheless, readers were clear that some sort of review should take place in April or May and to that end, you can look forward to a special micro-review this month.

2012 Website ReviewsSpecifically, we’re going to see which orchestras have adopted responsive design standards, which ones use a mutually exclusive mobile ready solution, and which ones are stuck in a pre-economic downturn mindset.

We examined what responsive design standards are why they are so important to contemporary designs in an article from 4/30/2013 and thanks to a comment discussion kicked off by reader “Be Sharp,” it became clear that the orchestra website micro review should be used to help establish a baseline for where the field stands. Is it ahead of the curve, on the cutting edge, or trying to catch up by going slower?

Worth noting from that discussion thread, is an article by Nicole Wallace that appeared in the 3/10/2013 edition of philanthropy.com which examines how nonprofits are beginning to adopt web publishing standards that focus on what is commonly known in web development circles as “mobile first” design.

There’s a terrific quote in the article from Atlanta Ballet development director Lisa Dabney about not underestimating what’s involved in that process.

Making the transition to mobile is a process, and nonprofit organizations shouldn’t underestimate the time and effort it will take to link their new mobile solutions to existing systems.

At the same time, I can say from personal experience that the process isn’t so daunting that it should scare any organization’s away; in short, it’s a different approach, but not difficult. Case in point, when recently migrating to the Venture Platform, Palm Beach Opera did a terrific job at modifying their existing content to updated page layouts that made better use of responsive design standards; all within the space of a few weeks.

Postlude: sometimes coincidences work in your favor such as the terrific article appearing in the 5/6/2013 edition of Smashing Magazine by Vasilis van Gemert that does one of the best jobs to date for explaining how fundamentally different the web is from just a few years ago and why responsive design practices are the way to move forward.

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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7 thoughts on “2012 Orchestra Website (mini) Reviews

  1. I have become facinated with the presence of harmonicas in art music. Are there currently any performing orchestras that feature harmonicas?

  2. Currently I am amazed at how I never really noticed the different instruments that are required to make any piece of music, my favorite is the acoustic guitar. Are there any recommendations on any songs?

  3. I was truly amazed by all the instruments that it takes to make a well known orchestra. My favorite instrument is the Cello. If you are looking for outstanding performances search “2Cellos.”

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