Dear Musician - The Beat Goes On
By Dendy Jarrett | (edited)
In the Sonny and Cher song, The Beat Goes On, the lyrics read:
Charleston was once the rage
History has turned the page
The mini skirts, the current thing
Teenybopper is our newborn king
The beat goes on, the beat goes on
Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain!
Even though that song was originally released in 1967, the song points out that some things change, and what was once in favor is no longer in favor.
Harmony Central is now on its 5th platform (Vb3/4, Jive, Lithium, VB5, and now Invision). We gave you the scoop in the last newsletter about why we made the change, and here we are on the other side.
Website platform changes are always scary and represent a lot of work. There’s data conversion, remapping, redesigning the user experience and navigation, and using the information regarding how people currently use the site. This helps us dictate how the new site responds while keeping up with website experience best practices.
When we flipped the switch, we carried over hundreds of thousands of images and tens of millions of formatted articles, reviews, and forum posts. We loaded the first year’s worth of data into cache for quick loads. This let the course of the week slowly index and load everything from the last 20 years.
While everyone has preferences and opinions, we were extremely happy to hear from hundreds of users about how much they prefer the new site (even if some took a day or two to get comfortable with all the new tools). Nothing is perfect, but this launch felt as close to perfect as possible, and we thank you, the community, for sticking with us, providing feedback when the lights came back on, and helping us make the final “live” tweaks to accommodate the forum experience you all deserve and expect.
What’s new or different?
We tried to keep things as similar as we could for your familiarity without carrying over the bad parts of the previous transition.
From the technical side, we’ve cut our page load time by 60% and improved the average forum user’s session, including posting and image uploading, by a reduction of 30 seconds of total visit load time.
From a functional side, we’ve reintroduced native multi-quote, follow/hide, post reactions, and notifications to the forums. Search is still indexing (yeah, we have a LOT of data!), and our new SPAM filters are making it easier for real people to sign up, while deterring more spam bots.
Although we followed best practices for website design and themes for 2019, we had feedback from some users that they’d like a darker theme. While we aren’t considering a “dark” mode at this point, we did drop in a theme with a slightly darker background to text fields, like posts or articles. You can select that theme at the bottom of any page (it’s called “Harmony Central Alternate).
Our articles, reviews, and news sections have been updated to reveal more content up front. We’re currently touching up those that are more than a few years old to present as well as our newest pieces.
Our website has changed, but our mission hasn’t. We will always be the place you can learn about and discuss music gear, technique, and life in general. If there is one reason Harmony Central continues to be one of the most prominent musician communities for more than twenty years, it is because of you, the community. That lyrical content of The Beat Goes On has stood the test of time and some things must change, but for us, … the beat goes on. -HC-
Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Executive Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion and music industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.
Edited by Dendy Jarrett