Newsletter April 2000

Saturday is tax day here. Loyal Americans will do their fiscal duty. Everybody in the US knows this date, and also a few of you outside. For the benefit of our international crowd, April 15 is when all Americans have to answer to Uncle Sam for any good fortune. They have to file their tax returns now or come up with a good excuse why they are going to be late (the dog ate my homework works until the next time the man asks).

Some of us have a close second priority. Last year, in blissful ignorance we didn’t think about the coincidence, but just wanted a Thursday evening in New York to celebrate launching our music and related affairs into the internet ether.

It is our first anniversary. We are enjoying champagne (Californian) or Guinness (Irish). We hope that correspondents everywhere, be you in Russia, France, Croatia, Italy, Japan, Australia, India and elsewhere, enjoy your Saturday. This is supposed to be showbiz, so we have to behave appropriately. We don’t have the limo waiting outside, though. They don’t take free CDs as legal tender, and at this point, we have more of those than almighty dollars.

The site is now almost 500 pages deep. Rather than go for blinking electronic gizmos which crash your browser, we have tried to make it efficient, informative rather than flashy and electronically in your face. A site should be bullet proof and work for everyone rather than just a handful of applied nerds. As most of you must know, it’s difficult enough to make media work on the internet, which is why we provide an extensive Help section in plain language. Things move quickly, though, and our update of three months ago needs fixing again.

The most important component of the one-to-one communication of the internet is feedback, and we would appreciate any comments, particularly constructively critical ones, to the E mail address below. We hope you can take time to tell us what you do and don’t like, and particularly what new things you would enjoy. We’ll post a survey on the site in a couple of weeks for any of you with a spare five minutes.

We have had an eventful year. Over 55 000 sessions have taken place (a session is an extended visit, calling up several pages, by one person at a time). We have had over 1.1 million hits and 360 000 page views. For one glorious day BETTY’s Carnival CD was in Amazon’s top 10 chart (and it’s still #14 in North Carolina for some encouraging statistical reason, thank you down there). Whatever the .com statistics may be, though, we’ll continue to start from the music and orient it towards you, our visitors. It’s our storefront, and we have to be at least as welcoming as Madison Avenue.

There will be a full update May 1, but in the meantime the only significant change is the modern version of the gramophone, the only blinking thing on the whole site. The original neon is about four feet by two feet. Turn off the lights and go crazy. When depressed, we all stand in front of it and chant quietly.

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