On 1st October, we brought live a major new release of the site software, aimed squarely at contributors and advertisers (it didn't change much for ordinary visitors). Here are the details of what it's all about.
Input control panel
If you go to the "Input" tab on the right hand side of the black menu strip near the top of your screen, you will see a new "contributor control panel". This shows you a summary of everything you do with us on a single short table, with links to go and get details.You can tell at a glance if you remembered to upload all your forthcoming concerts, opera performances or ballets, input your kids events, add a venue biography or one for your company or yourself. You can also check out how your pay per click ads are doing, and how many people have clicked on the ads and when they've done so.
The new panel looks something like this:
|Contributor control panel|
|User name||david||My user account...|
|Number of contributed biographies||8||My biographies...|
|Number of contributed events||36||My events...|
|Number of kids/teen/talk events||0||My kids/teen/talk events...|
|Number of Concert Banner ads||2||My Concert Banner ads...|
|Number of events with clickthrough ads||0||My events with clickthroughs...|
Biographies for everything
One of things you'll see on the control panel is the number of biographies you have input. Just to remind you: anything can have a biography - a performer, a venue, a composer, a festival, or anything else. Biographies are shown whenever the user clicks on that item in any of the listing results, and they are also recognised by search engines so they provide a good way for people to find the site. They also cheer the site up if you add a picture.
You're welcome to input biographies for anything in which you have a legitimate interest - so if you are a performer or a performer's agent, do upload a bio and picture for them; if you are a venue, please upload a venue bio, etc. If you're a proud resident of a city where there's lots of music, you're welcome to upload a city bio as well, if you're a fan or fan club of a particular composer or work, you can input a composer or work bio - you get the idea!
Accounting and order management is now online
If you use any of our paid-for services (for event input, concert banner advertising or pay-per-click "Buy tickets" buttons), you can handle everything on-line with a new "pay-as-you-go" accounting scheme. You can open a commercial account (to give us contact and invoicing details), and you can top it up with credits using your credit/debit card or PayPal account. If you use pay-per-click advertising, credits are deducted from your account when visitors click on your ads. If you want to place a Concert Banner ad, you can check availability and place the ad on-line whenever it suits you, without needing to phone us up or submit any forms.
If you currently have a credit account with us or if you're a larger organisation who wishes to trade on credit rather than paying up front, let us know and we will consider giving you a credit limit - you will then be invoiced monthly for your transactions with us.
Also on the input tab, you can see a complete transaction history, including records of individual clicks on pay-per-click ads, and reprint or e-mail copies of invoices. You can amend account details, and give or deny access to your account to other users within your organisation.
If you don't want to do the work yourself and would like us to input your events for you, you can place orders for that on-line as well on http://www.bachtrack.com/order-event-input, or call us and we'll deal with it all for you over the phone.
Extensive on-line help
We've now included extensive on-line help on the input forms. You will see a blue question mark next to the title of most of the pages: click on this for some information about how to use the page. More blue question marks are scattered through various parts of the page: each of these brings up help that is relevant to the area of the page that you're on.
It's now easy for us to change and add to the help, so please do let us know about anything that you think isn't as clear as it might be: we'll do our best to explain it in words that are easy to understand.
We know that our insisting on putting everything into the database structure makes the process harder than just copying and pasting some text about your events, and means that you're constrained to showing everything in one particular format. But please remember that it's done that way for a good reason: we always start by thinking about the way visitors use the site. Using the database the way we do means that the site visitor gets everything laid out in the same way so that they know what to expect, and makes it exceptionally easy for them to adjust their search to find exactly what they were looking for without the clutter of results in which they are not interested.
Commercial info is now on-line
All the details about our commercial offers are now on-line, including explanations, prices and terms and conditions. You can find it all by starting at http://www.bachtrack.com/advertising.
Please keep inputting your events - they're reaching a larger audience than ever!
Best regards from