Think about the most important musical moments in your life … last weekend or decades ago. Whether you were at a show with friends, up on the stage making music yourself, hanging out front of the club with the band or falling in love to a song you can still hear, we’ve all shared those instants – and we’d all like to hold them close.
Enter Sceneroller, the first social-mapping software that lets you trace your music scene, past or present. Whether your musical connections are to people, bands, venues or gigs, Sceneroller unrolls your musical history and lets you find connections from the scrappiest garage bands to the world’s biggest acts.
Now we want to let everyone tell their story everywhere music’s found online. We’re asking for funding to distill our rough Web site (http://www.sceneroller.com) into a module that can plug seamlessly into music-discovery and fan sites. Bands and fans get the recognition they deserve, and you get a chance to connect the people and places that make your scene magic.
What will we do with your money?
We’re looking for funding to build two key pieces of software that will bring everyone access to the power of the Sceneroller database.
PIECE NO. 1: The Sceneroller API
A free Web Service publicly available to any website or mobile application. The Sceneroller API will provide the connective tissue to link music sites of every stripe — band sites, fan sites, blogs, archives and online magazines, web based or mobile — in an intelligent way. These connections will be based on real music scenes, as discovered by the algorithmic crunching of crowdsourced data as stored in the Sceneroller database.
We have already built the intelligence and the database — but we have no way share it. The API solves that problem.By simply providing the name of an artist (band, DJ, solo performer, et al.) the API will query the Sceneroller database and return shows that artist has performed, other acts that artist has played with as well as details about the history and lineup of each. In addition, the API will return important information about the artist's scene, such as the venues and hangouts where it thrived, and important people who interacted with the performer byt may never have taken the stage. The API will also allow sites and apps to provide new data, helping to fill out and expand the web of connections.
By submitting a query based on any of the items returned by the API, meaningful paths can be traced through the vast world of online music. Along the way, users can provide new information based on their own experiences. We want to take the Music Business and Big Media out of the picture, creating a "level playing field." That means ANY music can be shared or discovered based on real people, places and events — not marketing dollars, record sales or the arbitrary opinions of the media.
For the technical, the API project will include:
A RESTful, JSON-based API available over HTTP with documentation and sample code.
PIECE NO. 2: The Scenroller Mobile App (iPhone and Android)
The API makes Sceneroller available to anyone with programming ability, the mobile app makes Sceneroller available to everyone with a phone. The mobile app will itself be a client of the Sceneroller API, providing an easy to use graphical user interface for exploring the world's music scenes.
For the technical, the App project will consist of a HTML5 GUI that will consume the Scenroller API, hosted in both an iOS and Android format.
What do we know about this stuff?
A lot. Our team has decades of experience in music, media, business and technology, and Sceneroller is built on four years of Agile development to describe music scenes the way participants see them. The powerful, patent-pending Sceneroller software engine can describe every role in a music scene, onstage or off, by crunching the data. Now comes the eas(ier) part: giving it access to lots of data and making it look nice.
Co-founders Matthew Rothenberg and Jason Brownell have been collaborating and playing music together since fifth grade.
Jason’s career as a San Francisco Bay area software developer and engineering manager includes leadership roles at Internet music pioneer Liquid Audio and in the consumer electronics industry. He is co-author of 13 patents in the field of Internet audio distribution. His first band was an avant-garde electronic pop ensemble founded in Milwaukee in 1980.
Matthew’s tech-media career started at the legendary MacWEEK and included positions as editor-in-chief of eWEEK and VP of digital content for Hachette Filipacchi. Now based in the New York area, his musical pursuits include a long string of bands in San Diego and San Francisco. (Check out some of his musical history in the San Diego underground at a blog he founded … http://cheunderground.com/blog.)
Rounding out the team are business-development ace Jonathan Goldin and taxonomic titan Sue Conroy, who are keeping a steady eye on the business and data, respectively.
What makes us different?
We love every way professional and enthusiast sites have found to describe music, but nobody does it the way we do. Lots of sites are organized by musical genres or styles. Some focus on specific eras, on bands, on musicians.
We play well with all of them: Sceneroller is the only technology out there that starts with the people and lets them describe and promote the music for themselves. Adding our API to existing music-discovery sites will empower a whole new dimension of music history. It will toss the mic into the crowd and lets people and bands speak for themselves from every corner of the Web.
Why are we doing this?
Mainstream music history is great, but it’s not personal, Let’s face it: Most music history is told by the winners as part of a marketing machine designed to keep the big acts center stage. We don’t think that’s right. We think that everyone is someone’s rock star, and we want to see every one of those stars get a chance to shine. Sceneroller gives everybody a chance to know what happened then and what’s happening now on a local level … and to make connections globally.
We’re tuning up for the gig of our lives, and we hope you’ll join us on stage.