Content Directive 4/28 - As Live Events Return...

 Hello everyone! Happy Hump Day.

 This content directive is specifically directed at Content Managers and people working on site content regularly -- but everyone is welcome to read.
 Concert and IRL event announcements are starting to pick up again in most of our markets (!!!); let's talk through some best practices for displaying and promoting them.


 This seems like an important time to reiterate that our goal is to help people find awesome stuff to do. The primary jobs of our content teams are to find as many rad events happening in our cities as possible, add them to the site, organize them in useful ways, and then promote them across our email, social, and site channels.

 Some of our important regular routines may have fallen by the wayside during the pandemic. It's time to bring them back! Here are some especially important ones:
  • Checking the pending queue for new high-profile events multiple times per day, approving all notable events the moment you discover them, and notifying other key stakeholders on your local team about announcements (eg - your social media manager to post on social, a local seller to make sure they're aware).
  • Checking your site's front pages at least seven days ahead each day, ordering the events to be as helpful and representative of our brand as possible (this is best done via this screen), merging any dupes, and fixing any typos or bad images.
  • Bringing the pending queue down to 0 at least once per week (ideally daily, but that's tougher in larger markets).
  • Processing the duplicate queues for all client/partner/featured venues, plus all popular venues (venues whose events are regularly displayed on our sites' home pages) at least twice per week. This includes checking each venue's website and/or ticketing site at least once a week to ensure that our scrapers are working properly and bringing in all upcoming events.
  • Constantly adding awesome events to your 'Top Picks' user lists whenever you encounter them, wherever you encounter them (in the queues, in Radmin, on the front end of the site, etc).
    • The better job you do of this, the easier it becomes to find rad events to feature in emails and post on social. Your 'Top Picks' list should be your first go-to whenever you need to find a great event to promote.
  • Constantly adding notable new shows to your 'Just Announced' user list whenever you encounter them and removing old announcements every Monday.
    • The easiest way to remove old announcements from this user list is to use Slack's robots to wipe the page each week (seriously). If you don't know how to utilize this cool trick, please sidebar with me and I'll show you!
  • Making use of all the tools for finding events and important updates mentioned in this article such as Feedly and Google Alerts.
  • Regularly checking/updating your Featured Stuff, Editorial Carousel and Feed.
It's important to note that we started creating many more organic editorial (/p) pages than usual during the pandemic -- mostly because there were no events! Now that events are returning, it's likely and expected that we will have less time to focus on organic editorial. That's OK! Events are what we do best (and what truly separate us as a brand). Please note that there will be no changes related to paid editorial content, only organic.

 Reopening The Site 

 In addition to revisiting the above repeating tasks within your weekly workflow, there are a number of one-time tasks that need to be done to ensure our sites are set up to properly display and promote events:
  • Ensuring that all Categories & Shortcuts are properly displayed on your site. These get confusing easily, so please reach out if we can be of assistance. The best/easiest ways to be successful here are to:
    • Regularly check that the events you're adding to the site appear everywhere you expect them to.
    • Reach out to me (Johnny) if you'd like assistance modifying these settings.
    • Strive as much as possible to return the site to normal as soon as you can; this will set you up for the best possible success in the long run.
  • Removing "#DoStuffAtHome" branding from your logos, headers and social icons.
    • This branding served us well for its time, but now it's time for a renewed focus on our local brands.
    • Stuart (thank you, Stuart!) has un-DoStuffAtHome'd all sites' logos, email templates and share images. 
    • Please update your social icons to 'DoXYZ' branded icons ASAP. Same goes for anywhere else there's [At Home] branding hanging out -- the only exception being using #DoStuffAtHome as the catch-all venue for digital events that aren't tied to a local venue. We want to keep doing that.
  • Please check your 'Giveaways' user list and confirm that all displayed events are active giveaways for real events, and hide any giveaways that we should not be actively promoting at this time.
  • Audit your Nav Links to ensure they're representative of our local brand and most hopeful for users.
  • Check the upcoming events listed for each client/partner/popular venue and make sure everything is up to date: Merge any duplicates, update any canceled events, ensure that all bands are properly listed, etc. 
    • This is most easily accomplished by going to Radmin -> Venues -> Search, selecting the venue in question, clicking the cogwheel in the top right, selecting 'View Venue's Events', and then sorting the resulting events in order by date, going forward in the future.
 Also! Big news: Our Product team will be bringing back band notification emails (AKA show announcement emails) very soon (read more about those here if you're not familiar) with some notable improvements:
  • Users will be able to unsubscribe from all desired DoXYZ emails from within both band notifications and daily emails. (The historic disassociation of these two emails' unsubscribe functionality caused complaints and deliverability issues in the past).
  • We'll be revisiting and improving the functionality by which users auto-follow bands when entering to win giveaways. If we can't nail this specific feature, we'll just turn it off when we bring band notifications back.
 We're Here To Help

 Many of us have never managed content for a DoStuff site during normal times. And for all of us, it's been quite a while. So, we're here to help with whatever you need to get set up for success. This includes:
  • Training or retraining (there is no shame in forgetting!) on any of the topics mentioned in this article (or anything else you're expected to do).
  • Auditing key existing scrapers to ensure they're working properly, setting up new scrapers, advising on what scripts to use with existing scrapers, etc.
  • Proofing your site's key pages (including all the ones mentioned above) to ensure everything is properly buttoned up.
 Just reach out to me and we'll get a session (or sessions!) on the books!


 Here are answers to a few other questions that have come up multiple times recently.

 If a venue is hosting both digital and IRL events, do we list both? Under the same venue page?

 The answer here is yes! Both types of events should be listed at the venue. Please clearly indicate digital events as such using the title and/or topline.

 What's the best practice for venues that host the same artist multiple times on the same night? Do we list both the early show and late show? Or combine them into one listing?

 The best answer here - and by far the easiest one given the way our scraper system functions - is to go the way the wind blows and list them in whatever manner the URL you're scraping lists them. Otherwise, you'll be committing to a lot of manual work and cleanup, fighting against that formatting. No worries if different venues do different things.

 Are we turning band notifications back on?

 Yeah, bro! I covered that above.

 I'm trying to set up a scraper using an existing script and I'm not sure which one to use! What do I do?

 Reach out to me! If it's urgent, please note that in the outreach. We also list recommended/default scripts for all the main ticketing providers in this article.

 Are you still setting up Ticketmaster API scripts for us?

 Yep! If you'd like to create a new scraper for a Ticketmaster and/or Live Nation ticketing URL, please reach out to me and I'll set it up for you.

 Have we learned anything new about Taro's identity?

 No, we still know very little about our master script writer's identity - but he's alive and well, and ready to help you crush all your upcoming show announcements!

 I'll leave you with this classic (albeit, brief) email thread:

 Big love to you all!