Thursday, January 01, 2009

'08 Review + '09 Changes

2008 was a busy year of new Dylan Cover Albums, and maintaining the DataBase and Title Tracks pages kept me busy too.
Unfortunately experienced a downturn year judging by visitor numbers, use of affiliate links, and other factors. Readership was down about 50% from the peaks of the previous several years. Many thanks to the few of you who do use my affiliate and support links, but it's only a very few and greatly reduced.
Added to this is the failure of the Forum. After a promising start it is now completely dead. Clearly there is little to no interest in an on-line community of Dylan cover collectors.
Overall, it has become apparent to me that there is no "silent majority" out there as I had always hoped, and that my audience, with a few exceptions, is limited to a few long-time visitors. You know who you are!
Judging by the readership & support other Dylan sites receive, it's apparent that has failed to build a following. Years of cross-promoting the site at Dylan newgroups, forums, etc. has had little effect attracting general Dylan fans. I guess collecting Dylan covers is just too much of a niche interest.

I intend to continue Dylan Cover Albums, Dylan Title Tracks and the DataBase with no changes, but other parts of the sites may be eliminated or reduced in the new year.
To start, these changes will be made in order to reduce the time required to maintain the site:

• Posts to the Blog in Plain D will be more limited, in general only major news items will be posted. You can monitor the DataBase "Newset Additions" for news of minor releases. There appears to be little interest in reports of downloads, one-off covers, and other minor news items. I will no longer be offering any "Weekend Special" mp3s.
• The Dylan Covers DataBase will now be updated whenever there is sufficient new entries, instead of one major monthly update. This new method may result in some sorting issues, but I am hoping several minor updates per month will be easier than one major update. Clicking the "Newest Additions" button on the DataBase page will always list the latest additions, with the newest at the top of the list.
• With a few exceptions (major artists, unusual covers, etc.) I will no longer be adding YouTube (or other video services) covers to the DataBase. Too many of them are poorly documented (or just plain poor) covers, and I detect very little interest in them.
• The Dylan Covers On-Line list will no longer be updated. This list of downloadable covers from around the web receives very little use. I have not updated it for several months yet have received no comments. The link in the right sidebar will remain, but the page will no longer be updated and I have removed the link from the main page.
• The Dylan Covers Forum is no longer an active part of The Forum will remain available (via the link in the right sidebar of this page) since there are some interesting threads posted there, but I will no longer initiate any Forum threads or promote it's usage, and will only check it occasionally.

Comments welcome (but, judging by history, not expected.)


Blogger JP Hiernaux said...

Happy New Year, Dave ! I understand your disappointment and your decision to reduce the activity of your site. But be sure that your site is very helpful for a Dylan fan like me, particularly all the covers of unreleased Bob's songs. So, a suggestion : to display more prominently this category of covers. Kind regards. Jean-Pol Hiernaux (Namur, Wallonia, Belgium)

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Wilbur said...

Hey there, Dave! A HAPPY NEW YEAR from me, too! Sadly enough, it was just a matter of time until your decision of reducing some parts of your wonder- and extremely helpful page. Being a Dylan cover artist myself I absolutely share your disappointment and completely understand your decision. There's too much of those 'nobody sings/plays Dylan like Dylan' guys out there who stay away from listening to Bobcovers forcefully. To me that always was and still is over the top (to say the least) because the incredibly huge number of Dylan covers (in each and every musical style) is one of the most fascinating aspects of Dylans musical works to me. However. I hope you'll continue the main parts of the your great site to keep us cover lovers informed further on. A BIG THANX for all the work, activities and tries you already did to make us happy. I myself wouldn't even know about a quarter of the Dylan covers listed here and I wouldn't like to abdicate this brilliant site!
All the best

8:50 AM  

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