Sampleface: An Update

sampleface-2015

As our fourth year approaches, we have had a think about how Sampleface operates. Here is what we came up with.

Sampleface has clocked just over 3.5 years of content, covering music and artists from across the globe and ocassionally other dimensions. This couldn’t have been achieved without the hard work of all our contributors and the founders. Unfortunately, Sampleface has remained more of a hobby for us all as the vast majority of us have jobs and other commitments. This means we can’t produce the flurry of content we used to at the start. I’m aware I’ve addressed this before but it’s worth mentioning again as we receive hundreds of submissions a week through via email, tweets and direct messages and just don’t have the time to get through them all. I’d like to make it clear you aren’t being ignored, we just haven’t got that kind of time anymore. The environment we are in is saturated with articles of varying quality. Music is in such abundance, nobody has the time to digest an album for longer than a week before a review is up telling you how amazing or terrible it is. This is damaging to those who care about what they put out and we won’t be a part of that. So expect varying levels of frequency in published content but never diminished quality.

But what does it all boil down to for the future? Well, we have some new ideas and we thought it would be worth sharing them with you.

More focus on sampling

The art of sampling encompasses everything about Sampleface (clues in the name) but we probably don’t write enough about it as a whole. Our mission has always been to shine a light on sampling culture and we’ve not been doing that recently. This has to change and it will.

Bitiques

From surveys we conducted a few years ago, we noticed a common suggestions of more reviews. You may notice with other blogs and publications a flurry of reviews for new albums within days of release. This gives the impression the music hasn’t really been taken in. Those kinds of reviews will take as long as they take and you may find a review published weeks if not months after release. On the flip side, we understand how the world of online content changes so we’ve come up with Bitiques. They will be 200-600 word critiques of releases to give you a “taste” for the music. Think of them as literary hors d’oeuvres.

Faster load times

We’ve reduced the number of plugins used on the site, reverted to Arial font and taken away some of the widgets from our sidebar. If that has confused you, in a nutshell: our pages load quicker. We realise waiting 5 seconds for a page to load is quite slow in modern terms and why should you wait that long, particularly for a 100-200 word article? 5 seconds might sound quick in principle but it’s very slow in the scheme of things.

Less focus on SEO

Writing from the head and the heart is what we have done way before the introduction of search engine optimisation and while there are a plethora of benefits to the strategy, it has perhaps moulded our content a bit too much. We have ditched our SEO plugin (although I would highly recommend it to those still writing for SEO) to allow the content to exist on its own. It will still be edited and refined but for the reader and not to an algorithm.

More activity on our social media channels

Our editor and co-founder Luke Davis runs our Facebook and Twitter accounts but with a new “Starchild” born recently and work/life commitments, there have been gaps in tweets and Facebook posts. The reigns will be passed to other members of the team and there will be more content on both channels to keep you up to date with all that’s happening in the world of sampling.

As ever, we welcome feedback and are eternally grateful for your support thus far. Let’s keep it going!