After nearly three years in BETA, I’ve finally decided to pull the plug on Bandshell.net. The Bandshell.net engine was designed to be a place where artists could go to manage the information that is commonly found on a band website: gig calendar, songlists, samples, news, etc. The idea behind Bandshell.net was that these would be web services that bands could plug into their own websites.
The problem that Bandshell.always had was that there was no really simple way for the bands to set up their own sites without any computing knowledge. Since the service was designed to sell for only a few bucks a month (know any bands that have more than that to spend?), there really couldn’t be any tech support available. Although the website generated some inquiries from bands looking for a service like Bandshell.net, Without an easy way to give the bands a “starter site”, there was no way to launch beyond a small set of friends and bandmates for whom I was willing to do the set-up.
Ironically, web browser technology has finally caught up and Bandshell.net’s technical strategy is viable. Cross-domain scripting is now possible, the Bandshell.net model of hosting the site on one server and calling the Bandshell.net engine on another has many more possibilities.
These days, though, there is competition in this area from some very big names. Sites like MySpace and Facebook provide all of these services at no cost, and while I think the Bandshell.net experience is superior, it’s hard to compete with FREE. Plus, the social networking aspect is so important that most bands would rather have their presence on one of these mega-sites than to manage their own, regardless of things like aesthetics or features.
So another Dot Com dream dies, but it’s a cold, cruel world out there, and it’s time to move on. Too bad: the Bandshell.net logo would have looked great on the tail fin of my private jet.