Story of the Relaunch (Work in Progress)

@melis_tailored This is a draft narrative overview of the Resonate Relaunch Plan, focused on what Resonate will be launching on December 1. The more this develops the more I think it makes sense to emphasise that this relaunch is both about our technology and the way we co-operate. Both are being “relaunched” here.

I’ve wikified this post so folks can edit it.


Resonate has been under development since its inception. We’ve been developing both the technology running Resonate and the way we work as a cooperative. Those efforts are coalescing in this Relaunch into Resonate Version 1.0.

Technology

Firstly, in terms of technology, Resonate has been using a customised Wordpress for its website and music streaming player. Using Wordpress to trial an idea is fine, however it doesn’t work at scale and doesn’t give you the functionality that users expect from a music streaming service in 2021. We’ve been running a multi-year-long beta on Wordpress, and its time to launch Version 1.0.

Over those years our Wordpress site has been augmented with more purpose-built backend services. This has happened slowly based on the feedback we’ve been getting from our users, and alongside the development of the cooperative as an organisation. Those efforts have come to a head in the past year and in particular in the past few months, when we’ve been putting the finishing touches on the purpose-built services that will directly replace the website and player themselves, the two things folks actually see when using Resonate.

From a technical perspective, the relaunch is when those new purpose-built user-facing services will be fully turned on and the old Wordpress-based services we’ve been using to test out the idea behind Resonate will be turned off for good. Resonate’s technology will be coming out of beta and into Version 1.0. A complete list of new features would take pages, but to highlight a few things you’ll see in our new purpose-built services:

  1. A new music player interface
  2. A newly designed and newly functional homepage
  3. Improved track search
  4. Embeddable tracks
  5. A new resonate-wide user account and profile system
  6. A public-facing community, integrated with our other services

Cooperation

The relaunch is more than technical however. Alongside that multi-year-long technical beta on Wordpress, Resonate has been running a multi-year-long experiment in how best to run a platform cooperative for the music industry. We’ve experimented with different funding models, governance models and ways of working. We’re also ready to move our cooperative out of this beta phase and into Version 1.0. This will mean a few things in practice.

Firstly, we’re holding regular board, member and working-group meetings with clear agendas and processes of accountability. Secondly, we mutualise the work necessary to keep the cooperative afloat with a mixture of staff and voluntary roles. Finally, our product and development work on our technical services happens collaboratively between staff and volunteers. We’re running all of this work through our new purpose-built community and our open source github repositories where all Resonate members can see what’s going on, get involved through clear work streams.

We’re now opening up these structures to the public. For the first time non-members will be able to see how we cooperate and how we build Resonate. They’ll be able to start to participate even before they become a member, but we’re hoping they take the next step to join in in building the community-driven music streaming service we all want.

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