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Ahead on our way...


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Well it's been about a week or two, so as the new guy in charge, I figure I ought to say something, right?

When djpretzel started the process of handing over the keys to the family car, I have to admit I was pretty overwhelmed. OCR is one of the oldest and most rock-solid sites on the internet; I've often said that we're older than YouTube, older than smartphones, and older than a lot of things on the internet that, by virtue of their ubiquity, feel like institutions. OCR is an institution. There's a lot of weight in those keys.

So what am I going to do with OCR now that I'm in the driver's seat? In the short term: keep driving. Our main goal is going to be continuity; that is to say, keep posting ReMixes on a regular basis. We've got a pretty big backlog of ReMixes that are ready for the spotlight, and our excellent and talented community continues to send us new music all the time, so we're not worried about running out. But there sure is a lot of behind-the-scenes process involved with getting these tracks in your ears, so bear with us while the staff--with djpretzel's help--figures all of this out.

I still believe that there's a case to be made for the curation model that we've developed and adhered to for 20+ years, so we're still going to have a Judges Panel that's going to evaluate submissions, and the bar for quality that the judges look for isn't shifting in any direction.

One of our goals in this changeover is to decentralize a lot of process off of one person. djpretzel did a lot on his own, and as we look at some things behind-the-scenes, maybe he didn't have to. I want OCR to be a place that can be run by a trusted group of people without a single point-of-failure. Case-in-point: literally one week after I take on leadership at OCR, my 8-month-old son brings home COVID from somewhere and gets the whole house sick, and we're having OCR staff meetings and figuring out how to post ReMixes while I'm coughing up a lung. Unbelievable. So I'm also hoping to bring more people onto the OCR staff. I've already pulled in some folks from the community, and we're going to figure out how to provide avenues for more people to help out if they're interested. Keep an eye out.

Beyond that though, I've got a couple of ideas for improvements and features that have been brewing for a while that I'm going to start to pursue, leveraging some existing tech we already have and also exploring some new tech. For those that are unaware, my day job is working as a web and application developer at a major university. It's something I've been doing for 15 years and I have a pretty solid handle on building database-driven web applications. I'm going to bring a little of that experience to OCR, and hopefully we can eventually have some cool toys and tools in place to help move the site forward. Some things to look forward to:

  • I've already put together a Currently in the Judging Process dashboard for ReMixers and hopefuls to keep an eye on. It's a live view of the judging process without having to wait for a Judge to update a forum thread.
  • We're actively developing and testing a proper Submission form for ReMixers and hopefuls to use when sending us music. We've been asking you to send us an email for far too long. That's going to change.
  • We've put together a "stream team" to evaluate how we can do more with our YouTube channel and even get things going on Twitch in some capacity.

There are a lot more things we're talking about internally as well, but I don't want to over-promise anything right now.

If you have ideas for OCR, feel free to share them in our Site Issues & Feedback forum. I'd also love for folks to come by and join our OC ReMix Discord server. I know the forums have been pretty sleepy for a few years now, but the chat server is lively and active. Hope to see you there.

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