Goo Music are a vibrant, young band management company in London. They manage The Subways, a high-energy band who are currently putting together the final touches to their second album and are about to launch a world tour.
We’ve created a distinctive website for the business, in the style of a one-page fanzine that keeps itself up-to-date with feeds from the Twitter and MySpace profiles of both Goo Music and The Subways.
The site design uses a layering of photographic images:
- a pavement from Lancaster
- an old plectrum
- a penny
- a guitar cable, and
- a stapled stack of papers (actually it’s part of a manual for LSL, the scripting language used in Second Life)
We now have browsers that can handle part-transparency in images (since Internet Explorer 6 finally left the scene). So, it has become possible to sculpt this kind of photographic layering into a website, bringing the viewer into a richer visual environment. It can be more laborious to create such a design than with standard techniques, but the results can be impressive.
Although we have gone for a highly visual design, we have also given full consideration to accessibility and the usage patterns of different users. For example, the design adapts well to different text sizes in the browser and it is built on a backbone of semantic HTML, for the benefit of screen readers, search engines and the best of the Semantic Web.
We’ve used microformats to build the site’s blog posts, contact information and links, where they allow people to interact with the information in useful ways. For some ideas about how to interact with microformats, see the Bangladesh River Journey post.
Full RSS Feeds from MySpace
To bring in content from MySpace, we had to be a bit sneaky. MySpace, for all its wisdom, doesn’t provide full RSS feeds. For example, the feed for The Subways’ blog shows just the first couple of sentences of each post.
We first tried using the Dapper service, which lets you convert HTML on any website into RSS feeds and more. However, as you’ll see from the Dapper feed we created, and its resultant RSS feed, Dapper doesn’t quite have the sophistication yet to deal with MySpace. So, we took advantage of Scott Reynen’s MySpace Feed Creator web service to create a full RSS feed, which we then convert back into HTML on the Goo Music website.