Music Magazine

Music fans today have trouble finding the stories they want to read. Following all your favorite artists on social media is overwhelming, and searching Google turns up page after page of irrelevant junk. We'll build a system that finds just what a fan wants to read.

Faculty and Staff Leads

Joe Germuska

Chief Nerd

Joe runs Knight Lab’s technology, professional staff and student fellows. Before joining us, Joe was on the Chicago Tribune News Apps team. Also, he hosts a weekly radio show on WNUR-FM – Conference of the Birds.

Zach Wise

Associate Professor

Emmy winning interactive producer & Associate Professor @NorthwesternU, @KnightLab. Formerly of The New York Times. Creator of TimelineJS & StoryMapJS

Project Details

2019 Spring

Description

As in other fields, music fans today have trouble finding the stories they want to read. Following all your favorite artists on social media is overwhelming, and searching Google turns up page after page of e-commerce and AllMusic rip-offs.

For this project, we’ll prototype a system that organizes quality music journalism and highlights the stuff that’s most relevant to a specific listener-reader. This project will benefit from a team which mixes technical skill (coding) and content (editorial judgment and affinity for the audience.)

Important Questions
  • What are the best sources of musical interest? Spotify? Facebook?
  • What are good sources of music journalism? Who should be the judge?
  • How might we reliably match listening/fan behavior with articles/coverage?
  • When an artist or album is in release/press blitz mode, there can be an overwhelming amount of coverage: what’s the best way to prioritize it?
Sample Milestones
  • Weeks 1-2: share experiences about listening to and reading about music; build lists of information sources; start exploring APIs to get data from music services and publishers
  • Weeks 3-4: Work on connecting listening data with information sources
  • Weeks 5-6: Build minimum viable product website showing stories selected based on listening/fan behavior.
  • Weeks 7-10: Iterate on MVP. Possibly consider methods for showing related content. Polish. Document.
Outcome

By working on this project, students will learn to think differently about how editorial content is found, and will learn about how to build a system which taps into various information APIs to create a great audience experience.