This month we feature Phantasytour.com. The site’s founder, Paul Glace, talks about its develeopment.
Phantasy Tour, which actually began as Phantasy Phish, was first introduced
in September 1999. I had long wanted to introduce a web site where Phish
fans could make predictions about the songs that the band would play. The
concept is similar in nature to Fantasy Baseball and Fantasy Football in
that you have a team of songs that you track throughout the tour (as opposed
to a team of players that you track throughout the season). When one of the
songs on your team is played you score points. There are different
positions on your team, such as first set opener and second set closer, and
if the song you picked for a given position is played in that position, you
score additional points.
The inaugural Phantasy Phish competition took coincided with the 1999 Phish
Fall Tour. The game and web site were quite antiquated to start. Picks
were submitted by web form, but received by me in an email that I then dealt
with offline. Running and producing the standings required many manual
operations on my part. It quickly became apparent that I needed more
automation. By the time Phish went on hiatus in the fall of 2000, the site
had been renamed Phantasy Tour and had developed into a mature web
application. With the hiatus came the opportunity for me to develop new
areas into the site that would make it more than just a game, but rather a
portal for Phish fans, complete with message boards and ticket exchange
engine. The Phish hiatus also afforded me the opportunity to introduce new
sites on fantasy tour for other Jam Band acts such as Widespread Panic and
The Disco Biscuits.
Today, Phantasy Tour is a community website devoted to high quality content
and constant updates. This is accomplished with the help of dozens of
members that assist me in maintaining the site, either as content
administrators or message board moderators. It is the ultimate web site for
the setlist geek in all of us. The site’s user base has grown from several
hundred in Fall 1999 to over 30,000 today. I hope to continue growing and
improving the site. Future plans include the introduction of more Phantasy
bands and improvements to the setlist prediction games.