_This month Trevor Reynolds comments on our featured site the Mannerist Community
The idea of having a message board for music fans to come and collaborate with each other and the sharing of a common interest in seeing their favorite band prosper is not a new thing. However, what we have tried to do here is create an entire online community dedicated to supporting that fanbase. The folks who are active fans of Barefoot Manner are commonly referred to as Mannerists. The website here directly represents and supports that fanbase, and hopefully this display says something about our whole-hearted faith to seeing Barefoot Manner continue this journey of providing their unique style of music for more and more people to enjoy for years and years to come.
Attempting to create an online community dedicated to a reasonably new band has been quite an undertaking too, as there are some fantastic examples of ways that folks support other bands they like that have been around much longer than Barefoot Manner. We run the site under the style of, by the people, for the people!
These Mannerists come from all walks of life, and of a wide variety of age groups. And their general musical interests vary widely, which is what I find amazing. In order to complement such a diverse fellowship, something more flexible and dynamic than your standard message board was needed. Some of the other features on the site, in addition to a widely used message board format are, calendar, private messaging, polls, website links directory, photo gallery, and a complex, yet simple news management system. All Mannerists who have signed up on the site have access to contribute to any area of the website that they feel so inclined.
Essentially, what we have setup here is multi-faceted community for fans in the need to know, or want to know frame of mind. For them, this site is all that, and more. Collaboration amongst Mannerists from all over the region, and other parts of the country has created bonds within the group that go beyond just being a fan, or just being a member of this particular online society. In this respect, it allows fans to learn more about each other, and allows for new and old friendships to prosper in a relatively new manner. In the short time the site has been operational we have already begun to see friendships form ‘offline’. this is perhaps the most rewarding aspect of creating an online community. as the band grows so does the family who loves and supports them
The site itself is built around an open framework that allows for a great deal of creative engineering. This allows us to construct more tools and other fun things to be integrated into the site as demand or desire dictates. Things like setlist tracking, management of the Street Team, and some kind of general interface into archive.org are in the works. The technologies we work with grant us almost unlimited possibilities with the overall direction we can take the site.