This month we feature Antsmarching.org, a Dave Matthews Band site with over 120,000 registered members. Ants Jake Vigliotti helped us with the rundown
Antsmarching.org really came from three different directions; a desire to combine a bunch of small Dave Matthews Band sites into 1 larger site, make that site the most accurate in setlist archive information and breaking news about the band, and create a community that would be able to interact and discuss all things DMB.
Antsmarching.org is run by three people now, Matt Yette, Joe Maliszeski, and Jake Vigliotti. Matt and Joe handle the technical aspects of the site, and Jake handles the majority of the news gathering and setlist archive upkeep. Antsmarching.orgs setlist archive dates back to some Dave solo performances from 1989, and is the standard bearer for all setlist archives.
The site opened shop on January 9, 2002 (Daves birthday). Right out of the box, ants separated themselves from other fan sites by breaking exclusive news related to the band. One of the first things Antsmarching.org did was break news on an album session; the first exclusive was a report that JTR, a long time fan favorite and what most considered a good shot at being a single for the album Busted Stuff, would not be on the album. After that, Ants did some more exclusive reports and provided insider information from studio sessions. From there, the reputation of ants as a legitimate news source grew.
The popularity of the site grew when the offer of downloadable shows directly from the site began. Although ants no longer offers the service, it was a crucial step in securing fan interaction, with people discussing their likes and dislikes in DMB music. More downloading in another form is in the plans for the near future.
Another popular feature is the setlist game, where fans can predict the songs and order of that nights show. Cash prizes are awarded for the top finishers. Some other cool features are an interview archive with the band, a Did You Know Factoid section, a complete listing of teases (intros/outros) done by the band, and mobile setlists emailed to your phone right after each show!
The forums still remain a hotbed for DMB talk. Fans voice their opinions on DMB, their album(s), the tour, and even non-DMB topics. During election time, a political forum is opened so people can duke it out from different political perspectives.