My Services – share your social and media profiles

We’ve just added My Services, a new way for Mixwit users to find and discover each other, as well as their favorite media, on other popular online services.

If you’re signed-in to the Mixwit website, click on this link to get started:

From here you can select from several social and media services including Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed, iMeem, Last.fm, and YouTube. Follow the instructions to add a link to your public profile on any of these service. We’ve also included a couple of general icons to allow you to add your website or blog.

There’s about two dozen service icons so far, based on what’s most popular to our users, but we can do more. Feel free to make a request for your service(s) in the comments below, or send us feedback.

This is a first small step towards our goal of helping users bring together their disconnected services. We’ll have more to announce on that next week…

ccMixter

We’re big fans of Creative Commons over here at Mixwit. That’s why I’m stoked to announce today that we’ve  integrated ccMixter into our mixmaker. This means you can easily add any track you can find on ccMixter to any of your mixtapes. If you are not familiar with ccMixter, it is a great repository for tracks, remixes and samples, all licensed under Creative Commons. All you need to do is just select ccMixter in the drop down box in the mixmaker. Once your there, try an artist like the Rapture or the Beastie Boys or a genre like “funk”. Super bonus points if you try “bark” ;)

Over the next few months, we’ll be working hard on improving search by continuing to add more services to help you find media around the web. Although, it does makes our life a whole lot easier when people like ccMixter, Seeqpod, and Skreemr have very nice APIs for us to work with. That’s why those are the three sources we have to date, but rest assured there will be more to come. Got a favorite source? Let us know, and you may just see it appear in the near future.

Lastly, in celebration of the upcoming 4th anniversary of the Wired Magazine CD, what more appropriate than a Wired mixtape? 2008 is the year of the mixtape, right? Enjoy!

[mixwit_mixtape wid="9ae4f9705f2985468a75dbed5e564042" pid="ec959431d59d90187b1abbe9a72adad1" un="mc" width="426" height="327" center="true"]

Widget Menu Update(s)

We’ve made a few improvements to the mixtape’s menu. The big one that people will be most excited about is the ability to view the full playlist. We’ve also taken into account persistence – music doesn’t stop when you open to the menu, and we’ve made room for the controls to remain visible with it open as well.

The menu also provides a new tab-based layout that gives us room to add new features, including fan/follow, description, and a dedication, as well as space to add the upcoming audio control options.

We know of at least one bug with the new menu that we haven’t been able to effectively replicate and destroy. There might be a few others as well. Most should be squashed over the next week or two as we finish up this round of widget updates.

[Update] – oh yeah, we changed the first-play button. I don’t think it’s the final design, but we didn’t want to hold everything up just for this…

Bienvenue!

You may have noticed in the past few days we’ve had quite an influx of French mixes. No, Mixwit isn’t sponsoring the Tour de France this year. It turns out we were featured Thursday morning on the French  television show, Télématin. It’s a bit hard to keep up on French pop culture over here in California, but as we understand Laura “du Web” Tenoudji’s segment is quite popular.

It’s always amazing for us to see people from all over the world enjoying Mixwit. Thanks Laura and bienvenue to all of our new French friends!

Fan / Follow: The Paths of Inspiration

Our biggest request since we rolled out favorites is:

“who’s favoriting me?!?”

Mike and I debated this solution pretty heavily. Mike’s from the Facebook generation where people have 500+ friends and everything’s open and public. I’m from the AOL “consumer” generation and have strong paranoia about maintaining privacy. As a result, we decided to make it possible for you to be able to favorite a mix anonymously without worry about social-games or viral spam …and find another solution.

So today we now have Fan / Follow, our (first) way of connecting users. If you like the stuff someone is making, you can become a fan and follow what they do. It’s essentially the same thing as followers/following on Twitter, but with the more traditional semantic.

There’s an interesting benefit to the fan/follow process. Let’s say Thom Yorke decides to sign up for Mixwit and you become a fan. Not only would you be updated whenever he makes a new mix, you’d also be able to check out his favorites, and who he’s following. Going further, you can follow a people chain to discover the people influencing the people that are influencing Thom… and who’s influencing those people beyond them (and so on and so on…)

How it Works

You can easily become a fan by clicking the “Follow me” button under his/her name. Plus,  we provide a list of the 25 newest fans and people he/she is following on each display page.

As a fan, you’ll be able to stay up-to-date with your favorite people. You’ll also receive notifications whenever he/she makes a new mix, adds a new favorite, etc. Similarly, people who choose to be your fans will automatically receive notifications when you make a new mix. You don’t have to tell them – it’s done automatically.

Of course, with our new settings you can always change what follow notifications you send and receive.

So to recap:

Favorites will be for stuff (widgets). Anonymous.

Fan/follow is for personal / public connections. Usernames are shared and displayed.

Profiles & Settings: It’s all about you…

Happy to announce that we’ve added basic profile settings and controls for our users. Previously, they were “sort-of-there” &  “wherever-it-fits”. Now it’s organized and useful:

Profiles

This may be a little confusing at first: it’s the profile and menu of the person you’re viewing. So if you’re checking out your own mixes, you’ll see you. But if you are viewing stuff by someone else, you’re going to see their name and image, and links to their stuff.

What’s new:

  • User picture – a 75×75 image (same size as Twitter)
  • User name - no longer restricted to your account name – it can be your own name, including spaces
  • Fan info – on your own page it will display your fan count. Otherwise, it’s the primary “Follow me” link to follow (and unfollow) other users
  • User menu – links to the user’s profile page (i.e. their home page), mixes, favs, fans / following, and rss

Settings

We’ve created new settings pages to give you better control over your account. For those of you who’ve been using Twitter, you’ll find they’re very similar:

  • Account – allows you to change your Display name, your URL user-name, and your contact email address
  • Change password – basic password changing forms
  • Notifications – choose what notifications you send and receive*
  • Picture – add a picture to represent yourself; we’ll crop and resize it for you

* note on notifications – this is where you can control what notifications you send and receive with fans and the people you’re following. We’ve only included a few notifications for now, so we can test usefulness and bandwidth. In the future we’re going to have a homepage news feed (like Facebook’s) that will provide regular updates.

Top 10 Tape Tips by Rob Sheffield (Love is a Mix Tape)

Rob Sheffield, author of Love is a Mix Tape, has created this list of Top 10 mix tips for The Independent on the best tips for arranging your mixtape:

1. Start with a Buddy Holly song. Every mix tape that starts with a Buddy Holly song gets a smile going 10 seconds after you press play.

2. Pick a song with the name of the person you’re making the tape for – depending on the name. All Marthas love The Beatles’ “Martha My Dear,” but all Beths hate Kiss’s “Beth” – and what Roxanne really wants to hear “Roxanne” again?

3. It’s useful to ponder what kind of mood you’re trying to create. If it’s an angry break-up tape, you must include the Buzzcocks’ “Ever Fallen in Love”. If it’s a sad break-up tape, you must include Frank Sinatra’s “The Night We Called It a Day”. If it’s a make-out tape, try Al Green’s “One of These Good Old Days”. If it’s a road-trip tape, you’re going to throw in The Clash’s “Janie Jones”, the music gods’ gift to automotive technology.

4.Twenty-minute avant-jazz freakouts? Some other time.

5. Try to put the Aretha Franklin song at the end of Side One – no matter who the next singer is, they’re going to sound sickly and timid trying to follow the Queen of Soul.

6. Mix it up stylistically. If you were in the mood to hear the same kind of music for 45 minutes at a time, you’d just put on an actual album.

7. Think of a different silly title for each side of the tape, such as Hall Side and Oates Side, or Pork Side and Beans Side.

8. Cut out scrapbook pictures of old movie stars and use them as a cover for the tape case. (I’m partial to Ava Gardner in The Hucksters.)

9. When in doubt, James Brown. You’re never not glad to hear him, especially after a few too many Elliott Smith and Jeff Buckley ballads.

10. If you’re a male, and you happen to be making this tape for a female in whom you have some sentimental or carnal interest, think twice about including Bob Dylan’s “Just Like a Woman” or AC/DC’s “Let Me Put My Love Into You”. Trust me on this one. 

(via The Independent, UK)

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