December 20, 2018

LaSceneParisienne: a brief history of the project

In 2006, my friend Jonathan started a MySpace profile to keep an agenda with all the interesting shows happening in our town.

This started over a decade ago, which is about a century in Internet-years. At the time, Facebook didn't exist and MySpace was ruling the social media space. In fact, most of the website we know and use today didn't exist.

We were about 20 years old and were enjoying going to as many shows at possible. It was fairly cheap, we didn't drink much back then and the entry fees were usually between 5 to 15 euros. But it wasn't easy to know what was happening and what show to go to.

There were (and still are) plenty of website, blogs and forum trying to answer the "What to do in X city on Y day" but to get as much traffic as possible, they talk about everything.

MySpace agenda

Jonathan started to note all the worthy shows. By worthy I mean "Bands we would enjoy". Instead of keeping this list for himself he started a MySpace Music profile.

It was named "LaSceneNantaise", Nantes being our hometown.

MySpace had a special design for bands where you could add all the events of your tour. We were relying this calendar.

More and more people were friending the page. We sometimes even got free tickets for shows since this page was helping their marketing and communication efforts.

People would post their flyer in the comment section or ask us to post a "announcement" or a "bulletin" (I forgot how this feature was called back then).

From MySpace to WordPress

In 2007, Jonathan moved to London and asked me to take over the profile. I was doing my best to keep the agenda up to date but the UX of MySpace this was a huge pain in the ass, trust me.

At the time, WordPress was becoming increasingly popular, and I thought we could do even more by writing articles, show reports, reviews or even news update.

So we launched www.lascenenantaise.com.

It was fun but very time consuming. And let's be honest, our writing was terrible (I guess if you read this far, you can already tell).

NantesMonAmour.com forum

At the same time, we started hanging on the forum NantesMonAmour.com, this was the best. The forum was primarily about Hardcore Punk, which I just found out about, but all metal shows would post a new thread if they were playing.

This site was the most fun, there was a true sense of community ans it was fun and pretty simple to use.

Then Facebook came out, and everything moved to this new platform.

The rise of Facebook

When facebook came in, bands started to use it to promote their music, just like they did with MySpace. At first, I didn't like it so much for bands because facebook was about private stuff and close friends but we all now how that turns out.

Most of the fun from NantesMonAmour.com moved to Facebook and the main guy behind it had less and less time to work on it so the forum died. If you ever had to maintain a PHP BB forum, you know what I'm taking about.

In the meantime, Jonathan and I moved to other things and considered that Facebook fixed the issue to easily promote and find interesting events, so we moved on.

MySpace simply disappeared.

10 years later, Facebook events are everything. Bars and people organising shows barely bother updating their own website.

This project long term goal is to become an alternative to Facebook Events, to host your own events, in your own calendar.