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Last Active 12-14-19 3:32 am
Joined 07-07-08

Forum Posts 3,212
Review Comments 32,890

12.05.19 Sowing's Decade List 11.11.19 A Decade In Obscurity
10.22.19 Top 20 Jimmy [Sowing's Take]10.21.19 Top 20 mewithoutYou Songs
10.16.19 Surviving Ranked10.08.19 Sowing's Week 6 Picks
10.05.19 10/4 First Impressions10.03.19 Sowing's Week 5 Picks
09.30.19 Sputnik Ideas 09.26.19 Sowing's Week 4 Picks
09.19.19 Sowing's Week 3 Picks09.16.19 Autumn Favorites
09.10.19 Sowing's Week 2 Picks09.06.19 Norman Fucking Rockwell Ranked
09.05.19 Sowing's Week 1 Picks 08.16.19 Big Week #2: Rapid Reactions
07.27.19 Another 2019 Ranking07.25.19 Sowing's 2019 NFL Predictions
More »

Sputnik Ideas

We all love this place but from time to time it gets a little stagnant just because updates aren't frequent and we use the site daily. I have a plethora of ideas to help spice up the daily happenings around here, but my problem is that as an active writer, mod, and new father IRL, I don't have the time to implement/see complicated ideas all the way through. Figured I'd float a few things out there and see what the reception is like. Let me know what you think is a good idea. Let me know what you hate and think is dumb. Keep in mind I can't make design changes to the site so all of this must occur within the parameters of what's currently available to us. If any of these ideas seem particularly interesting, organize them yourselves. I can offer some minimal guidance if/when time permits but as I said, I can't be the driving force behind any of these. Consider this a dump-off of things I would like to see but don't have time for.
Jane Doe

Review Competitions - I used to run this on a weekly basis using albums that weren't "staff dibbed", meaning if you reviewed one of the releases on the list there was a solid chance of it getting featured, and a lot of aspiring writers used it as a chance to improve their craft. I used to do 'user spotlight interviews' for the winner but don't have time anymore. I can continue to supply the list of eligible albums for each week, but someone else would need to spearhead the organizational side of things as well as find an objective way to determine the weekly winner/best review. ***BACK ON THE TABLE, THANKS FRIPP!!***
2Neutral Milk Hotel
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

Sputnik Hall of Fame - Did this full-scale for one year in 2017 but it was not worth the effort. I think maybe I made it too involved. Would be cool to see someone spearhead an annual list where people vote on albums from 10 years ago (so 2019, we'd be voting on 2009) and then see what albums are still holding up as "sput classics". Could be done easily using the list feature and would be repeatable on an annual basis.
Kid A

User Hall of Fame - Would be awesome to have a list of some of the most impactful users this site has ever seen. Would prob need to be vote-based, almost like a mega Sputnik Madness. Could also have categories, like the site's 5 best trolls ever, the site's 5 best reviewers ever, best list-makers ever, -insert superlative here-, etc.
The Artist in the Ambulance

Guess That Sputniker - Been done a few times, but seeing as there are always new users coming to the site would be cool to see this revitalized. All that's needed is for a user to take charge as the "game show host" so to speak, creating weekly lists with vague but interesting descriptions of users' personalities and tendencies on the site where people guess who they are. Helps everyone to get to know each other and there's no thrill quite like when you go to guess and you realize the description is of you.
5Circle Takes the Square
As the Roots Undo

Sputnik Mentorship - Musical neighbors 10+ years ago was all the rage, but that's not a feature anymore. Might be cool to see new users paired with site veterans who can guide them, and perhaps share some taste overlap. Might invoke a sense of site stewardship and cultivate more productive relationships on the site. No clue how this could be done in any kind of rational way though.
6The Microphones
The Glow Pt. 2

Yearly Awards - This is sorta like the Hall of Fame idea but even easier to execute. Think of it like high school yearbook superlatives. We could vote on the most improved writer, the best contributor, the funniest user, etc. I would willingly toss a feature to the voting list to help get the ball rolling. Would also serve as a cool historical documentation of the site then, to see who won each category in 2019, 2020, etc 10 years later when we're all still sitting here.
7Titus Andronicus
The Monitor

Incentive to Provide Feedback - OK so this one's a bit more vague, but I always wished there was more of a reason to care about what people write on this site. I guess once you're staff it's easy because you get the automatic feature, and by that point you've more or less honed your craft, but for regular - especially new - users writing their 1st/2nd/10th review constructive criticism is essential. Maybe I just have my nostalgia glasses on, but I feel like feedback is both less frequent and less helpful than it used to be. Seen plenty of reviews go unnoticed, 0 comments, into oblivion - which clearly sucks for the person who took the time to write. Then there's the plethora of useless praise, like "pos" and "nice review" - which always feels nice but it would be better if the critique went a little deeper. Not sure where I'm going with this but yeah more and better review feedback would be a huge plus.
8Sufjan Stevens
Carrie and Lowell

Sputnik Soundtracks - I did an indie romance flick soundtrack taking user suggestions in 2017 and I thought it turned out pretty cool. But the possibilities don't end there. Why not get user suggestions/votes on a Halloween soundtrack for 2019, full of all the creepiest and most haunting tunes we can think of? If you email me the final results along with a spotify playlist I'll gladly make a blog post out of it. This idea could go all year long: Winter songs, love songs for valentines day, best drinking/party songs for St. Patty's day, etc etc. Here's how I organized mine if you need a template: ***BACK ON THE TABLE, THANKS BUTTBOY!!***
9Kendrick Lamar
good kid, m.A.A.d city

Sputnik Mixtapes - The Staff does quarterly mixtapes via the blog, but there's nothing stopping you all from creating a list and doing quarterly userbase mixtapes. Would probably be more widely representative of the entire site, anyway. Don't even need to hold a vote for this just have any user who wants to contribute 1-2 of their favorite songs from 2019 Q3 and put it in a list. Rinse and repeat for 2019 Q4, 2020 Q1, etc.
10Frightened Rabbit
The Midnight Organ Fight

Sputnik Palooza - Use any of the sites out there that currently allow you to enter the equivalent of a chatroom and take turns spinning songs. Just make it more official for emphasis. Like every user has to come prepared with their 3 favorite songs of all-time - or do themes, like 80s music (Sputnik 80's Palooza), and then switch up the theme every time. Someone record the "setlist" and then make a list showing what the tracks were for the 2019 Sputnik Palooza. I dunno spice things up however you want the possibilities are endless.
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