Spring 2019 Updates

Hey! It has been a while. We are sure you have been quite busy, with holiday concerts, snow days galore, concert band festivals and now spring break. We’ve also been busy – but you may not necessarily see those results (yet).

Michigan Marching is a side project of two proud band nerds. We wanted to be involved in marching band after we could no longer be, and this site became our way to do that (and gives us some justification for going to so many marching competitions).

As it is a side project, and only two people – it can be a heck a lot of work! Our only revenue stream for the site (to this point) has been through running Google Advertisements and we once had a site sponsorship by the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps.

I will admit this: after some unfortunate events last season, I (Tim) personally was starting to question if the return on investment of this site was worth it. And, if I am being brutally honest: running the site as we were through 2018? It was not. To put it into post-Konmari societal terms: it was not bringing me joy.

So, I did what has become the norm every year: I stepped away for a while. 2018 scores are not all updated (and somehow, neither are 2017…?). The good news is, I’ll be fixing that problem here in the next few weeks. I will be going through and adding individual scores to band pages for the missed two years.

However, I have decided to try something new this year to help alleviate some “time-suck” of entering scores (still a very hands-on manual process):

Finding Scores in 2019

Band pages will have their 2019 repertoire and schedule on their individual page, and the schedule will contain links to those competition pages. Scores, after the event, will only be added to the competition pages. But, to make navigation easier, the competition line-up will contain links back to the band pages.

Is this ideal? Most likely: no. However, with the confines of how the site is built and with the technical knowledge I have of database construction, this is the best solution I can find to make adding scores the easiest and least-time consuming. In the pre-2019 system, if a contest had 10 bands, we would have to enter scores 11 times. On some weekends, we can easily have 8 or more competitions! I need to lighten this burden somehow.

By the way: If any database programmers use this site and you’re interested in helping us improve the site further, please contact me. I know how I want the site to work, but I just cannot figure out how to make it happen.

In the Lot

2018 was our third year running Live@ events. And, we had fun at the onset of this project, but have concluded it was not doing for the site what we had hoped the liveblogs would do. We will not be continuing the Live@ events in 2019.

In 2018, we were also lucky to accompany the Three Rivers Wildcats to several competitions, and we actually did have a lot of fun and felt that doing such actually added something new and interesting to our site (and it’s entire social reach).

We would love to continue the “In the Lot” approach, and will be working to contact competition hosts to get their blessings to do this. If there are also any band programs who would love to have us feature them one competition and “tag along”, please reach out and let us know!

Merchandise Shop

Officially launched on April 9 (no reason for this date other than it happened then), we now have an e-commerce store to help support the cost of this site, plus get some Michigan Marching swag out there!

To explore the store, visit store.michiganmarching.com.

Currently, we only have a Logo t-shirt and an enamel pin (technically on pre-sale) available for order. Many more shirt designs are in progress and will be added to the site in the next few weeks. We will also be working to add more enamel pins.

Graphic Designs

Graphic Designs from Michigan Marching is a new service we are offering in 2019, and as I’ve been writing this post, I realize it needs a dedicated post. I am enticing you to check back by leaving this here, but letting you know that another post will be in the works.

If you read this far, thank you. I can be wordy. Stay tuned for more posts, updates, and additional merchandise options.

This entry was posted in News.