This project has been a labor of love. I’ve always loved music, especially music from buskers. To me, seeing a busker perform revealed the very essence of music, that of pure joy and connectivity. I soon realized that I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. Millions of people around the world share a love of buskers and their music, which is why there are so many festivals and films out there celebrating them. However, there is not much in the way of an actual online community on the subject outside from Google Discussion Groups. Naturally, I decided to start my own.
Sound of the City Streets started out on Blogger. My original goal was to simply document several different instances of buskers performing in the streets and subways of New York. While it served its purpose of displaying updates well, it didn’t offer much in the way of functionality and professionalism. After a few weeks, I decided to switch to Google Sites. It was a free service that didn’t require much coding knowledge, so I was able to maintain it for a while.
The original Sound of the City Streets webpage, hosted in Google Sites.
It didn’t take long for me to realize I really wasn’t able to keep documenting buskers. There were far too many sites, even entire documentaries, that did just that, and since anonymity is important to many buskers, very few of them consented to being photographed. This is why I decided to solely focus on the community aspect, providing buskers and busker enthusiasts the chance to share their experiences, their work, and their passion with other like-minded individuals.
I was able to start a forum on Google Groups, as well as a Facebook page and a Twitter account. However, while the Facebook and Twitter integration was successful in bringing users in, the forum just didn’t get off the ground. No one was interested in joining a sketchy-looking forum, especially not one where you had to immediately divulge all your information. I wracked my brain looking for another avenue to display this project, until one day, it hit me:
I should use WordPress!
Setting up a blog on WordPress is just as easy as Blogger, but it has a lot of added functionality that Blogger lacks. It is also part of a larger blog community, which helps spread the word of this project. This blog has only been active for a week, and it has already brought in 170 views! It took the Google site weeks to get that kind of number! This project even got attention from other artists, which was a huge oart of my original goal.
So, what now? Well, I plan to keep on adding to it. I plan to add more and more functionality to the WordPress, spread the word of this project to others within the community (and without), and perhaps seek some backers to help this project go to the next level. My goal is to connect people through a common love for buskers, and with people like you, I believe that I can do just that!