I spoke last week with Craig Havighurst, noted Nashville writer and PBS radio journalist, about plans the IBMA is hatching to enhance its online presence and outreach efforts. Craig is also a member of the IBMA Board of Directors, and part of the team working on this project for the organization.
The first of their two-part effort for 2011 involves a major overhaul of the existing IBMA site at www.ibma.org. Craig said that while the current site is serviceable, it fails to take advantage of some of the newer web functionality available since the site first came online.
By sometime this Spring, he hopes that the development team will be concentrating their efforts on a new site, to be called Bluegrass Nation, which will be designed to help generate on online community for the bluegrass world. Craig shared the IBMA’s vision that Bluegrass Nation be “an inviting and ultra-accessible place to get a steady stream of information.”
On his own blog, Havighurst wrote in more detail about the new site…
“I like to think of Bluegrass Nation as an on-line, year-round analog of IBMA’s signature event, the annual World Of Bluegrass. There is no substitute for that regular in-person gathering, but we hope Bluegrass Nation will feel a bit like a convention, a trade show, a talent showcase — and an all-around inspiration. It will be a news platform for regional and local associations. It will feature an amalgamation of the best bluegrass music listservs and forums. It will host wiki-based concert calendars and special event bulletin boards. We have envisioned an instrument marketplace, a jobs board, a picking party directory, etc. We’d love to foster mentoring and tutoring sessions, online or offline. We’ll be able to amplify the reach of IBMA’s ongoing webinars. In general, we are trying to build a robust platform on which a wide variety of things, many yet to be invented, will be possible.”
Craig says that while the entire IBMA Board is involved in this project, it is being primarily directed by a “brain trust” consisting of himself, fellow Board member Jon Weisberger, ASCAP’s Dan Keen, Nashville Music Attorney Stephanie Taylor and IBMA Executive Director Dan Hays.
We’ll certainly be looking forward to more news about Bluegrass Nation.