StageBloc is a new blogging platform described by cofounder and CEO Tom Giles as being somewhere between Tumblr and Wordpress. It offers hosted websites that are designed to be simple to use in the manner of Tumblr but are already providing more complete options to users.
StageBloc is also intended to be a framework for more complex sites whether customized by StageBloc or by independent developers. Though their services are not limited to musicians, StageBloc's team has a strong background in music and are developing their services in a manner that musicians will find immediately useful.
Background and "Incredible Team"
I spoke with Tom Giles regarding StageBloc which has been under development for the last couple of years. Much of the inspiration comes from Giles' background in college forming an indie record label and playing in his own band, and in London, where he worked with a small company providing services to The X Factor.
Yet the future success of StageBloc is dependent on what Giles describes as an "incredible team" that includes a strong group of cofounders with diverse development experience and a team of advisors that includes Threadless CEO Thomas Ryan and Ethan Kaplan of Live Nation Labs.
Hosted Site Options
Their free and low-cost hosted site options offer blogging capabilities, photo albums and an events listing section. There is a selection of free themes with mobile-specific themes on the way. They also offer free iOS and Android apps for managing your site on the go.
A variety of social network integrations are being developed, for instance, you can currently auto-sync your Instagram account with your site and those pics can then be connected to your events.
Stagebloc is currently finalizing an audio feature and working on additional pre-made themes. Advanced store management capabilities are in the works and, since design elements are readily accessible, services such as Topspin can be easily integrated.
When I got an initial tour of the site late last year, I was impressed by my sense that the existing components seemed well integrated and future development plans well thought out. Giles says their focus has been on simply making things work so that the average user isn't concerned about workarounds and buggy features.
Custom Sites and Advanced Options
While the basic hosted sites are well-designed for musicians' needs, StageBloc also offers custom services as well as recommendations for outside service providers and partners. Currently such groups as The Glitch Mob and Dirt Nasty are using StageBloc developed sites.
But the StageBloc platform is also available for use by advanced web developers whether hosted on StageBloc, powered by their API or downloaded from GitHub. The Front-end Framework is open source and also provides such features as "numerous pre-built, direct Topspin integrations that have been used to create sites for Red Bull Records, Eminem, and others."
Free StageBloc Invites
StageBloc provides numerous options and though they're not yet open to the general public, Hypebot readers can sign up for a free account today.
Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith maintains his business writing hub at Flux Research and blogs about dance at All World Dance. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.