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www.jammerdirect.com: Fort Wayne-centric social media site for local musicians

By Jim Fester

Fort Wayne Reader


During the day, Ryan Martin builds websites. He estimates he’s had a hand in developing around 300 websites for different companies, including Hewlett-Packard and Sony. He has a degree in computer science, with experience in a huge range of I.T. projects.

And after a long day of all that, Martin goes home and works on another website… but this one is a labor of love.

On October 1, Martin will launch Jammer Direct (www.jammerdirect.com), an ambitious project that he calls “one big community builder for musicians and venues here in Fort Wayne.”

“It’s basically going to be a music resource site for local musicians to create their own profiles, directories and upload their own media and share it with each other,” he adds.

Bands get their own customized url, and have complete control over their site. Ryan also hopes to get many of the music venues in town involved with the idea of facilitating bookings and eventually streaming shows from the venues. And the whole thing will be completely free to the user.

If this sounds a little like a variation on myspace or another social media site, but focused on local bands and music, you’re not too far off the mark. Martin, a musician himself (his brother plays bass with the Freak Brothers), says he wanted to offer the Fort Wayne music community something really interactive and tailored towards them. “This site basically says ‘here’s the site; you guys work it’”he explains.

“It’s going to be constantly evolving,” he adds. “I‘ve gone from just having the profiles to having streamable TV, streamable media, user-based content.”

Martin plans to offer a number of features on Jammer Direct, including “Jammer of the Month,” a feature that spotlights a randomly selected “jammer.” During the month, the splash page, site header, and the Jammer of the Month section itself will display and advertise the work of the band/artist. Once the month is up, the JotM page will be archived and viewable forever.

Then there’s “Jammer TV,” which puts all the video uploaded to the site into rotation in a flash player. And “Jam Radio, “which rotates mp3s into a pop-up window that listeners can take with them when they leave the site.

Other features in the works include Jd.mobi, a feature that will integrate the Jammer Direct site into cell phones or PDA. “This can be used for mobile promoting,” Martin says. “Promoters, venues, agents, and managers can have access to the artists of Fort Wayne from anywhere for casual meetings, interviews, and quick references among other things.”

There’s also JamEvents, a feedable event calendar, and JamMail, a pop3 webmail client.

Some of these extras won’t be available immediately when the site launches October 1. Everything on the site is hand-coded, so it’s taking Martin some time, but he estimates he’ll have a number of them done by the end of the year. He also hopes to offer prizes, like a free website (“everything from URL to hosting”) or studio gear.

The rest of the site, however, will be ready to go on October 1.

And what does he get out of it? “I’m doing it because it sounds like fun,” Martin says. “I’ve been an applications developer for 15 years, and a musician for 24, so I figured why not marry the two things I love to do, and push it out to the public? Really, I just want to see what people do with it.”


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