Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Zender Agenda Turns 10!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since I started The Zender Agenda.  While that may seem like a long time in the online world, this blog is just a continuation of several others that existed before it.  In honor of this anniversary, allow me a self-indulgent trip down memory lane - a brief documentation of my history.

I originally started Roger’s Music Blog back in 2005!.  This was hosted as part of Apple's .Mac suite of services, and I used this iBlogger tool to publish content. It was so much fun to engage with these new online tools.  While that site has long since perished, I was able to capture the contents and have it still it hosted up over on Amazon!  It wasn’t a smooth transition, and doesn’t necessarily look the same - but it wasn’t much to look at to begin with. You’ll find that I have (embarrassingly) included that first blog post ever, below.

I named my next blog Only Music Left, a melodramatic act was spurred by some major changes in my life.  I don’t remember if the transition to Blogger was by force (.Mac depreciation), or if I was just seduced by the features of a real blog platform (tagging! comments! RSS Feeds!).  Either way, it was short lived, running from 2008-2010.

During this time however, I was asked to write a monthly column for a local online lgbt magazine called Spangle being run by a friend of mine.  He had the brilliant idea of naming the column “The Zender Agenda” and from there on out, it just made sense. (thanks Brian!)

In the full transition to becoming The Zender Agenda, I moved to a new Blogger account and a professional logo!  What a relief, and a wildly fun process to collaborate on (thanks Matt & Sean!). I also created my tag line, getting right to the point: Live Music & New Releases - Cleveland, OH.  It was here that I really began to formalize my content and structure.  I also made an attempt to use the pages feature to highlight my Concert Calendar (my most valuable asset), local Music Venues (never completed), my House Concerts (needs updated), local Record Stores (depreciated), About TZA (another nice little summary), and Submit your content pages.  I also tried this wonky DAKS concept that I never consistently employed, but still kinda stand by!

This is also when I fully engaged FaceBook Pages, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr, SoundCloud, Songkick, Tumblr and even FourSquare (remember that?).  It was great to have a reason to play with all these new online social technologies, and a with purpose to do so.  They’re all still active (except FourSquare and Tumblr), so feel free to go subscribe, follow, etc.!  I even started a Newsletter using Mailchimp!

Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to guest on a couple WRUW shows with friends, DJ a Beachland Brunch, and run a series of AMAZING house concerts.  The House Concerts have been such an fulfilling experience that it deserves to have it’s own anniversary post.  I even have some business cards, stickers and coasters (!). I’ll have those forever because I’m terrible at leaving them places.

The whole point of all this effort is really just a continuation of my formative time working at Finders Records in Bowling Green, OH.  Being a small town kid in love with music and concerts (thanks Kari!), then going to college and being able to work at the "largest independent music retailer in the Midwest" (or something like that) - truly changed my life.  Fun fact: I was the first person to create a website for them, using dial-up!

Being able to experience endless amounts of music, and being able to talk about it extensively with co-workers and customers, really ignited my fire for supporting music (in any form). It all changed after moving to Cleveland in 2000 and transitioning in to a career. I really missed the ability to connect with people about music, but more importantly, connect people with music.

I’ll let my very first blog post take it from here… (remember this is 2005!)

"Only music could drive me to Blog

I’ve never quite understood the point of blogging. It seemed quite self-indulgent and unnecessary, unless you were some amazingly interesting person who was a great writer. I’ve since lowered my standards and have had quite a bit of fun reading some people’s blogs. At the same time I came to this realization that I was gathering so much music information and experiences, and didn't have the means with which to share it. I would constantly read music news, go to see shows, buy lots of CD’s, and then I would try to keep from bombarding my friends with the excitement of my discoveries and from the endless hours of ‘you should hear this.’

One day I was sitting at one of my favorite places on the planet, Barking Spider Tavern , and I heard this woman on the CD player, her voice and music just blew me away. I ran home and listened to her music, bought it from (great site!) and then signed up on her mailing list (her name is Chris Pureka who I will talk about soon as she'll be coming to the BST). My next thought was asking myself who can I tell?? Realizing that I probably had given all my friends their fill of new music, I thought, why not blog it? Then it all starting coming to me, just how I could incorporate all my interests in music into a website / blog.

This is the first step of a huge website / blog behemoth.

I go to so many shows, many of which are remarkable, and this is the perfect way to document and share the experience. Realizing how boring text is, I decided that I needed a new digital camera that was small enough, with a great zoom, that I could sneak into venues and get decent shots. Enter my new favorite camera! I’m still learning to use it (as you can see from the Lucy picture). I highly recommend this camera. I purchased it at the Apple Store in Legacy Village. You can find out more information about it here .

So in the end, I realize this is completely self-indulgent, but hopefully someone, somewhere will find it informative and/or entertaining.

Posted: Mon - February 7, 2005 at 10:05 PM"

(Via Only music could drive me to Blog.)

So while I may have never become “a huge website / blog behemoth” (thankfully?),  I have consistently enjoyed exploring and blending these worlds of new music and new technology - while expressing some creativity in the process.

It’s not stopping here. We are all experiencing an incredible time of reflection and transition as we are still trying to understand the impacts of this corona virus.  I had already begun strategizing my next move over to WordPress and have been thinking about what the next stage of online engagement and support will look like - and sceptically eyeing all these new online technologies (Stories, SnapChat, TikTok, Twitch, etc.).  However, what I wasn’t considering was a potential massive change to world of live music.  There’s no way to know what it will look like from where we currently stand, but whatever we are about to experience, I’ll be sure to do my part to support it.

No comments:

Post a Comment