Microbuilder is an open source software kit developed by the creators of micromusic.net as a tool to set up an online community from scratch in just three days, according to the promise on the box. “Low-tech music for high tech people” was the slogan proclaimed on micromusic.net, a platform for the exchange of electronic 8bit music that has been online since 1999. Initially the idea behind Micromusic was to generate the soundtrack for “Computer Culture People” while surfing the Internet. Soon the tracks found their way from individual users at the computers to the turntables of parties and live performances, as well as onto sound carriers such as mixed mode audio CDs and a vinyl record. The website www.micromusic.net stores an archive of all the songs ever shared and respective playlists, created by at times up to 3000 active users.
The book enclosed with the kit documents the process of creating the professionally designed website and the creators’ search for suitable possibilities of real-time communication as well as means of flexible and individually tailored access to the huge archive, for example by means of rating or statistical tools.
In 2004, five years after the launch of micromusic.net, at a time when software structures for the exchange and intelligent management of data and messages within a user community were still in their infancy, Microbuilder offered affordable access to the source code developed over the years. The software modules provided in the kit can be adapted to a respective community, and include professional administration tools for user accounts, events, links and news, online shop and chat as well as easy-to-use methods of statistics, evaluation and user monitoring.
(Text: Bettina Back)
Gino Esposto (Zurich, Switzerland), Paco Manzanares (Switzerland), Emma Davidson (UK/Australia), Remo Suter (Switzerland)