Top 10 Ways to Make HitRecord a Great Platform

For a long time, I’ve been recommending ways that HitRecord could switch to the ecosystem model of content creation, instead of the funnel model of content creation.

The funnel model is when most content goes through the moderators, admins, and the HR production company, and the site architecture reinforces that behavior, which is what we have now. 

However, the ecosystem model has architecture and features that encourages the discovery of new content, and the remixing of content amongst the general users.  It allows for more artists to be discovered, and encourages artists to stay on the site longer since their stuff is being remixed more.

I’m familiar with these concepts because I’m a certified project manager in the tech industry (PMP and CSM).  I’m also a member of the Producers Guild of America, and an experienced film and television producer.

To that end, below are several ways that HitRecord can switch to the ecosystem model, in order to make it a great platform.

1.Challenge Suggester

When a user contributes a new record to a challenge, the system takes the user back to the home screen, or just sits there.


The user base would greatly benefit from a challenge suggester feature, supported with light AI.  The feature would evaluate the text & keywords of the record, as well as the challenge it was submitted to (since not everybody is great at SEO tagging).  The feature would then take that text evaluation, and then recommend more challenges that the record could be submitted to.

The feature would increase contributions, and highlight a lot of otherwise unseen projects.

2.Never Remixed

Recently, I felt like doing a quick video editing remix inspired by a poem, so I edited a short video, and remixed 3 records.  However, I discovered that all 3 of the records had been remixed before, which I would have liked to avoid. 

The problem is, I (as a user) don’t want to open every single record in the searches (which had dozens of records), just to see which had been remixed, and which hadn’t.  

Having a “Show Never Remixed” option would’ve allowed me to search and find some hidden gems on the site.  Without that, the same records get remixed over and over again, causing the same users to be featured again and again. 

When you do a search for records, you have a “Show Never Remixed” button.  It could also be labeled a “Discover” button, but basically it shows all records relevant to the search where the Remix Count = Null/0

This will help more items be remixed, and avoid both algorithm or admin favoritism.  

3. Make the Product Backlog Public

In this time of rapid growth and change, a lot of structural website changes and ideas will be placed in the product backlog.  The HitRecord community, which has had a lot of input on the creative development, should have just as much input on the technical development. 

Just as the users have given input on creative ideas, and spun off new ideas from the original concept, so too can they add value and create new ideas on the website’s features, if the Product Backlog is made public. 

The product backlog and new features that will be rolled out across all platforms (site, iPhone app, android app) should be made public to any HitRecord member interested in following the details.

4. Highlight Artists by Non-Dominant Groups

The weekly newsletter has taken steps to move in this direction, highlighting new creators and remixers.  This helps highlight creators who are not admins or staff.  However, like most online spaces (and most art spaces coincidently), these artists are predominantly white, cis, male.

In order to build the community, and promote a greater sense of inclusion, the site and/or newsletter should use analytics, and voluntary profile information to highlight creators from non-dominant groups. 

For example, highlight the top 10 Latino contributors & remixers.  Highlight the top 10 New Contributors & Remixers from Southeast Asia.

Highlight people who aren’t the natural Go-To’s, so that the user base can see new voices, and encourage other users and members who look like them. 

5. Search Bar Functionality

HitRecord is a great site, but the search bar is too simple.  Other then searching for ALL terms entered, and filtering based on record, it doesn’t allow for dynamic searches.

What if a user wants to search for records that could have one term OR the other.  OR search functionality is not enabled.  

I can’t find challenges/projects that have either sunsets OR silhouettes OR flowers in one search.  I have to perform 3 searches in order to do that.  This is tedious, time-consuming, and degrades the overall user experience. 

So, here are some recommendations to improve the search bar.

1. Enable quotes – When searching for something specific, enabling quotes to minimize the guesswork would help. When you put your search parameters in quotes, it tells the search engine to search for the whole phrase. For instance, if you search for Puppy Dog Sweaters, the engine will search for content that contains those three words in any order. However, if you search “Puppy Dog Sweaters”, it will search for that phrase exactly as you typed it. This can help locate specific information that may be buried under other content if not sorted out correctly.

2. Enable a hyphen or NOT to exclude words – Sometimes you may find yourself searching for a word with an ambiguous meaning. An example is Mustang, you may get results for both the car or the horse. If you want to cut one out, enable the hyphen to tell the engine to ignore content with one of the other.

3. Enable the asterisk wildcard – When you use an asterisk in a search term, it will leave a placeholder that may be automatically filled by the search engine later. This is a brilliant way to find song lyrics if you don’t know all the words. Let’s look at the syntax. “Come * right now * me” The search bar will search for that phrase knowing that the asterisks can be any word.

4. Enable the OR function – As mentioned above, maybe you don’t want to search for only a single word or phrase. By using OR, you can search for one word or phrase along with a second word or phrase. This can help narrow down your search to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. For example:   sunsets OR “night approaches”

5. Search a range of numbers – Searching for a range of numbers might be helpful in Record searches and date range searches. Just use two dots and a number to let search know you’re looking for a specific range of numbers. For example: 2012..2014

In this instance, HitRecord will search for the numbers 2012, 2013, and 2014.  Ideally it should search in the dates AND/OR the content.

6. Find a specific file – Sometimes you need a jpeg, sometimes you need a gif, and sometimes you need a photoshop file. The site should enable filetype searches: For example:  *Search term here* filetype:gif

In the above example, you simply replace the search term with whatever you’re searching for. Then use the filetype command and enter the extension of any file type you can think of. 

6. Auto-Play Feature

HitRecord is a great site, but if you’re trying to go through the audio and video records to discover new talent, it can be time-consuming and tedious.  

Users desperately need an Auto Play Function on multiple site modules.  This will allow more creators to be seen, and increase user interaction with records.

Use Case 1: Auto Play Audio or Video on Albums and Crates On a Computer

1. User opens Album/Crate preview

2. User selects record type (i.e. audio, video)

3. User pushes “AutoPlay” button.

4. Site plays the filtered records in a new window, with a playlist to the right, organizing the records by the order they were added to the crate (or whatever other order is easiest to program).  

5. If on a computer, User can trigger commands based on keyboard shortcuts (similar to how other sites and softwares have keyboard shortcuts).  For example: 

Action = Shortcut

Toggle play/pause the video = k or Spacebar

Move to the previous video in a playlist = Shift+p

Move to the next video in a playlist = Shift+n

Restart video = O (not the keypad number)

Go to Full Screen mode = f

Exit Full Screen mode = Escape

Go to beginning of video = Home

Go to end of video = End

6.  AutoPlay stops either at the end of the playlist, or when the User chooses to stop.

Use Case 2: Auto Play Audio or Video Search Results On a Computer

1. User initiates a search

2. User selects record type (i.e. audio, video)

3. User pushes “AutoPlay” button.

4. Site plays the search results & filtered records in a new window, with a playlist to the right, organizing the records by the order they appeared in the search (or whatever other order is easiest to program).

5. If on a computer, User can trigger commands based on keyboard shortcuts (similar to how other sites and softwares have keyboard shortcuts). See Use Case 1 for example of critical keyboard shortcuts. 

6. AutoPlay stops either at the end of the playlist, or when the User chooses to stop.

Use Case 3: Auto Play Audio or Video on Albums and Crates On a Smart Phone

1. User opens Album/Crate preview

2. User selects record type (i.e. audio, video)

3. User pushes “AutoPlay” button.

4. Site plays the filtered records in a new screen, with the thumbnail display screen above a variety of buttons and controls (play, volume, skip, rewind, speed, etc.).

5. AutoPlay stops either at the end of the playlist, or when the User chooses to stop.

Use Case 4: Auto Play Audio or Video Search Results On a Smart Phone

1. User initiates a search

2. User selects record type (i.e. audio, video)

3. User pushes “AutoPlay” button.

4. Site plays the search results & filtered records in a new screen, with the thumbnail display screen above a variety of buttons and controls (play, volume, skip, rewind, speed, etc.).

5. AutoPlay stops either at the end of the playlist, or when the User chooses to stop.

Other Keyboard Shortcuts Could Include:

Go back 5 seconds = Left arrow

Go back 10 seconds = j

Go forward 5 seconds = Right arrow

Go forward 10 seconds = l

Skip to a particular section of the video (e.g., 5 goes to the video midpoint) = Numbers 1-9 (not the keypad numbers)

Increase volume 5% = Up arrow

Decrease volume 5% = Down arrow

Increase speed = Shift+> (may not work in all browsers) or Shift+. (period)

Decrease speed = Shift+< (may not work in all browsers) or Shift+, (comma)

Move forward 1 frame when video is paused = . (period)

Move backward 1 frame when video is paused = , (comma)

Mute/unmute video = m

7. Traditional Social Platform Activities

What is probably on everybody’s radar are the traditional social media functions, including inviting friends to join the site or view your work, hosting an event, or forming discussion groups. 

The function that would serve the best is to organize events on the platform.  This could embolden people to have HitRecord parties where people can craft, and create remixes based on other items on the platform.

8. Gamification

The subject of gamification (establishing a site-wide point system rewarding desired behaviors while punishing negative behaviors) can be a controversial one, and I can see why an artistic based site like HitRecord.  However, the possibility should be raised for the purpose of discussion, as new users will be joining the site. 

How will they be incentivized to step out of their comfort zone, and use the website for more remixing?

People could be rewarded (either via a point system, or through greater exposure on the site by performing the following activities:

  • Importing your address book to invite your friends to join the site.
  • Organize an event. 
  • Creating Records.
  • Creating a remix.
  • Purchasing items from the HitRecord store

Similarly, people could have points deducted if:

  • Their remixes or records had copyright violations
  • Comments marked as Bullying or Gaslighting by peers
  • Inaction

9. Fix the Spacing on Text Records

Currently, when text records are copy-pasted from word or another writing app into HitRecord, the site pastes the paragraphs removing the double-spacing and double line breaks.  

The users find this annoying, because the user placed those line breaks there for a reason.  Otherwise, it just looks like a giant wall of text, and degrades the user experience.

10. Terms of Service Copyright Adjustments

Currently, HitRecord has a Terms of Service that prevents the users from sharing their remixes on their websites, or mailing lists, particularly if those have “revenue generating” components.

Meaning if I have an online portfolio, and I happen to have placed a Google Ad on it, then I would be in violation.

This is such a broad brushstroke that it acts as a deterrent to artists.  Why would a user want to contribute to a community if they can’t share their work?  As the site transforms into a platform, a more nuanced approach to the Copyright Terms of Service will need to evolve.

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