Costello "official" website

Pretty self-explanatory
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always dancing
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Costello "official" website

Postby always dancing » Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:45 pm

So I became a member ($35) and don't really see what it got me. Did anyone else do this? The fan community site doesn't work and kinda sucks compared to this one. Otherwise I see in difference in being a memebr or not. I thought I might find out more about tickets for The Spectacle but I got more information from our infamous guy form Ireland than the Costello site.

CostelLover
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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby CostelLover » Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:27 pm

always dancing wrote:So I became a member ($35) and don't really see what it got me. Did anyone else do this?

Yep, I got suckered into it too. And I don't think we're the only ones who are less than thrilled with our $35 investment...

I wonder if Elvis knows and/or cares how badly the Community section of his board is handled. Having just come off the last leg of the Police farewell tour, he's been exposed to a lot of potential new fans ~ not to mention us "old" ones. I'm sure his website has seen a lot more traffic recently because of it, and now I'm curious how many more people have coughed up $35 for membership and are now wondering, "What the hell...?".

All I can say is, thank heavens for the John Foyles in this world! (and all you other dedicated EC fans, too! :wink: )

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always dancing
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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby always dancing » Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:35 pm

I think I feel better. I guess we will see if we can get good tickets to concerts in the future. Before you could get good tickets through the web site for ......FREE :?

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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby CostelLover » Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:48 pm

Well, there are now a couple of squeaky wheels who have posted our dissatisfaction for all to see. If anyone else here feels the same way, please feel free to add to the squeaking over there. :evil:

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always dancing
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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby always dancing » Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:58 pm

I have to tell you your picture is alittle scary on the "offical" web site. Maybe they are afraid.

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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby CostelLover » Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:19 pm

always dancing wrote:I have to tell you your picture is alittle scary on the "offical" web site. Maybe they are afraid.

Afraid of a cute widdle puddy-tat?!? Really?? I prefer dogs, myself, but I thought it was darling, and funny, too.

If it really bothers anyone, I will be more than happy to replace it. With what, though, remains to be determined. :lol:

CostelLover
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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby CostelLover » Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:24 pm

I just had another look at it, and I honestly don't think it's anywhere near as creepy as the kitten that looks as though it collapsed from a heart attack, right smack dab in the middle of its bowl of Cat Chow. :shock:

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And No Coffee Table
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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby And No Coffee Table » Sat Sep 06, 2008 8:10 pm

CostelLover wrote:Well, there are now a couple of squeaky wheels who have posted our dissatisfaction for all to see. If anyone else here feels the same way, please feel free to add to the squeaking over there. :evil:


I'd like to, but I can't figure out how to post a reply!

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always dancing
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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby always dancing » Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:02 pm

i thought you were the other guy not the cat. Who is that guy?

cwr
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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby cwr » Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:54 pm

I'm one of the two "squeaky wheels" over there (not the cat-- I guess I am the "scary" guy-- although I didn't really think that the photo was particularly strange or frightening...)

I'm hoping that more people will start posting complaints. That website has basically been a ghost town since they started out selling "memberships." All I'm really asking for is some kind of response from the powers that be. I started by sending them "feedback", saying that I understood if they were having trouble getting started, but that they should at least send out a message to the people who have paid their money, something along the lines of "Sorry for the delay, but we have lots of great things on the way, such as..." and maybe drop a few hints as to what we might have to look forward to as "members."

Now, I'm simply asking them to tell us ANYTHING. Even if it's just "We tricked you out of your money. Stop complaining." That way, at least we'll know...

I haven't totally given up hope. But so far it's not looking good. They could earn a lot of goodwill back if they did something really cool like posted the demos from Momofuku or something. It wouldn't take much to make it feel like it was worth our while. It's perplexing. If they end up going 12 months without giving us any real value for money, they will have burned a lot of loyal and trustworthy fans in a way that they won't soon forget. It certainly makes all of EC's talk about file-sharing and how wrong it is seem awfully hollow when his first Internet venture looks like he just bilked a bunch of devoted fans out of their hard-earned money. Especially since I'd venture that MOST of the people who paid for a membership have probably bought his back catalog at LEAST twice.

I hope more of the "members" will end up posting a few rants on the site-- although half the buttons that you need to do a post are invisible (so you have to "guess" where they are), and once you post something, it's only there for a day and even then, other members might not even be able to read the full thing when they click into it....

What a mess....

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always dancing
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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby always dancing » Sun Sep 07, 2008 12:16 pm

I can't even figure out how to post. Hidden buttons you say? Is this a "Hidding Place" PS change the picture to a happy one

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And No Coffee Table
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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby And No Coffee Table » Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:10 pm

First click on "my profile" inside the yellow rectangle. On the new screen, there's a second rectangle which also says "my profile." Run your mouse underneath those words, and white squares will appear. Clicking on the third white square will take you to your blog, where you can click on "add a post."

Yes, it's ridiculously complicated.

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always dancing
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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby always dancing » Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:26 pm

thanks I posted something. I have sent two complaints. If I see Elvis this week I will tell him or someone.

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always dancing
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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby always dancing » Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:35 pm

Now this is beautiful. My last complaint came back. See below. This is a joke.

This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.

Delivery to the following recipients failed.

elviscostello@livenation.com

cwr
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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby cwr » Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:18 pm

Maybe they skipped town with all our money. ElvisCostello.com is like the cleared out offices that the rube visits after the con in a David Mamet thriller...

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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby CostelLover » Sun Sep 07, 2008 6:01 pm

cwr wrote:I'm one of the two "squeaky wheels" over there (not the cat-- I guess I am the "scary" guy-- although I didn't really think that the photo was particularly strange or frightening...)

I don't think it's scary; it just looks like you're warding off the paparazzi.
That website has basically been a ghost town since they started out selling "memberships."

When did they start doing that? I'm assuming that it's been fairly recent? I joined about 5 weeks ago, so I have no idea what the board was like before. Was there a Community then, or is this a new feature? If there was a Community before, was it formatted differently than it is now? Surely it was more user-friendly..... right?
All I'm really asking for is some kind of response from the powers that be. I started by sending them "feedback", saying that I understood if they were having trouble getting started, but that they should at least send out a message to the people who have paid their money, something along the lines of "Sorry for the delay, but we have lots of great things on the way, such as..." and maybe drop a few hints as to what we might have to look forward to as "members."

My emails ~ dating back to 5 weeks ago ~ have all gone unanswered too. I really expected a reply to the most recent one, as it wasn't very kind, but even that failed to stir the pot.
I hope more of the "members" will end up posting a few rants on the site

I'm surprised more people haven't complained yet, but they're probably still trying to figure out where all the dang invisible buttons are. Speaking of...
although half the buttons that you need to do a post are invisible (so you have to "guess" where they are)

Hey, I'm a computer n00b, and if I can figure out how to post with the invisible buttons, then everyone else should be able to, too! :lol:
, and once you post something, it's only there for a day

Naww, it's more like a few hours, then the posts (most of them, anyway) disappear into cyberspace's Black Hole.
and even then, other members might not even be able to read the full thing when they click into it....

Yeah, what is up with that?!? When I click on some posts, I can then read the whole post, but it doesn't work with most of them. That's why I've been keeping my posts so short ~ and therefore posting a lot of them.

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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby cwr » Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:39 pm

I'm trying to remember now -- the "cool test post" by "staff" is from July. I signed up on July 24th, when I first read that they were selling "memberships" to fans and that they had already posted the 5 home demos in the "media" section. It seemed like a good harbinger that they were already offering unreleased music, so I took the plunge. However, I did advise anyone who asked me about it that they should "wait and see" before buying a membership. I'm glad I didn't tell anyone else that they should sign up, or I'd feel really guilty about it!!

The community area has been dead from the start. They say it's in the "beta" phase, and maybe that's true, but it seems absurd that they started selling exclusive access to something that was so fundamentally unfinished that it doesn't even make sense. This isn't about a few bugs in the system-- it's practically non-functional...

I wonder how long it will take for anyone to take notice of the complaints. So far, no one has said anything out of bounds-- the complaints are all quite reasonable given the fact that it certainly SEEMS like a complete rip-off at this point.

ETA: Here is my first post, from July 25th, on the ElvisCostello.com "community" board. I'm posting it here as a snapshot from the day AFTER I paid my 35 dollars, since I doubt it's even possible to READ my post if you visit the site as a fully paid-up member. (If it's like anyone else's post, it probably tells you I am "under 18" and therefore you can't view my profile. That's what it seems to say about EVERYBODY there, even those who were born in the 50s or 60s....)

July 25th, 2008
Thoughts on the new ElvisCostello.com...
Hello out there,

I wanted to just post a few thoughts now that this website is adapting to its new "membership" setup. I signed up yesterday, paying the annual fee with only the slightest hesitation.

On the one hand, thirty-five dollars is a lot when you don't REALLY know what you're getting. But on the other hand, it's really less than 3 dollars a month, which isn't much if you think of it that way.

So far, we have 5 of the low-fidelity acoustic recordings that EC made for the "unofficial release," 30:10. These are exactly the type of things that this website is suited for. After all, these recordings wouldn't exactly be suitable for a "proper" record release, would they? They're just a bit of fun, recorded quickly and cheaply, as a lark. It's like a digital bootleg EP, and a nice way to start things rolling here.

My hope is that these little treats are just the beginning. Really, all it would take to make this site worth joining would be to make sure that fans get at LEAST a few dollars' worth of new music each month. Unreleased demos, home recordings, out-takes, live cuts-- that's the type of thing that will make people feel like joining, and it's the type of thing that will make them want to renew their membership when the year is up. (Personally, I think it would be ideal if EC continued his "Kojak Variety" series exclusively on this website-- contributing cover versions each month of songs, new and old, that strike his fancy. If "Volume 2" existed as an ever-expanding online series of covers-- hearing him perform a Rilo Kiley song or a Leonard Cohen song, or a song by U2... Hell, one or two of those a month and I'd be a member for life!)

The thing I fear is that not enough people will want to pay dollars if they don't know what they're getting for the money. Then, Costello will look at the low membership numbers and think "Aw, there's not enough interest to make it worth my while." Then the people who HAVE joined will think "I'm not getting my money's worth" and won't renew. And that will be the end of it, a failed experiment.

I think the answer to this is obvious-- there needs to be a clear incentive for fans to join. Right now, I think most of the people who've paid their money so far have done so because we are hoping that Costello will approach this project with the same kind of creative spirit and initiative that he has brought to his career as a recording artist and a live performer. This is the guy whose albums have been consistently brilliant, whose songwriting gets better and better, and whose concerts have been varied and unpredictable from one tour to the next.

But that's not enough for a lot of fans to spend 35 dollars for a membership. Most people need to be told plainly-- pay THIS much, and you'll get THIS. The 30:10 demos are a good start, but it would be nice to know that there will be more on the way, or even a few hints that EC is interested in using this website to release new music. (And it would also be nice if there was some way to actually download the music instead of just streaming it. Maybe members would get X number of free downloads a month, and anything more than that would be extra? After all, I don't expect that three dollars a month buys us unlimited privileges, and the point of a paid membership presumably is to make money, yes?)

I'm excited about this website-- I think it has great potential, and I'm hoping it will be a great success. Between this and the rather excellent Momofuku, not to mention the upcoming Spectacle series on Bravo, 2008 is a very good year to be an Elvis Costello fan....


That was July 25th. It's now September 7th, and there is no sign of any development or improvement, and no indication of any meaningful activity on the site. Elvis could easily turn this around by whipping his official site into shape and throwing a bunch of great content on it-- songs, essays, an interview or two-- and if he does it right, this could be a really great thing for him and his fanbase for years to come. But I get that sinking feeling that he's just going to BLOW it....

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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby MOJO » Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:18 pm

Hey - did the site change ownership? It looks like David Bowie's company runs the site now? Anyone know what's up?

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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby CostelLover » Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:11 am

MOJO wrote:It looks like David Bowie's company runs the site now?

David Bowie? What makes you say that?


Thanks for posting your first post, cwr. (I wonder how long others were able to view it on the site... maybe three hours?!? :roll: ) And yes, all I ever get when I try to view anyone's profile is the "User is under 18 years of age" spiel. (before I finally caught on to the problem, I thought I'd entered tween-age Hell and accidently joined the Jonas Brothers fanclub... :shock: )

Anyway, I've already tipped off two friends of mine not to waste their $35.

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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby thepopeofpop » Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:53 am

Been commenting on there and sending feedback for a while. Not that it helps.

I posted this on the official site community:

Q. How many Elvis Costello website employees does it take to change a lightbulb?

A. We'll never know, they all left and turned out the lights months ago.
--Paul--
Trust me, it won't hurt a bit - http://www.paulinglis.org

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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby MOJO » Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:19 pm

If you go to the site, click terms of use or privacy policy, it says:

Welcome to elviscostello.com, owned and operated by UltraStar Entertainment LLC ("we," "us," or "UltraStar"), the official site of the fan club (the "Club") of Elvis Costello (the "Artist"). UltraStar provides this website and all site-related services (collectively, the "Site") subject to your compliance with the terms and conditions set forth in this agreement (the "Agreement"). This Agreement governs the relationship between UltraStar and you, the Site visitor and/or member ("you", "your"), with respect to your use of the Site. It is important that you read carefully and understand the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

UltraStar website - http://www.ultrastar.com/aboutus/

I thought E.C.'s site was being managed by MusicToday... maybe it still is? Whatever... I'm waiting until the concert season slows down. There could be some free stuff then. It's $35 bucks... I've had more money taken from ATM bank fees last week!

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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby cwr » Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:13 pm

Just a question-- when the year's membership is up, does it automatically charge our credit cards for another year UNLESS we "opt out"? Or are they going to ASK us if we want to renew?? Since it's so difficult to get a response from them, I want to make sure I don't end up paying for another year of this if it continues to be such a disappointing membership....

CostelLover
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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby CostelLover » Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:30 pm

cwr wrote:Just a question-- when the year's membership is up, does it automatically charge our credit cards for another year UNLESS we "opt out"? Or are they going to ASK us if we want to renew?? Since it's so difficult to get a response from them, I want to make sure I don't end up paying for another year of this if it continues to be such a disappointing membership....

This is taken directly from the bottom of the Sign-Up page:

Please Note: All prices are in U.S. Dollars. Paid offers are automatically renewed at the end of term for your convenience. You can cancel your offer at any time. All offers are non-refundable unless otherwise noted.

http://signup.elviscostello.com/

cwr
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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby cwr » Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:55 pm

Paid offers are automatically renewed at the end of term for your convenience.


How convenient! Additionally, the site will never be updated with new content, so you never have to visit the site again. We can just keep taking your money, for your convenience...

CostelLover
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Re: Costello "official" website

Postby CostelLover » Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:02 pm

I just found this while putzing around the site:


Click on My Account at the top of the page. Next, under My Account Nav (on the right-hand side of the page), click on Membership Terms. There you will find your membership renewal date, and under that, this:


*NOTE:
If you do not want your membership/offers to automatically renew, you can cancel your account by clicking

here and your membership/offers will remain active until your renewal date.

The link takes you to another page that says:

My Account Cancellation

We are sorry to see you go!
To cancel your membership services, please click cancel next to the offer you would like to cancel below.

Offer: ElvisCostello.com Gold Membership (Cancel)


I'm tempted to do so. From the way it's worded, I wouldn't lose out on any special offers or anything ~ but on the other hand, how would I know if I were? For all I know, if I click Cancel, my account could be filed under Do Not Disturb for the next 10.5 months... :?


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