In 2008/9 I visited a bar near where I lived called The Indie Lounge frequently. Friendly staff, live music and cheap drinks beckoned me in, but after a while I began work on an altogether more professional project with them – creating a website.
There was some interest in having an online presence which could be customized and styled, unlike the bars most prevalent means of communication at the time, Facebook. So I went and built a design I felt reflected the bar, grungy and dark. From there, things got a little strange…
Since php and MySQL were favourites of mine when I was a teenager, I’d built a quick database to hold and display some sample data in relevant places. Then there was some talk of adding band pages for local acts that performed at the bar, maybe include a song of theirs for download? Soon the project grew in to an unwieldy mini-social network, with user sign ups and profile pages, a friend and comment system, an activity feed, statuses, heck, even a signup page for bands that wanted in on the database was created. Towards the end of the project I was thinking more that it should integrate with Facebook, and it could still have those band pages and such in a reduced capacity, as well as reposting news from Facebook. Eventually the project was shelved pending a remodel of the bar itself, and that took so long it was well off the priority list when the place reopened.
However, I am strangely proud of this project, for the design and some of the code. Unfortunately without a lot more work to re-create the database (which I no longer have a copy of) I can’t get some of the more nuanced features to work properly, but there was some fun stuff in there, mainly involving lots of AJAX. On that band sign-up page for example, there was a neat little AJAX search box so you could locate other band members who had personal accounts on the site and add them as band members and admins of the page – it’s nothing compared to Facebook, but when the whole site was working it was pretty nice to use.
So I present here a video walkthrough and some screenshots taken with my half-recreated database.