Young Composers:Social Network

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Young Composers is a social network in which all discussions are organized by the Young Composers forum. While the forum is a discussion board, it does not categorize music. Thus, the social network is responsible for categorization of all music. The development of Young Composers social network has been an ongoing project since 2007, and quietly rolled out on December 3rd 2009. The project is finally out of its beta stage, and has officially been released to the full public.

Homepage Portal

The homepage portal displays specific types of activity occurring on Young Composers. This is designed in order for our members and potential members to see what kind of content is being added in real time.

Music Stat Summary Recently Added Topics Newest Members Online Users
  • Sort by recent compositions
  • Sort by numeric grade
  • Sort by most discussed
  • Sort by most favorites

This section on the homepage indicates the latest forum topics added in the Young Composers forum. This will increase topic discussion visibility.

Newest members get homepage recognition for some time.

We display all members who are currently active within the forum on the homepage portal.

Uploading Music

Attachment System

How to upload

When logged into the network, the user should click on my music located on the secondary navigation menu. Next, the user should click add composition. Fill out the desired fields, upload media, and a thread will be created on the Young Composers forum where all discussion and reviews are monitored. Once media has been uploaded, it will appear on the homepage of Young Composers as newly uploaded, and all of the user's activity will be seen on the River Dashboard. Furthermore, any pieces uploaded can be searched on the search engine.

Allowed Extensions

Media Score Files
.mp3 .sib (Sibelius)
.mid .mus (Finale)
.avi .nwc (Noteworthy Composer)
.mpg .pdf


Young Composers now enables multi-movement works. A user must checkmark the box titled "movement owner" in order to designate the file as a multi-movement work. Once checkmarked, an add movements box will appear. After clicking here, the user will be taken to a new dialog box where each movement can now be uploaded and named. The user may continue to click add another movement until all desired movements have been uploaded and named.


There are various types of categorization methods while uploading music. Categorization is important for the development of the directory. Each category acts as a guided navigation variable which helps catalog and sort works on Young Composers. Works can also be sorted by various time measurements. The following attributes are used to navigate through the directory:

Guided Navigation (User Defined) Guided Navigation (Auto Defined) Timeline (Sort by)
Type (Art or Commercial) Movement All Time
Category Is Video This Month
Genre / Sub Genre This Week
Form Today
Key Signature

User Space

User space is subject to change at any time, but the general rule of thumb is:

Members Secondary Staff (Reviewers/Editors/Teachers) Moderators
100 megs 800 megs 1000 megs

Promotions are desirable at Young Composers for the added user space benefit. Contributing on YC rewards those who participate in various ways.

Categorization and Visibility

Forum Threads/Directory/Browse/Search

Media can be found through a variety of ways.

Attribute Directory Browse Search Forum
Find Music Guided navigation Enter criteria to find composer Search by keyword Browse through threads
How to Publish User must enter criteria before uploading User must enter criteria before uploading Enter title, description and keyword tags Choose correct category, then upload
Sort by Today, This Week, This Month, All Time Today, This Week, This Month, All Time Member Rank, Composition Rank, Other Criteria Last Reply
Location Directory Browse Search Uploads


The problem in the past that Young Composers suffered from was that Young Composers only relied on the forum to find works. This method proved to be inferior, as works got lost in the forum, and broken links and attachments were inevitable. The new upload system is designed to prevent broken links, lost music files, and dead threads. The directory is responsible for cataloging our entire music database, and the guided navigation helps narrow down the exact style being searched for, as well as find a specific time frame uploaded via the site.


Browsing is useful if a member wishes to discover individuals who compose in a certain style. Thus, the browse feature will display results of individuals who compose in a certain style, and list all works under his/her name targeted to the specific style in the search criteria.

Search Engine

The search engine is an intelligent system that ranks media using a variety of methods. Factors that influence search engine rankings include:

  • Overall user activity and loyalty, known as Member rank
    • Reviewing other material
    • Contributions to the Young Composers forum.
    • Editing the wiki
    • Adding music or videos
  • Popularity of media
  • Age of media
  • Keywords in title's, descriptions, and keyword tags

Some of the above criteria are weighted more or less than others.

Forum Categorization

Users may still search through and comment on music through traditional means. There are eight main categories, and each category represents a top level forum. Furthermore, there are subcategories which represent a subforum. The main categories to upload music are as follows:

Top Level Categories Sub Categories
Large Ensemble Orchestral
Concert, Marching Band
Chamber Music
Piano Music, Solo Keyboard
Choral, Vocal Large Vocal Ensembles
Chamber and Solo Vocal Works
Jazz Large Ensemble
Small Ensemble
Pop, Rock Ensembles
Game and Film Music

Improved Communication


One of the greatest features of Young Composers is that all systems are fully integrated. Much thought and effort has been put into an integrated system. This integration is important in order to keep the flow of communication seamless. Integration includes:

  • Logging in the network logs a user into the forum, wiki and auction.
  • Adding music to the site will automatically create a thread in the forum, to increase visibility and discussion.
  • Clicking on usernames within the forum will lead a member to his/her network profile.
  • Instant messaging is capable on the network and forum.
  • PM notifications and general notifications can be viewed on both the network and forum.
  • Commenting on a music thread is backwards compatible. For example, a member may either comment directly on the network or on the forum, and the comment will display on both the network and forum side.
  • Profile comments are powered by the forum and displayed on a network profile. Furthermore, forum stats are displayed on a network profile.

Instant Messaging

Young Composers members can instant message anyone on the site, using the following methods:

  • Click on a member's name, then under the default picture, click Invite for chat
  • If friends with the target user, the friend will show up on the friend's list if online.
  • Group chats within the messenger are possible. Group chats only work with mutual friends. When a dialog box is opened up, simply click "invite" and choose a friend from the list to add to the conversation.

The River Dashboard

The river records actions done on Young Composers. Some of the actions that are recorded include:

  • Uploading music
  • Befriending musicians
  • Posting on the wire
  • Updating profile information

Notifications & The Wire

There are various notification alerts that are seen on the network and forum. Notifications in Young Composers occur between mutual friends with a few exceptions. Some notifications include:

Mutual Friend Notifications

  • Friend requests
  • Friend acceptances
  • Friends uploading new compositions
  • Friends posting status messages

Community Notifications

The only community notification is when a person adds the target musician's piece to his or her favorites. Adding music in favorites creates a playlist, and a composer can track who favorites a work.

Profile Attributes


A profile at Young Composers is built upon through various methods. A user can acquire new friends by attracting users to add music to their favorites (called fans), or a user can simply build his credibility by contributing to the network.

Member Rank

Every member receives a value called member rank. The way to increase a member rank is by various contributions to the site. Certain contributions are worth more than others. The rank is continuously calculated by the network and every value is a relative ranking value amongst the entire Young Composers community. For example, if there are 8000 members on the site, and a member is ranked 1 of 8000, this member is most likely going to represent the largest contributor to the site. A user can view his member rank by clicking on my profile, and all ranks are kept confidential. Member rank is just one value that is used to influence rankings on the search. The value is also used to determine overall user contribution, and this is used for member promotions. A member could be promoted to teacher, reviewer, moderator, or in an extremely rare case, admin. The following table shows which factors contribute to member rank, in no particular order of importance:

Member Rank
Reviews (we know the difference between reviews and posts)
Uploaded Media
Wiki Editing
Overall Faithfulness

Fans and Favorite Composers

Fans are automatically built onto a composer's profile out of the composer's control. When an enthusiast adds a composer's work to his favorites list, that enthusiast will automatically display as a fan on the target composer's profile. Similarly, on the enthusiast's end who added the favorite, his profile will automatically display the target composer on the enthusiast's profile. If this sounds confusing, this process is very natural and requires zero effort on a user's end to start building fans and favorite composers. This process is automated and second nature.

Favorited Works

Another feature of a Young Composers profile is that as works are being added to favorites by various enthusiasts, "favorited works" list will automatically be privately added to a composer's profile. This is to enable a composer to view exactly who has favorited his/her work. The composer will see the title of the work, followed by all the enthusiast(s) who added the work as a favorite. As works are being added to favorites, this also creates a playlist on the target enthusiasts page (located through a clickable link called music playlist). All playlists are public, and anyone can click on a member profile to view that member's playlist.

Profile Tags

Adding interests in profiles automatically creates clickable tags. Thus, when editing a profile, a member should remember to use commas between lists, as a comma separates one keyword from the next. A tag is useful for members who wish to discover other members of similar interests, in which these interests are not necessarily music related (but can be).