CASH Music: What, Why and Where You Fit In

So, I’ve mentioned my many side projects. Like in my penultimate post. And the time has come to talk about another one, namely CASH Music. I sit on CASH’s Board and provide guidance regarding outreach to the open source community, overall strategy and engaging with the many resources the Portland area has to offer this organization.

What is CASH Music? I’ll let the fine folks from CASH explain it themselves. From

We want to make the Internet easy for musicians.

What WordPress did for bloggers, we’re doing for musicians. CASH Music is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and our mission is to create open source tools and services that benefit artists and music. The goal is to help artists find sustainability and to encourage innovation in the music industry. We’re doing this by building world class open source software designed specifically for the new music industry: tools handling promotion, distribution, commerce — creating the connection between artist and audience.

Too many companies have tried to control the music market and instead have stifled real innovation and freedom for artists. An open source solution will allow tools to be built for the community and improved upon as they are used by that community. We can stop reinventing ways to collect email addresses and focus on real innovation in the music tech space. This benefits artists, managers, labels, and even tech startups.

CASH Music began with the vision of Kristin Hersh, Donita Sparks, Robert Fagan, and Billy O’Connell and has since grown into the organization it is today. Led by Jesse von Doom and Anthony Batt, CASH Music is working on solutions that will range from an instant-setup hosted solution for music sites right down to fully customized, host-your-own code. Every line will be released in the open source and built on open standards.

We want to change everything by creating open source software that freely gives musicians total control over the presentation, sharing, and sale of their music — enabling them to make a living off of their art, building strong direct relationships with their audience.

My involvement with CASH started much the same way my involvement with most of my projects starts – meeting someone with an amazing vision that will make the world a better place. And the huge bonus here is that that Jesse actually had a plan to make it happen, along with working code. I meet intelligent, dedicated people often, but never before had I found someone willing to move his family cross-country to a new town, sight unseen, in pursuit of said vision.

(Aside: Behold the awesome power of Portland. We have awesome doughnuts. And Trek in the Park. And there’s that whole hotbed of open source, DIY, craft culture we’ve got going on. The food’s pretty darn terrific. You know you want to move here.)

So, where do you fit in? Chances are, if you’re reading my blog, you’re a developer. You may even have some spare cycles to devote to improving CASH’s code base, thereby helping musicians more effectively distribute their works, engage with their fans and – gasp! – make money. That’d be pretty sweet. The applications are written in JavaScript and PHP, and you can find all the delicious bits on GitHub.

Also, if I have it right, Maggie and Jesse are working on setting up a series of hack days on CASH in Portland in the next few months. I look forward to seeing you there!

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3 Responses to CASH Music: What, Why and Where You Fit In

  1. First, as the lucky recipient of Leslie’s energy and time I feel compelled to say thank you here. CASH is lucky to have your energy and assistance. But it’s also important that I stress that ACME trumps VooDoo in the doughnut game. I know. It’s controversial, but their cake donuts are great, and the old goats are a damn fine glaze. This:

    Sincerely:Thanks Leslie, you’re the best!

  2. Awww, thanks Jesse. Got any good recommendations for vegan cupcakes?

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