August 2021
August 19th 2021, San Francisco

Agenda

Call to Order

    Review Agenda & Vote [Secretary]
    Vote to approve previous minutes [Secretary]

Discussion Topics

    1.
    Committee Updates
    2.
    Review Action Items
    3.
    Meeting in Person [Caryn]
    4.
    BFF.fm App Development [Ben/Amanda]
    5.
    Scavenger Hunt [Amanda]

Closing Items

    Open for public comment [Chair]
    Any other business? [Chair]

Minutes

Scribe: Ben Ward
Present:
    Amanda Guest, Chair, Executive Director
    Caryn Kesler, Vice Chair, Creative Director
    Jenn Lemon, Treasurer
    Clair McDevitt, Chair of Fundraising Committee
    Brandon Paski, Chair of Marketing Committee
    Ben Ward, Secretary, Technical Director
Absent:
    Erika Delgado, Events Director

18:07 — Convene, Vote on Agenda & Previous Minutes

Vote YES to approve the July minutes.
Vote YES to adopt the proposed agenda.

18:09 — Committee Updates

Events

Make Out Room is inviting us to bring in some bands for a birthday bash around Sept 9th. Eddie is contacting bands to finalize a line up by the weekend.
No Besties Bash this month, focusing on Scavenger Hunt. We were reassessing future of Bestie Bashes, Delta variant is a wrench in our assumptions for going back to in-person. We’re in contact with The Complex, which operates a streaming studio and allow us to host bands safely while still distributing virtually.
The Complex also has new capability for remote live stream at venues/locations/outdoors, which could be interesting for us.

Marketing

Signed up for Last Saturday Live, last Saturday of every month until November.
Working on logistics for DJs at Mission Bowling Club
Chasing down last Scavenger hunt things.
Working with Chloe on Social Media audit.

Fundraising

COVID-relief grant application due around 25th August.
California Arts Council grant to fund some professional development, our second grant of the year! Should also be hearing back on a 3rd imminently, which we are optimistic about from the minutes, but haven’t had confirmation on yet.
Next grant on our radar: Walter Huss Fund, after Scavenger Hunt will start on Letter of Interest for them.
End of Year Fundraising should be up for discussion after Scavenger Hunt.
Also need to sync on Grant Reporting.

Tech

    All running smoothly
    BFF.fm app development under consideration (see below)

Board Development

As per last month, will revisit board development at the start of next year.

Music

No substantial updates. Some volunteers in this area are focusing on helping organize pop-up events for the Scavenger Hunt.

Finance

Working through past transactions to make future budget reporting faster. Quite a lot to work through so should take a few more months.

18:23 — Action Items

[Amanda/Brandon] Get help for outdoor event ideas

Close out. Last Saturday Live is a good idea, pursuing.

[Amanda] Prepare updates to strategic plan

Carry over.

[Clair] Set up a Fundraising/Marketing meeting for Scavenger Hunt fundraising.

Scavenger group (Amanda, Ben, Clair, Lily) have been meeting regularly and again on Saturday to try and get the game finalized.
[All] Think of tinitivity tasks
Most focus has been on Scavenger Hunt. Looking into a “Pets of Roll Over Easy” calendar idea.

18:28 — Meeting in Person

Pre-pandemic we used to meet in person at Pops. Since then the board has grown and we haven’t been in person.
Amanda: Would like to meet in person, especially to meet, since some of us have never met in person in any context, not just board meetings.
This could fit with our model of moving to quarterly board meetings rather than monthly.
It would be nice to get everyone together in person in some capacity in the near future. Probably outdoors, given Delta.
Action Item: [Caryn] Schedule an in person board get together for mid-September.

18:35 — BFF.fm App Development

From time to time, we get contacted by listeners asking whether we have an app (that is, a native iOS or Android app.)
At present, BFF.fm is distributed via our own website (on desktop and mobile, with as-good-as-can-be integration to Media Playback APIs via the browser), and via third-party apps like TuneIn, Apple Music, etc. Some of those third parties also provide distribution onto closed platforms like Sonos.
We have an iOS app, created by our streaming provider Empire. It’s a basic player, that plays the stream, shows track artwork, and a history of played tracks. While a version for Android has been promised, it’s never been released. We have had some complaints about the limited functionality of this app.
We have previously explored building an app ourselves, but do not have sufficient volunteer resources to build and maintain it. In reality, building an app from scratch is a $five-figure undertaking, and since the mobile platforms evolve annually with both new operating systems and hardware, there is a more pressing maintenance cost than the web too.
One of our newer volunteers — Lydia — has been pushing hard and finding leads for another solution for our app gap, looking for the third party developers who build apps for other stations. In general, these apps are not unique, rather they all share a codebase and follow the same basic design template, which is then customised for a station and integrates a certain amount of content via data feeds and embedded web content. Some of these apps also use cross-platform iOS and Android toolkits, further reducing cost. The companies also handle delivering updates and patches. Service and support for these apps falls more into a $four-figure range, which we think is viable for BFF at this stage.
Amanda will speak to the strategic reasons for pursuing this:
Amanda: Strategic thinking is that while our website works on mobile, the user experience isn’t good enough: people don’t get how to “install” a web app onto their phone. Reliability of the stream also isn’t as good through the browser as we would like.
We don’t get analytics from the third party apps (e.g. TuneIn) to better understand our audience.
Having our own app also allows us to put our own content into that space, gaining access to platforms like Push Notifications for marketing, reminders, etc.
There’s also an element at this point that “everyone else has one”, and it’s a little odd that we don’t.
Questions:
Jen: How much is the cost?
~$2-3000 up front, ~$200 a month in maintenance.
Jen: What’s the value of analytics? Does the app pay for itself in that regard? Is it that valuable for us to get this improvement?
Amanda: Less about direct financial return, but being able to integrate our fundraising and content into our own app would increase the value of it as a canvas, and could play in to grant applications if we’re able to present more bespoke content under our own banner that we can’t do with 3rd Party apps.
Ben: Also, for context on the financial outlay: Our current tech spend for the website, broadcasting, and stream is around $400/month (Creek license, Empire, Digital Ocean), so adding $200/month for native app support of two more platforms wouldn’t be out of alignment with what we’re doing.
Clair: The lack of alignment between the advertising in 3rd party apps and BFF.fm is stark (e.g. political ads for out-of-state candidates that pre-roll before our stream.). For grant writing we’d want to be able to offer grant sources more detail like “We have 80% of our listeners in San Francisco…”
Action item: Ben and Amanda will meet with some developers over the next weeks, and provide an update with more budget specifics next month.

Scavenger Hunt

Have not sold many tickets yet. BUT, SF is a last-minute town. PR machine is kicking into gear, interview in SFGate soon, 49Hills interview not published yet, TV coverage at the Ferry Building soon too.
Also considering giving the entry code to DJs to have them organize teams.
Poster is being designed.

19:57 — Public Comments

    No public comments this month.

19:57 — Any other business?

    No other business.

19:06 — Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting of the BFF.fm board is scheduled for 6pm on September 16th 2021. See https://board.bff.fm for more information.

Action Items

    [Caryn] Schedule an in person board get together for mid-September.
    [Ben and Amanda] will meet with some Developers over the next weeks, and provide an update with more budget specifics next month.
    [Amanda] Prepare updates to strategic plan.
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