Craig Anderson started ThePittsburghScene.com two years ago with some motivation and a pretty rudimentary website.
"It was just a list of artists and — this will show you the time period — a direct link to their MySpace profile," Anderson says with a laugh.
ThePittsburghScene has come a long way since then. In May, it relaunched with a whole new interface thanks to Anderson's friend Shawn Gaughan, who did much of the coding legwork. In just over two months, the new site has amassed more than 200 new band profiles; it also features an events calendar, musician classified ads and a smattering of original content.
Anderson, a South Hills native (and current Carnegie resident), started the site because he felt there was no real hub for local bands to post their own content; MySpace had gotten rid of its search-by-ZIP-code function, he explains. But soon it got to be a bit much.
"The biggest problem was that it became popular," he recalls. "I was manually inputting each band's information when they wanted to be added. When you're up to 300 bands and you're manually entering them all, you start to think, maybe it's time to change this up."
That's when Gaughan got involved, retooling the site to look and work a little better. Now, bands and artists create their own profiles and upload their own music to stream on the site. The classified-ad section works via a Facebook plug-in, and the events calendar is user-generated, by registered artists.
The events and news sections serve as something of a filter, giving newbies to the music scene an idea of who's really active — as opposed to those bands that create profiles but never really play shows or record anything of note. "The news section is more of a way of steering people in the right direction," Anderson explains.
Unlike so many music websites, ThePittsburghScene isn't specific to one or two genres — just one or two area codes.
"I love all kinds of music, so I didn't want to narrow it down," says Anderson. "There's talent in every genre in the city.
"I didn't like hip hop, really, until I heard Pittsburgh hip hop," he adds.