Welcome to Harkive 2016

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Harkive is an annual online popular music research project that invites people to tell the tale of HowWhere and Why they listen to music on a single day each year. The aim of the project is to capture for posterity a snapshot of the way in which we interact with the sounds and technology of today.

On Tuesday 19th July Harkive is returning for its fourth year. We hope you’ll join us by telling Harkive the story of your music listening day.

In this quick guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about joining other music fans around the world on 19th July. We’d like you to help us add to the 8,000 stories gathered by the project since we launched in 2013.

Why tell your story? 

Millions and millions of people will be listening to music on 19th July, but no two people will listen in precisely the same way, or for the same reasons. That makes you interesting.

You might use certain products, services, formats and technologies that are common to many others. You might spend the day listening to the same radio station as millions of others. Or you might listen to one song via headphones. You might go to a gig, or hear music in a restaurant. Whatever your experience,  your motivations and the situations you find yourselves in as you listen, will be unique. It is the unique nature of your story that we are trying to capture.

How, Where and Why you listen to music is fascinating: We’d like you to tell us all about it.

How to tell your story

We’ve aimed to make the process of telling your story as easy as possible, and you can tell it in a variety of ways. Hopefully there is one that suits your habits already, and you won’t need to go too far out of your way to do it.

You can post to social media platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, simply by adding the #harkive hashtag to your posts. Or you can ‘like’ the Harkive Facebook page and post something to our wall. You can post as many times as you like across the day.

If you’d like to take your time and write something a little longer, you can email your story to us, or post it via our online form.

A full list of the ways you can tell your story is available on the How To Contribute page.

Would you like to see some examples?

Every year, as Harkive approaches, we post some example stories from people involved with popular music. These have included stories from musicians, journalists, technologists, DJs, label owners, academics, and record collectors. Have a look back through the blog to see the example stories posted this year, or look at the examples page to see stories from 2013 onwards.

Another way of looking at past contributions to the project is through the Harkive Explorer, an interface that shows contributions from Twitter. You can search through this by looking for particular keywords (names of artists, places, and so on), or through selecting different formats and services.

Remember, though, that there is no right or wrong way to tell your story. You can write as much or as little as you want, and send as many entries as you like.

There are prizes…

As an extra incentive to join us on Tuesday 19th July, we have a small number of items donated by record labels and other organisations to give away. These include CDs, t-shirts and vinyl records. Once Harkive 2016 is over, we’ll draw names at random from a hat and winners will be announced here on the site.

…and live Data Visualisations

Throughout the day on Tuesday 19th July, you can see how things are shaping up by looking at our new Data Visualisation Dashboard. Here you’ll be able to see information about the stories as they start to arrive on Harkive day, including a story count, timeline, word cloud, and other insights, all powered by the Harkive API.

Can you tell us more?

For 2016 we also have a Music Listening Survey. This takes around 5-10 minutes to complete, and will provide the project with some additional context about your music listening that will be crucial to the research that underpins this project (more on that below). Whether or not you intend to join in with Harkive 2016, please do take a moment to complete the survey.

By way of background, we road-tested the survey with a UK-based vinyl and CD manufacturer recently. Their staff completed the survey and produced this beautiful infographic. We’d love to include your responses in something similar.

What happens after Harkive 2016?

Harkive forms the basis of a PhD research project at Birmingham City University by Craig Hamilton. Shortly after Harkive 2016, the stories and other data collected by the project will be analysed and will inform the completion of Craig’s thesis. Information about any publications or conference papers that emerge from this research work will be posted to this site, and via the Harkive social media channels. Harkive will return in July 2017 for it’s 5th year.

What happens to my data?

This project has been approved by Birmingham City University’s Research Ethics Committee, and for more information on that please see our Research Ethics statement. None of the personal information (email addresses, etc) provided by you to the project will be made available to 3rd parties without your consent. Elements of the data will be made available via the Harkive API research tool.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions related to this.

Please help us spread the word 

We’d love to hear from as many people as possible on Tuesday 19th July, so if you think the project is interesting, please do tell your friends about Harkive and encourage them to join in. You can share this post with the following link: http://www.harkive.org/h16

Ask us anything

If you have any questions about Harkive, or would like some guidance about how to tell your story, please feel free to email us, or say ask us on Twitter, where we are @harkive

We’d love to hear your story on Tuesday 19th July. Please do join us by telling Harkive your story.