Highlights from the weekend trip to Cleveland (in no particular order):

Sharing gallery space with all the wonderful artists at WMC Fest
The Wet Hot Buffalo Sandwich from Melt
Happy Dog Wieners and fries
Mark Sultan show at the Beachland
Sweet Lorain’s Antiques
Losing our minds at Cedar effin’ Point
Gravy-covered breakfast at Lucky’s Cafe

Hi Weapons of Mass Creation!

Thank you so much for inviting me to speak. I’m having a ball in Cleveland.

Today I will be talking about what public media could look like if we thought about membership differently – and offered a way for creative people to become members through an investment of time or resources. 

My entire speech is here and my slides are here. (Here’s a combined version on Medium.) 

Here’s some code I wrote (which was made much more efficient by Jeremy Bowers) to make a bookmarklet to add Google Analytics tracking codes to your URLs. (Are you on Github? Add me as a friend!)

Here’s some code I wrote that takes two separate CSV files and smashes them together, based on common keywords. (I’m a relatively new coder, so if you can improve this, please let me know!! And if you want to learn to code, this lesson database, developed by Shannon Turner, is a GREAT place to start.)

And here’s some code that I developed with Danny DeBelius and the NPR Viz team to make visualizations out of quotes or facts. 

Confused? You can see how we use it here. (There are also other tips for getting a lot of bang for your buck, engagement wise.) 

Want to see more? Every single internal tip and trick is here, under the keyword socialsandbox. Want to know about a specific platform? Replace the word socialsandbox in that URL with any keyword — for example, Twitter. We also tweet with the hashtag #socialsandbox.

Thanks for having me! I’m pretty nervous about public speaking but meeting you all over the past two days has made me much more comfortable!

(If you come to DC, I’m a certified tour guide for NPR and would be happy to take you around!)



We can’t say enough cool things about WMC Fest.


A short film about the people of Weapons of Mass Creation, stories and moments from the event.

WMC Fest Arrives, Thrives at Four

by Susanna Baird

Weapons of Mass Creation, Cleveland’s music-festival-by-way-of-design-conference-by-way-of-art-show, kicks of its fourth annual event on Friday. Jeff Finley, WMC founder and VP of WMC sponsor Go Media, talked with Dribbble about the event’s birth back in 2010.

A month before throwing his first-ever festival, designer Jeff Finley brought in the fire department to look at his venue. Just to be careful. Just in case.

“On a scale of 1 to 10, this [space] is a zero, they said. Then, recalls Finley, they laughed.

Cleveland-based Go Media owns the zero space, the unused first and second floors of a 15,000-square-foot-warehouse. The big black block of building also houses Go Media’s shiny third-floor offices. Finley figured the company’s empty floors for an obvious venue for the inaugural Weapons of Mass Creation. The Cleveland FD disagreed.

“They shut it down right then and there,” Finley told Dribbble. “It was raw warehouse space with one bathroom with no sprinkler system, not up to code.”

Finley scrambled and scrounged, a frantic mix of desperate and determined. He finagled the Cleveland Public Theater’s Parish Hall, pulled together a DIY sound system, paid the bands their gas money, replaced two last-minute speaker cancellations, and hosted himself a successful event (blown circuit aside).

Between those crazy fledgling days and today, Finley made several key volunteer acquisitions: Designer Joseph Hughes (Northcoast Zeitgeist) signed on to procure speakers. Musician Jesse Sloane (Cherry Cola Champions) signed on to procure bands. Event planner Todd Gauman signed on to handle logistics.

With these power-planners in place, the event took off. Last year WMC drew more than 1,300 attendees and attention from local media and NPR. This year’s festival, which takes place at the Cleveland Public Theater from August 16-18, welcomes 20 speakers (12 Dribbblers!), 20 designers (12 Dribbblers!), 40 bands, an estimated 1,200+ attendees, and breakdancing.

Yes, breakdancing. In addition to being a festival founder, designer, author and punk-rocking drummer, Jeff Finley is a Bboy.


Interview by Steven Bushong

Weapons of Mass Creation Fest performers My Mouth Is The Speaker just signed with Escapist Records and will soon release their third EP. Since forming in 2008, the indie-punk quartet has successfully released two EPs and a full-length, attracting critical acclaim, including being nominated for Absolutepunk’s “Absolute 100” and featured as unsigned talent in Alternative Press Magazine.

We asked singer and guitarist Daniel Palmentera to share some thoughts with us about the festival and his band. This is what he said.

I’ve heard a new record is in there air. Please tell us three song titles, and then rate those songs from one to ten on the heartbreak continuum (one being a one night stand that never called you back, ten being about the love of your life getting run over by a garbage truck).

You’ve heard correct. We are nearly done tracking our 3rd EP! As far as the songs go:

“Your New Apartment” … 7

“Worst Case Scenario” … 8

“You May Be Coy, But You Ain’t No Fish” … 7

The fourth track, “No Light Pollution,” is really the only happy song on the EP.

Your performance at Weapons of Mass Creation Fest is a definite reason to be stoked. But what artist or band is getting you all excited?

Definitely really stoked about WMC Fest. Much love to our pal Jesse Sloan for asking us to play. SO many great bands all day. Most of whom are good friends of ours, so I imagine there will be a lot of shenanigans. Not to mention, Braid is playing.

My Mouth Is The Speaker started in 2008. How the hell do you keep a band together?

There have been ups and downs, and a few lineup changes. We’re close as friends, and we have a writing and recording process that seems to be working for us. It’s all about communication and working with people that are on the same page as you. We have a lot of fun.

If you, Daniel, were stuck at a single concert for the rest of your life, in which only three bands kept playing forever and ever and ever, which three bands would not drive you to insanity?

I’d have to say Glassjaw, The Starting Line and Weezer (circa 94-97). If you ask me next week, I’ll probably say 3 different bands.

So, what’s up with the Northeast Ohio music scene – is it maintaining itself, dying or exploding with awesomeness?

I like to think that these passed few years have been a great time for the Northeast Ohio music scene. A lot of talented musicians and songwriters in this region, and it’s a pretty tight knit community. There are always shows happening.

Good work getting signed to Escapist Records. What’s that mean for the future of My Mouth Is The Speaker?

Thank you very much! We’re beyond excited to finally have a legit release. Hoping to have a 7-inchof the EP pressed by the end of the year. Outside of that we’re hoping to tour when we can, keep writing songs and grow as a band.

Keep up with My Mouth Is The Speaker on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and stream their music on Bandcamp.

Give ‘em a listen: My Mouth is the Speaker – Your New Apartment