A fully transparent look at the Overhear journey
How it all started
2015 An idea hatches.
After creating several home recorded Albums and becoming frustrated with distributing them online Tom mused over another form of online distribution...
(Tom is still making music here: tompeel.bandcamp.com)
September 2016 - first iteration
With help from a friend overhearbrum was knocked together as a website that barely worked but had the gist.
I was pointed in the direction of ABG by a mutual friend who had made a mobile app in the past
Anna Brophy, one of Tom's student's from Access To Music joins Overhear on Work Experience for about 4 months.
Andrew picks up the Overhear coding mantel! Seriously couldn't have done it without this step and Andrews generosity.
First few venues get involved with Digbeth First Friday. Some lovely lino print posters are made by Hollodeck.
Web app prototype walk with Andrew, Anna, and others. Resulting in our first promo video by Paul Stringer
Andrew sends first mock up of the iPhone App.
Figured Poetry was a better medium to start with than music. From Tom's time at Impact Hub Birmingham poets weren't hard to find!
Out testing the iPhone App by the Spotted Dog in Digbeth
First App Release
February 2018 - Overhear is released to the App Store
All down to Andrew taking a punt on an idea I was running with 18 months previously!
Connect with Verve Poetry Festival about collaborating on an Arts Council Bid.
Verve 2018 Soft Launch
Chucked about a few flyers during one of Birminghams biggest poetry festivals
Set about recording as many poets as possible.
First Arts council bid rejected...
Android app delayed
Andrew had become a first time dad just after the iPhone app launched. Juggling the android coding at the same time was proving tricky.
Through working with Tiger Bam Comms we were put in touch with Ben Waddington of Still Walking Festival. Ben's walks focused on the often unseen details of areas and places over the history. This was a perfect partnership as the walks were far more poetic in drawing out what could be found in a space outside of Blue Plaques.
First Accepted Arts Council Bid.
Tom received £13938 to commission 12 poets for the Overhear app and hold 6 walking tours around the Verve Poetry Festival.
December 2018 - 50 Authenticated App Users
Android Mobile App launches...
It works with a few simple tests, but with the organising of the project, and no Android device to test with some issues go unnoticed...
Through a website called freelancer.com Hemin was recruited to code the Android app.
Cost £926.62 inc NDA agreement and transaction fees.
December 2018 - February 2019
Tom recorded and met the amazing poets commissioned for the Verve Overheard project.
Made contact with Jonathan Davidson of Writing West Midlands and invited to sit on a panel for the National Writers' Conference in June 2019.
February 2019 Verve Poetry Festival
An amazing festival! Great weather for our walks but some issues around the Android app not functioning correctly. It worked for some people but not others.
Kibriya Mehrban writes a guest blog for Overhear - Tom is super impressed with how much she 'gets' the app ethos and bookmarks her name for a later date...
Feature in ICHOOSEBIRMINGHAM gains lots of interest.
February 2019 - 155 authenticated app users
Begin planning for a larger Arts Council bid with a £49,352 budget in partnership with Writing West Midlands looking at a year long regional project with a European exchange element.
Issues persist with the Android App including facebook login code being rejected by facebook.
First iteration of the Overhear Admin Panel is developed providing an easier way of entering poem and artist data.
Overhear were asked by Writing West Midlands to partner on a project in Riga, Latvia with poet Anna Lawrence to take place in May.
Our trip to Riga was successful for iPhone users but still frustratingly temperamental for Android users.
All tests conducted on an Android worked for Tom but not for those on the walking tour.
Android Bug Breakthrough: the app was only allowing one user to collect a poem! This was so tricky to work out as creating Test poems to collect would work initially but then would become uncollectible once tested!
Extra edits for the Admin Panel £500
Total Dev costs £3026.62
Overhear registers as a limited company in the UK, this will help strengthen future Arts Council Bids. Sets up Tide Business Bank Account for this Company
One Year Project Arts Council Bid is unsuccessful. Over £15k projects require a lot more planning...
June 2019 National Writers Conference
Tom joins a panel for NWC19 on Getting Your Work Heard addressing new platforms like Overhear and other ways of harnessing tech for writers.
Overhear re-applies for an Arts Council project with just the Birmingham Literature Festival taking place in October. This