Hey there Metal Legions, I can hardly believe that I am writing this down because it surely doesn’t feel like it to me but PiercingMetal.com is now ten years old and was officially launched to the public on this very day back in 2005. My, how time has flown. On this anniversary I’ll reflect upon the beginnings with some “10” related visuals with some thoughts on the process from then until now and I hope you enjoy it. Here we go.
The Beginning: In the time before I jumped into the media fray with my own site identity I had gotten my introduction to the craft thanks to the overall awesomeness of The Metal Circus, Maximum Metal and Sea Of Tranquility websites. As I did my writings for these mediums I kept notes on how I liked doing this and after a couple of years at the task felt that I had a solid enough idea on how it could be done with my own brand. My good friend Joe was one of the main folks pushing me to do start my own thing and the topic of conversation was easily agreed upon after several rounds at the original Smith’s Bar before a show that we were hitting at B.B. King Blues Club in NYC. I brought this theory up with a couple of trusted publicity contacts and the seal of approval was given and PiercingMetal was born. I quickly secured the domain name days later and started looking for someone to build the website for me. In 2005, or the bygone days of Technology, a website required a lot more manual devotion than it does nowadays. I’d find this help with Hoffman Digital Designs founder Joy Hoffman who crafted a sleek and functional design for me. From there it was a lot of testing and loading of my past writings into the database so the visitor had something to see from the moment that we announced it was here to examine. I had high hopes that any Metal audience would find this to their interest. Back then the site was pretty much only reviews and I mean CD’s, DVD’s and Concerts. There was no Book or Event reviews and stuff like the assorted demos that I had stockpiled were relegated to the “Other” section in the menu. It was succinct and to the point and worked out rather well right from the start for me. I also had a Calendar that served as my own event planning angle but that became something much larger for the Metal Legions almost immediately. The ride had started to move.
The Middle Years: Eventually I was doing all of the code programming myself which was tricky since I didn’t really know hard coding but I made due as the Webmaster and expanded the original sites Menus to add some missing topics of interest like Book and Event reviews along with a comprehensive Gallery section to let our Concert pieces have a lot more site vitality. I had always shot photos of the opening acts but outside of the main act in the review it seemed hard to showcase those bands in the fashion they deserved and this method worked out in the long run. In 2007 a side blog called “PiercingMetal Musings” was created and it allowed for expansion into my other media interests such as Comic Conventions, Metal Meet and Greets, Films and several other topics that didn’t have a menu option on the traditional site. I used Blogger initially but moved to WordPress when I could install this angle right under my domain and increase incoming web traffic. With a web-based magazine like this one can never have too much web-traffic after all.
The Now: The PiercingMetal brand secured a Trademark a few years ago and in 2014 was morphed into a completely WordPress driven model. The “PiercingMetal Musings” blog was imported into the newfangled version of the site and no longer stands as a separate thing and these dramatic changes to the presentation were discussed in a posting that you can read HERE. It’s a lot more impacting to have all of my work under one thing as opposed to go here for this and go there for that. As you read this on our site anniversary I am proud to say that the integrating of all the legacy content and the editing of older blogs is nearing its completion. The need to do new postings and visuals at the same time made this a lengthier process but everything is still onsite for readers new and old to enjoy. I’m loving the different feel to my thoughts and that the WordPress format allows for the topical comment to be added by its readers. Many readers have been adding them into the older stuff which is great since there never was an option in a hard coded HTML design for that to be done before. Feel free to join into the mix as you peruse that because all the topical comments are being approved immediately. That concludes the brief history lesson.
Personal Highlights: It’s tricky to lock down something like this because there have been so many high points to this passion that make me smile when I reflect upon them but I guess the best place to start is by saying that achieving ten years of online time is one of them. A broader highlight is the fact that by doing this I have been able to enjoy a cornucopia of bands that I might have never seen or even heard about before if I didn’t do this. For me, the running of an online Metal magazine such as this has truly opened up my mind about a lot of different genres and players across the music spectrum in the heavy side of things. It’s exciting to be able to offer up accolades on the most exceptional stuff to a growing audience and this has been the case from the onset. Sometimes the chance to use my voice to discuss bands that I have looked up to for many years such as KISS, Judas Priest, Van Halen, Type O Negative, HIM and Nightwish as an established professional is very difficult to describe. I’ve also greatly enjoyed being able to do the occasional contest on the site and am proud to share that about 1300 fans have seen some exciting shows thanks to these efforts over the last few years. It’s also pretty cool to see any of my site articles “blowing up” in terms of the attention that they are pulling in by being shared on the various social networks. That’s pretty much it to me.
Where The Site Stands On The Web @ Year 10: On the day of this anniversary posting there are about 5150 articles making up the sum total of the PiercingMetal site (that’s very Van Halen don’t you think?). The Alexa.com stats site shows the brand as being the 520K most-trafficked site on the Global Internet with a US Rank of 114K most-trafficked on this date as well; According to Netcraft’s October 2014 research findings there are over 1 billion websites currently online so its great to find this brand in the hundreds of thousands in terms of traffic attention as opposed to being in the millions and tens of millions. So far, PiercingMetal has served up over 23 million page views to its readers since launch and achieved over 120 million hits as well during this time. That’s like saying that every one of the 8.5 million people in NYC clocked in 14 hits apiece on the domain and that’s not bad in my book at all. All of the content remains 100% original viewpoints and aims at educating you about Metal and related topics in the most positive fashion we can.
Eternal Thanks To: First and most important of all, I thank the visitors to the website because they keep the server busy and the brand in play. Some of them participate in our Social Networks (which can all be found easily on the Menus “About PiercingMetal.com” Page) but the main everything is right here on the site so thanks for spending time with us here. In today’s Metal realm there are tens of thousands of websites aimed at this kind of music and some are excellent while others are not so much. I’m quite appreciative of the time you spend here especially when you consider the magnitude of other sites online at the same time. Then there are the providers of those contests that I spoke to and without the offerings of places like LiveNation and Blue Note Entertainment Group I couldn’t do them. There is kudos to go around to the publicity channels and some of the greatest Metal record labels because without their clients and artist rosters there would be no content to speak of in the first place. Last but not least all of the wonderful folks who’ve offered up time and effort to the articles themselves or in other creative fashions and I’m speaking about Skeleton Pete Parrella, Jumping Joe Kaufman, Electric Emily Pericht, Notorious Nell Kogut, Excitable Eric Peltier and Chaotic Chris Intriago. Readers who have been using any Amazon.com links through the website have made our Affiliate Program work towards the site costs so do please keep that coming because its been wonderful to have you helping by simply shopping like you would on any given day. Thanks for all your help in making this road a lot more manageable over the years.
Now it’s time for me to get back to the tasks at hand and if you’ve enjoyed our presentation for a little while or even for many years you can let me know in the comments section where we very much welcome your input. I’m very interested in hearing what you have liked most and wish to see more of as we aim for the next ten year milestone. See you at the shows.