I am happy to report that PiercingMetal Is Seven Years Old Today!!!
Can you believe it? I know that it surprises me when I say it aloud but yes it’s indeed true as my PiercingMetal.com website is now seven years old and was officially launched to the world on this day back in 2005. I remember saying when we hit year six that while the domain was “live” for two months already that it was such a different technological landscape back then. Incredibly enough, a whole lot more has changed since I wrote that last anniversary narrative some 365 days ago. I also admit that I felt as if I had just posted my yearly editorial thoughts for 2011 but that was already months ago so you can tell time is flying as we get further into 2012. You’ll have to pardon me if I repeat some of the same thoughts and views as I reflect a little on the site and share where my head is at on the whole thing and what I want for it going forward. I had a little fun with the images for this one so please enjoy those as well.
“In The Beginning” – Thinking about it, it almost feels like yesterday to use a corny quote. When I told friends and family that I wanted my own site after a buddy suggested that I move in this direction, I was told “you’re nuts”, “why bother starting from scratch with all the hundreds of other online websites doing what you want to” and “why do you think anyone will listen to you in the first place”. Looking back I had to say that in some sense each and every one of them was right in their views. Then again so was I. I felt that I was brave as opposed to nuts for trying to make a positive difference for the music that I loved very, very much and I was approaching this idea after writing columns and offering up photos to not one, but three online superpowers for almost two years already. That’s not the longest tenure but I didn’t write three or four articles and instead was in the hundreds by that time. I had some solid background going in and while I knew that I had a lot to learn, this was still some great stuff to help me run with the ball.
The site has changed dramatically since “back in the day” and now features so much more than conventional product reviews and show reports. As far as that content goes we now offer the visiting reader over 3300 pieces of fully searchable content articles and this grows incrementally as each new piece is logged into our database for you to find. My personal goal is to get that as close to 4000 as is possible by the end of the year but let’s see what happens because it’s a healthy number to get to. In addition to these articles there are around 766 blog postings and a ton of photos. Forty thousand of them to be almost exact. I wonder how many more I can get online by the end of 2012. Place your bets but don’t let me in on it. I expect 10% kickback for the pool though from any winner. There is also our regional calendar that’s taken a life of its own since launch and our active presence across numerous social networking mediums.
“Has It Gotten Any Easier” – Oh hell no. This is actually even harder than it was when I was just launching the site because when you write as much as this for a number of years, the fear is that you are saying the same thing again and again and again. I’ve never opted to copy a publicity person’s press release into my reviews or take an easy way out by tossing the reader two or three lines with none of it being worthy of your attention. I’ve seen this done quite a few times over the years and it kind of makes me feel sad. Your reading public deserves the best you can offer them or you should not be sitting thinking you’re kicking some ass. In all honesty, doing this cheaply makes you only look cheap. That’s just my two cents. I want content that lasts for the duration and so far so good. The downside of this is that it takes a little longer to write but with our being a “do it yourself” brand identity, the readership just has to be patient sometimes. We post as much as we can as often as we can. They don’t always clearly “see” stuff as we do calendar entries, maintain our Social Networks to keep them in the loop and are regularly exploring the scene to find new and exciting ideas to share with them for the sake of Metal music and entertainment as a whole. The focus has always been on the New York City metro area and hence my inclusion of this photo when I realized how the site HQ was only a mere seven miles distance from there.
“Do I Still Like It” – Oh hell no, oops wait; I’m sorry – I was looking up at the other question again. If you wondered if I still like doing this, well, yes I do and very much so as a matter of fact. It drives me crazy at times and takes a lot of focus and creativity to do but I really enjoy each and every adventure that I get to participate in. I hit every show with the same level of excitement and curiosity on how to deliver the scoop to my readers and cannot wait to offer up views on any release that I am sent by a rep who feels my views and input are important for their clients career/label roster. On a more personal level, I feel a sense of accomplishment with my Metal baby every time I load in a new piece of content. With that being the case I am very proud of what I’ve put together for Metal and since the Internet changes so dramatically almost every day, its been a lot of fun to have clocked in seven years. I strive to maintain a level of objectivity that remains insightful and interesting to you as readers and love seeing the largely positive feedback that the brand gets for this time invested in its content. Those who love what we do; love what we do and for those who don’t yet get it or have found out about us; there is always time to come along in the future. PiercingMetal HQ does sit in beautiful Brooklyn, and we proudly brag about Year Seven in one of the best ways possible to do so with the photo below.
“What’s The Plan Going Forward” – For starters we are not shutting down the reporting, and are instead moving straight on into the Metal night for year eight. Why stop now right? There is so much to do and to talk about and photograph that it would make no damn sense turning off the site or quitting. This resource reaches too many fans of the genre around the world to do otherwise and those who are digging into it all can count on more reviews, lots of blog postings and plenty of other images that we hope make them feel like they were at the concert with us. If you wondered what I like the most at year seven I will definitely say the blogging and the concert reporting is my most current passion because that lets the creative juices flow a lot differently than the more analytical release review does. Maybe when year eight hits I will feel a little different but for now that is where I am. I did want to deliver a brand new site design for the readers at some point this year but the concert schedule I keep has been pretty chaotic and I’ve been blogging a lot as well so its been difficult to map out what I want and how best to not lose much time doing it. When we get in gear with that it should rock the socks, but for now at least the system works and you can search EVERYTHING. The photo below is some of the collected and kept spoils of concert and event war. These are just the silk ones and not the artistic designer ones. This shot was not a “plan” and instead an accident as the rubber band holding them all together popped and left me with a mess to sift though. Glad it worked out like this, but yeah this is some of the iceberg pile that we have accumulated over the past seven years. This kind of stuff happens when you hit a lot of shows and get your credentials sorted out in good order. Since launching the site I have attended/covered over 600 shows (give or take a handful). So tell me what are you liking the most at year seven my readers?
“Gimme Some Loving” – Since we are hitting “Lucky 7” today I wanted to reflect briefly on those who helped out in the very beginning even if many of them are now doing other things in life from the original publicity channels that connected us in the first place. Of course some are still kicking righteous Metal ass in that regard and still working with us and I think that is very cool. I thank the Fords & Jon Paris who worked with SPV Records back at launch along with Hannah Verburen (former of Nuclear Blast) and Kelli from Metal Blade as they were my earliest record company contacts and did anything they could to help out. On the same token we had the Brenners (Liz and Dave) at the Earsplit Compound and “Team Kayos” of Carol Kaye and her wonderful resources, Maria Ferraro and her Adrenaline PR peoples and let me nomt forget Chip Ruggieri of Chipster PR (who was actually the very first press contact I ever made when I opted to become a writer a few years before this site even launched). We even count Steve “Buckshot” Seabury (of too much to list here nowadays) and Nathan Birke of Napalm Records as our earliest servicers. I also smile when I think about the time that Mike Tisdale (who worked at Eagle Rock Entertainment back then) called me in for a lunch meeting and a brew to look me dead in the face and say “okay Ken, what are you up to and what is the big news”. Let me not forget my good buddies/sounding boards/occasional contributors of Skeleton Pete Parrella and Joe Kaufman who have been here since I officially launched and even before so I send kudos their way for dealing with little every idea, manic panic and brainstorm that comes out of me. There were more of course after doing this for a little while but in terms of working right at the onset these are who I recall the most vividly. I also appreciate the legacy readers who are still checking this out from day one and following the sites growth and continue to spread the word. Thanks folks. Really, I mean that.
“Suggestions For The Inquiring Minds” – If you think that you can do something like this for yourself then I say go for it. I’m not going to say that you’re crazy or delusional for trying to or wanting to. My one suggestion is to approach it with a level of zeal that separates you from the pack though. I cannot tell you how unprofessional it is to be in a venue on a bands dime and only put the photos up on Facebook or your personal Flickr page. Even if all you have is a blog of your own that is aimed at this kind of interest, please direct the audience to that instead of the free online social mediums. I know their popular but you are not making a difference by putting your content up there in the vat with bajillions of others. I would also say that you should let your own voice speak as opposed to constantly regurgitating a press release. Posting a massive news item is one thing, but then you should speak to it for your readers sake. If all you can offer is reposting, then maybe the answer is “no” to should you do something like this. If you end up doing it, then stick with it and help make a difference for the scene and music you love. Don’t worry about the return as much as the satisfaction you will get from building something extraordinary. Mind you that you will never truly catch up because there is always something out there to speak about and share with the interested minds.
This might amuse you a little as well, I was amused when I thought about how when Skeleton Pete and I hit Blog World and New Media Expo last year, that their staff informed me that six years online was a pretty big deal for a brand identity such as this. I cannot wait to tell them that we have now shot into the seventh year and are three months closer to number eight when we see them in June. I’m going to stop now and get back to the business at hand because there is always a pile of things to do and I also have run out of my quirky “7” photos so it’s as good a time as any. Stay tuned for more my Metal Legions, thanks for your tireless support, continued interest and by all means keep it coming. If you have enjoyed what we have been up to for Metal on the whole for these past seven years I ask that you leave us some comment stuff on it because it helps me know how you see it better. Kindly keep on topic though. Keep the horns raised for Metal, see you at the shows for sure.
PS: For those keeping copious notes about the activities we endeavor into, you should know that this very PiercingMetal Musings blog is going to celebrate its fifth year online on April 8th. Since its own “birth” its become something as important as the core website itself and very different from what it was supposed to be in the beginning. Believe me I am very thankful for the response that it generates as well for it brings even more people to the core website.