Editorial: The Year in Reviews for 2011
Wait a second. Didn’t I just write one of these year-end site recaps? I didn’t? So you are telling me that the last one from 2010 wasn’t just posted the other day?
OK. So I realize that I am being slightly ridiculous here but there are few who would argue about how 2011 seemed to move like a breeze as far as years were concerned. The year was here and before you knew it was over and done with. This is starting to bother me because family members are saying it’s because I am showing my age and with that being the case time is fleeting. I would like to think that this is not the case at all and barring some hesitation that I am as youthful and chipper as ever. So anyways here we are again with another one of our Year End Editorials or as it’s been referred to at times as my “State Of The PiercingMetal Site” for this particular year. For those who have never read any of these articles before based on their being new to our brand name, I use this to reflect upon each individual segment of PiercingMetal.com and explain how I used them and what my thoughts about each happened to be for the year in focus. I also try to discuss what I deem to be notable changes about the presentation that I am giving you. It’s not a Year End “Best Of” List as we post that feature separately but there is always the chance of my making mention of something that was astonishing in my editor’s eye for examples sake. Getting down to brass tacks it seems that the finances of the fans and the recording industry were even tighter than they were last year and that had some effect on how things were being done and at the same time the dynamic of doing review had morphed a little more across the board. Here we go.
Site Modifications: While I have kept the traditional format and flow of PiercingMetal.com the same as when we launched it back in 2005, there were some subtle cosmetic changes done along with a couple of backend ones. Two of these changes have been implemented on our article pages and they are the long overdue use of the “Google Analytics” code and a means to share what you are reading via a script provided by the folks at “Add This”. So what do they do anyway you might be asking. Let’s start with Google Analytics. Since there are millions upon millions of websites and blogs to navigate out there in the great Internet wilderness, Google has offered site creators the means to gauge their reach and traffic. Historically speaking PiercingMetal.com has been using this code on the blog for a couple of years but it was not until the last ¼ of 2011 that I figured a way to add this code to the individual article pages and their feed pages. Resultant of this there should be an increase in Google picking up the website even more based on our now having over 3000 more instances connected to the brand name. That number will of course increase as new content is added to the reviews and gallery sections. The “Add This” code is a means to share what you have just read with your friends across a number of Social Networking mediums. You might have seen this code on some of the newer sites and blogs but we have not had it until the second half of 2011. This kind of thing was just not available when we were designed back in early 2005. It’s represented by the small icons on the bottom of each core website article and blog posting and I always encourage readers to share what they enjoy with whomever they feel might appreciate it. The minimal backend changes were just some references to the site in other areas and were more maintenance than anything you need to be concerned with. I also dispensed with two regions off the site by dropping News and Forums, and I shall explain those reasons further down the line.
CD’s: The issue that I lined out with 2010’s Editorial was how during that year it was slowly becoming impossible to find your favorite music in the conventional brick and mortar stores. We had already lost a couple of the giants in 2009 and nothing appeared to replace them. Sadly in 2011 this got even worse if you were a Metal fan because you were not going to find what you were looking for all that easily in some of the chains that remained for us to browse in. It’s without question that those of us who enjoy browsing the shelves of the rapidly fading from existence music shops are having a hell of a time actually finding places that sell CD’s and especially ones that cater to your wider variety Metal aesthetic. You might find some Nightwish or Slipknot but try to find some Stratovarius or Sonata Arctica without doing some heavy searching and you will see what I mean. I said in 2010 how reviewing CD’s seemed to be a 50/50 split between receiving real product and getting an email that said you needed to stream it by “X date” or download it to offer up a review for your respective brand. In 2011 this appears to have been changed to a 75/25 split with digital servicing being the prime method of delivery. The other thing that has changed is a lot of the personality one got from the publicists who were reaching out to you to do some reviews. I’ve noticed that a lot of the larger building of lasting relationships is gone and in their place is a sterile, mass email advising you that review content is available for you to do and how you will be penalized should said work appear on any sharing servers. Maybe that works for someone coming right out of the box but when you’ve been dealing with a company for several years it’s a bit jarring. Fortunately I am not the only writer who has felt this is becoming the case as a number of my peers felt that this is one area that needs to be addressed and changed for the better. Yes there are tons of creative outlets to deal with based on the Net glut but as a close friend in publicity said to me once, there are tons of dead sites and non-trafficked domains that should not compromise the regularly reliable providers of thoughts for your clients. Good words for sure.
In terms of music releases there are some labels output that I just love having the real disc from as this becomes a part of my own personal collection which I enjoy looking through. Mentally I can actually review this as payment for the work performed on their artist behalf. Getting a digital protected stream often makes me feel as though I am on assignment with an endless workload. Another writer friend of mine mentioned in his blog at how this new framework also takes the aspect of discovery of something new away since we always get mountains of submissions in terms of downloads to listen to at a given time. Legacy writers are generally going to immediately take to the item that will generate the most attention to their words and now with so many things being digital the pace is difficult to keep up with and not lose something potentially extra special. Our CD reviews were less this year based on concert and event coverage but we still did a couple of hundred of them despite the lesser number. I maintain the interest of adding re-mastered and legacy catalog items to the content of the site to keep things interesting and hoping to have readers inspired to look back into something amazing. This will surely continue in 2012 since there are no less than four artists whose complete works I would like to add to our archives. Some notable items were missing from the review queue and you can thank the overload of sites to contend with in the eyes of some media representatives for that. As a reviewer of product and scene happenings for almost seven years now, we can only pay the most attention to those entities that submit materials to our enterprise. Also as we have done since day one of launch, every CD review still features an embedded link to an Amazon.com purchase point. I hope readers are making use of this since we love that our words help drive sales to bands that need it.
DVD’s: Thanks to companies like Eagle Rock Entertainment the DVD review queue is a staggering thing when it comes down to it. In 2011 I upgraded my level of Blu-ray review pieces and downgraded the traditional DVD medium just a tad. Sometimes I would review both flavors of a release for content sake but that would only be the case if said DVD also had come with the audio of some of the concert content that was a part of the film. We still find this happening every now and again. So with this being the case there was a lot to address in terms of the video side and there is literally something for everyone to enjoy from a wide scope of historical releases and newer shows and documentaries. Bands like Rush, Iron Maiden, and Dream Theater regularly release their latest concert tours on a comprehensive DVD and even issue CD’s of these same shows for good measure. The prices on many of the standard edition DVD’s and the Blu-rays has dropped quite a bit from what we found last year which I liked to see. I’m still using the PS3 for my Blu-rays and love it. It’s a great media device if you are looking for one. My hope is that 2012 brings to light a bunch of the releases that I have still only seen on my ancient VHS tapes. I’ve said before how this lets anyone with the same stuff part with it and have some extra room on their shelves unless they are one of those completists who needs each and every edition of something. Having seen some press releases about 2012 items I can say that we are going to have a killer year in this area.
Other: There were not a whole lot of additions when it came to the “Other” section in 2011 and that was because we ran out of our Magazine review copy in 2010 and have kept the overall Features to this section as our place for the yearly Editorial and our Best Of lists. Long time readers know that there is no prominent “Special Feature” menu option but we are working with a six plus years old manual design be a part of the larger whole of my writing scope. I enjoyed this immensely because the writing t this was much better than scanning a few hundred articles as the look is more consistent to what our readers enjoy on the website. I think you will like it.
News: You might notice that our main menu on the PiercingMetal.com site no longer features an option for “News” and we have our own every now and again Art Director Joe Kaufman to thank for this. Around the last ¼ of 2011 he inquired what the goal of this particular page was since we were not loading in our own daily news items from the Metal scene and instead redirecting readers over to two of our favorites resources for Metal and Hard Rock news (which by the way were Bravewords.com and MelodicRock.com). Noting that this space could be repurposed by removing the links and placing them elsewhere he created the label of “Blog” for me and this now sits in its place. I think it’s better to get those readers who were unaware of the sites official blog over there as well so there you have it. Be sure to check out those referenced sites for your Metal news as they are straight to the point with no additional static to distract you from the information that they are trying to deliver. It would have been nice to have a continual news feed for your reference but there are many sites doing that already so what is the point. At the end of the day I would rather create new articles and blogs as opposed to copying other company’s press releases ad nauseaum just for web rank sake.
Book Section: I never thought I would see as many books coming out as we have found happening over the last couple of years at least when it came to the Metal Realm. Lately we don’t only have the biographical tome to enjoy but also the cookbook and scene overview according to certain individuals of note. It’s great to see happening and I try to review as many as I can when time allows. Book review is a very different process but we love adding them to the mix of the site content. I’ll be trying to do a lot of these in 2012 because there is nothing like sitting down with a good book in terms of opening up your mind.
Concerts: Ladies and gentlemen you are listening to a man with an addiction. Yes it is true. I am hopelessly addicted to the live concert scene and all of the wonderful music that it presents to my ever ready musical mind. It’s been a couple of years since we became more of a concert overview site and that was never the main plan but just what happened based on our living in one of the greatest scenes in the world. When it all tallied up for 2011 it seems as though we went to around 81 shows and while that is a little less than some of our years it is still pretty wild to think about. Thanks to this kind of activity we feel as though a remote base should be set up at venues like B.B. King Blues Club, Irving Plaza and the Gramercy Theatre. I am there almost as much as staff in some cases. I do go to Best Buy Theater a lot as well but not as often as these other three. For as many of these concerts as possible I have tried to be on point for the opening acts as well in case there was something extraordinary happening with the roster. Of course it’s not always possible but we do what we can for your enjoyment. Combining our Concert reports with the Official Blog has let me expand upon the shows a little more by adding additional viewpoints and images that did not totally fall under the premise of objective narrative. It’s made the show documentation a lot more fun. All of this brings us to the next section – The Galleries.
Gallery: This might have been a bit of a pain to get up and running in the beginning but I am really glad that we began to offer the readers the means to enjoy all of the bands that have been photographed in their own special section. As 2011 closed out there seemed to be something close to 28K combined photos across a span of over 1100 galleries. Maybe I will consider adding a field to my tracking database to always have an official number for you. If time allows. This has added an increased level of work to the mix but I really like having it as a part of the site and as each week goes by there are more shows which mean more bands and more images added.
Interviews: Sadly our interview interests in 2011 did not pan out to anything substantial for me to feature here for you. There was too much in the way of concert activity brewing for me and honestly I have noticed a big drop in the attention to interviews as well. A trusted colleague on another site said he felt that no one was reading them much anymore and another said they are only fun to watch on YouTube.com and perhaps they are right. I did write a few that I had hoped would be able to become email interviews but they still needed some finalization in their premise and the parties ended up unreachable at the end of the day anyway. Perhaps I can address them in 2012 for your enjoyment and maybe revisit my process and do some other ones that I feel might be interesting.
The PiercingMetal Calendar: I am so proud and humbled by the response that is given to our regional events calendar. I have lined out before how this started out as a simple tool to help my own plans upon the scene but eventually developed a life of its own and became something far bigger than I had ever expected it to become. Sometimes that can be a problem but in this case it’s nothing but a win, win situation. In 2011 I didn’t find the need to add any new categories to the calendar because I pretty much had all that I would want and each was a perfect way to learn what was happening in this Big Apple Metro area. The sites larger reach did find me hearing a couple of complaints about this being too focused on New York City, but let’s face it. That is where we are from and the region in which PiercingMetal calls home base. Our goal remains to promote the venues that we adventure into and perhaps even inspire some tourists to come to visit us and Rock out as well. Even though we feature a lot, we do not manage to fit “everything” in there and sometimes we might miss a late listing. Publicity reps and venue managers are always told that our very effective tool works in their favor and many of them keep us in the loop on happenings. Someone asked me how they should best bookmark this for their phone or tablet device and I think the simple answer is to just save it as a bookmark on these devices from your internet feed. There are so many updates that I don’t think using an RSS or reader helps you. I always stress how fans and other interested parties should share this with their music scene loving friends via the social networks but that they never print it since it changes almost daily. With your help we defeat those fans who always lament that there is “nothing going on” because as you can see there really always is.
Events: I’ve enjoyed being your Metal Man on the street for things that do not just focus on the music lifestyle and this past year our convention adventures were upgraded by visiting the amazing Toy Fair and a couple of comic conventions. We hit a couple of special “Fan Only” gigs from some bands but didn’t find any other special invites to premium media only events. Even though we live in NYC, a lot of that stuff happens on the West Coast. If anything like this happens in 2012 you will surely read about it in this section if we are on the master list.
The Blog “PiercingMetal Musings”: In some sense this was an angle that eventually took on a life of its own and while I was initially hesitant about blogging it is now something that I really love to do to expand my views about the Metal scene and other areas of entertainment that I brave as a writer. To recap this was started out on the Blogger medium and kept outside of the PiercingMetal domain. It worked fine like this for awhile but the chance to change this to WordPress and have it be part and parcel with the main brand was of larger appeal to me. Since its own launch date the blog has morphed into a thing of its own and has fortunately generated its own unique audience. If you look at it one way it has increased the amount of work that there is to do on the website, but I prefer to think of it as a different means of reaching more fans. The blog’s deep premise is that of the Metal side of my life but it’s also become a loud Pop Culture voice thanks to some of the adventures we have undertaken. It’s expanded into the comic book medium along with relevant conventions that focus on the things that interest our readership and of course me. It’s also a constantly changing thing that moves with the media times as much as possible and I would not have it any other way. I actually expanded upon the year in blogging over on the blog itself so please do take a look for it. I dissected the categories in the same fashion as we dissect the core website parts for easier absorption.
PiercingMetal Forums: “Say goodbye to Hollywood” or for that matter say goodbye to the Forums area of PiercingMetal.com. When I revisited this idea in the beginning of 2011 with the new, clean installation I had set up a number of areas that I felt would spark a sense of community but the response to the region was minimal at best. Fans are just not interacting on new forums as much as they are on some of the legacy ones of note and while I felt that there were some unique parts of our own, it didn’t take off as much as I would have liked it to. The maintenance of this also became arduous as the spammer accounts got smarter and smarter and became difficult to police. The site does maintain some social network accounts which we speak to fans on and I will line those out next. As far as forums go, this one is gone for now. Could it return? Well of course, anything can come back into popular use and if the forum boards start resurgence in popularity it’s very easy to get one going again.
The Social Networking Angle & How PiercingMetal.com Uses Them:
I have been a social networking maven since the likes of Friendster. Remember that one? You don’t? Well, I guess I should not be surprised as it’s no longer what it used to be and had long ago been replaced by MySpace. I hear you chuckling about that one since they too have fallen from grace since their heyday and dominance. In today’s Internet Geography one seems to need to have an account on the following Social Networks: Facebook (check); Twitter (check); MySpace (check); Google+ (check); all the others (check). These next few paragraphs line out how I am using them to help the PiercingMetal brand name.
Facebook: Facebook really has become the Godfather of the Social Networks and that is why they are on the top of the list. PiercingMetal has maintained an Official Page for a couple of years now and since its first appearance I have tried to use it to not only announce many of the reviews and blogs that we are posting, but also to interact with some of the bands that we come across and to do periodic giveaways when the chance is there to do so. Website likers seem to increase week by week and it’s always welcome when our existing support structure invites their Metal friends to the page. The bottom line for us with such an outlet is that the directive is for you to be enjoying the vast and varied content that we are hosting over on PiercingMetal.com; You do totally help us by liking the page but you really make that liking matter when you are digging into the posted articles. As the year closes up we were approaching just over 1800 page likers and while that’s not an “amazing” number to some, I am humbled that you are all interested in my writings and presentation.
Twitter: Do you remember me saying this last year “I am not yet convinced about Twitter as a means to an end”? Well, since that time I have become a bona fide convert to the medium and that was based on my being able to connect it to the site’s Facebook and MySpace pages. Now when I do a tweet, that note posts on these other two mediums without me doing anything so three different angles for the time spent on one. That worked for me very well. Initially I was concerned about our not having a jillion followers like some of our peers did but then I read some hard core technical sites who said that this was nothing to worry about based on the nature and premise of the medium. Our Followers are re-tweeting the notations that we do but we still want them to help us increase our numbers so please continue along but also consider adding the @piercingmetal account to your “Follow Friday” tweets. With your help we can use this angle a little bit better. I’m still terrible at having conversations in Twitter or realizing when I have been sent a message. I also don’t “get” how some sites are doing chats via this but maybe in time I will. I still keep my tweets relevant to my happenings as they apply to my music or entertainment journalism. Now that I can make it work with our Facebook I will no longer be a stick in the mud about it. I’ll even go so far as to advise my fellow creative’s to do the same thing. It will help you get your own word out.
Google+: G+ is the newest to the social networking mix and something that while I am using it, have not been totally convinced about its effectiveness. Granted I am using it as much as I use Twitter but wish that the aforementioned medium was also posting to our Google+ page. This would save me some more time. The PiercingMetal Google+ works the same way as our Facebook and regularly features any new links that I add to the site. The key is for fans of the site to add us to their “Following” circles. It’s a slow moving process right now but since I share my posts with the Google account that controls it, there are a few thousand people seeing our happenings over there. Will this replace Facebook? Who knows? Stranger things have happened. If this brings us any additional traffic I am game.
Tumblr: I really don’t use Tumblr anymore and that is due to numerous changes that they have made to the medium. Did you know that new users are not able to post feeds to their postings? For me the network was a means to have a “Catch All” going on. I used it like our MySpace and left it alone. If you added me you added me. Doing so would show you we had the Facebook, Twitter and Google+ in place. My feeds still seem to be in place as I guess I was grandfathered into the new model with them, but I do notice how slowly they feed into the stream. To be honest if they want to feed a post I did two weeks ago right now, they are only killing my interest further.
MySpace: Some when in 2011 someone said to me “What, you still have a MySpace page for PiercingMetal.com – Why???? It’s so done for!!!”. Those are some pretty powerful words and I can totally see where they are coming from. This social network has surely fallen from grace and yet despite this many people are still using it and have left their brand name in place. I check the PiercingMetal MySpace about once a week to see if any messages have come for me, but in all honesty if someone reads the profile they will see notes about where best to find the site as opposed to on this medium. Since there are a couple of thousand fans on the account I felt it best to leave in place as well.
YouTube: The official YouTube channel for PiercingMetal allows me to share some of the musical life that we wander into and the goal is to inspire you to check out the bands that we are featuring on the site in terms of review. There is some really amazing stuff out there and if one of our clips inspires you to hit a show then everyone wins.
Okay so as you can see by this list of the heavy hitters, one must apparently maintain a presence on all of them just to keep their name in the Social Media mix. Part of me loves this and another hates it because while it’s nice to be “everywhere”, the process of doing so takes away from the time spent creating content on ones main enterprise. In the defense of Social Networking I have seen some traffic hitting the domain from each of these resources but it’s still not something that makes me say “holy mackerel that was amazing”. At the end of the day anyone who is creative should realize that their own blog or website is the best way for them to broadcast their happenings and that all of these external stimuli are merely traffic signs to the main branded name. Any of these can go away while your own website will only end if you stop paying the monthly domain fee. Of course you can be like some sites that do this the cheap free way by using the non-charged outlets and not even paying for a full on domain name but that is not how we operate here. The serious ones will pay for the domain name and hosting and that separates them from the pack of others.
The Coolness Of 2011: Reaching the sixth year of being a live website was the first cool thing that considered being the case in 2011 and it’s definitely a milestone in some sense as websites come and go all the more often these days. As 2011 closed its book I had officially been a writer for 8.5 years so I’ve seen a lot. In 2011 I found that everyone had some kind of web presence and that meant the competition was going to be greater in terms of obtaining the releases and keeping our brand name in the minds of the Metal Republic. With an increase in providers of sometimes similar ideas I had to upgrade my level of approach and we closed out the year with something like 2200 reviews give or take. I always think I am further along but that is because I am always doing a conventional review or blog. Our blog was closing in on 800 postings by the end of 2011 and as we noted a few sections earlier, this was additional work to the main site. The bottom line is that content is always happening with the site and I will not be stopping that. 2011 found the PiercingMetal opinion being added to the Mars Attacks Radio show and what this amounts to is my chance to offer up my views on a particular album of focus. The founder of the site sends out a regular email and I try to answer it as a fan of the work and media in order to round out the offered up ideas. In 2012 I would like to do more of these than time allowed me in 2011. The next and one of my favorites of the happenings in terms of coolness was my joining forces with the folks over at the Heavy Metal Mayhem Radio Show. Each week since September I have been calling into the program to line out the coming week’s events and releases of note. I’m of course referencing our own calendar on the website that we discussed before and it’s great to try and spark up the masses into action by having this reach even more people. At times I will speak a little longer to the hosts based on their interest in my current events or a particular hot topic across the Metal Republic that they might want my input on. It’s a blast and I like having this new angle to reach more potential website fans.
Affiliations & Advertising: Since inception PiercingMetal remains a DIY enterprise in terms of how we are keeping afloat and that did not change much for us in 2011. The only effective advertising medium we are using is our Amazon.com affiliation so order all your wants and desires on Amazon.com via our website and know that you are helping out the cause. Advertising space is available on the numerous section pages of the site now so interested parties should contact us via the conventional email channel to discuss their options.
Statistically Speaking: Survey Says…. Website traffic remains a numbers game in terms of how one competes against another brand and I am happy to report that in our 2011 year that we surpassed our Site Visits, Page Views and Hits count by percentage levels that amazed me. A close counsel of mine asked me if this wouldn’t normally have been the case with content being added all the time and while he is correct in the assumption as “it should be”, it is not always the case based on the overall surplus of online items to happen upon. We’ve upgraded some of the visibility in Google Analytics by adding their code to the posted items that never had this code before so now this works in our favor but it was not until the last ¼ of the year. We still refer to the Alexa ranking since it does offer up some solid comparisons to what is going on geographically for the site. As 2011 closed up we found that service ranking PiercingMetal.com as the 130,000th most trafficked site on the global internet. When one considers how we achieved just over 5.5 million page views in 2011 this number makes a lot of sense and also humbling. You can check out our most current standings via the link below. Be aware that this will change based on when you are reading this report.
Readers can help all of the websites that they enjoy succeed in this wicked numbers game by regularly supporting the ones that they believe in the most and avoiding the ones that are crap in their content or presentation. When you enjoy a website, please share it with your friends. The word does get around and this is all tabulating in the background.
Statistically Speaking Part Two: Where Are They Coming From: As we are a US based site, the largest portion of our visitor attention does come from the states but with that in mind I would like to share with our readers the ten countries who visited PiercingMetal.com the most. In 2011 they were Germany, Russian Federation, Ukraine, China, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Canada, Brazil, France and Romania.
Reflecting Upon the Music & Entertainment Losses of 2011:
I’ll cop the title of “Hail and Farewell” which runs on my very favorite Sunday Morning News Program on CBS as it’s the perfect toast of respect and thanks to those who the entertainment world lost over the course of the year. 2011 was no stranger to it’s taking of some truly talented people from us and here are some of the losses the entertainment industry lost during the year.:
Phil Kennemore (bassist for Y&T), Don Kirshner (legendary promoter), Gary Moore (legendary guitarist), Mike Starr (former bassist Alice In Chains), Don Hill (legendary NYC concert promoter), Scott Columbus (former drummer Manowar), Matt LaPorte (guitarist of Jon Oliva’s Pain), Michael “Wurzel” Burston (former guitarist Motorhead), Jani Lane (former vocalist Warrant), Steve Jobs (visionary creator of Apple), Cory Smoot aka “Flattus Maximus” (guitarist of GWAR), Dwayne McDuffie (comic book great), Amy Winehouse, David Gold (leader for Woods Of Ypres), Jan Somers (guitarist for Vengeance), Phil Vane (singer for Extreme Noise Terror), Seth Putnam (singer Anal C*nt), Clarence Clemons (saxophone for Bruce Springsteen).
Special Thanks To: Our Area Of Appreciating You…
The Readers in the Metal Republic: I realize that I am sometimes rather grandiose in my words and call my reading audience some very out of the ordinary things but this will happen after being a writer for a number of years and one who indulges in the Science Fiction and comic book medium. With that being the case, many thanks to you readers around the world who are still finding this website of interest after six years. I am humbled by the response and based on this am trying to always keep you engaged and informed by not preaching incessantly to you or insulting your intelligence. The Metal Republic grows larger and stronger with each of you who give us the thumbs up and tell those friends that we might be onto something here. In 2012 I will hope to keep you entertained even more with the conventional site articles and the blogs along with our images. I always like to think that the best is yet to come. Considering that I still enjoy doing this site for the Metal world it is a very good thing.
Media Industry Overseers: The readers of the work put into PiercingMetal are one thing to be greatly appreciative of, but for the most part we would not be able to offer them anything to enjoy if not for some of the resources that are out there in the Metal Illuminati of Publicists, Band Managers, Musicians and Venue Bookers. Thanks to you we are kept in the loop of things and able to formulate thoughts for those that follow what we are presenting on the site. Sometimes it’s even just someone who is “in the know” for whatever reason and has helped our work along in positive fashion. In that I publicly thank any of the official advocates of the PiercingMetal brand name because your continued support make this easier to do when it all comes down to it. Of course there are also those who we have not yet managed to convince but that is to be expected when the geography of the music reporting side is as tumultuous as it is nowadays. Faces in the media side come and go as much as enterprises such as this so it’s not always possible. We like to think that those we don’t work with have left us more time and energy for their competing labels and artist rosters and while this may be the case, there is always room for one more at the table of coverage in my eyes and I am always willing to work with more resources.
To Duke’s Bar (19th Street/Park South Location): Thanks for being my official pre-gaming space for the shows that have been happening over at either the Gramercy Theatre or Irving Plaza. We truly appreciate your delicious food and icy cold beverages. Many are the nights that the Metal Republic has enjoyed your Happy Hour and you are quickly becoming many people’s start off point for gigs and even just a space to call home for a few hours when there are not shows. Thanks to Duke’s we’ve even handed out a few hundred “Concert VIP” discount cards to the fans and I know those were appreciated. A Hard Rock and Metal playlist is still something we all are pining for but it’s a lot better than we used to get I will admit. I raise the Metal horns to their staffers and management while holding a cold pint. We shall see you again very soon.
The B.B. King Blues Club & Highline Ballroom Booking Team: Thanks to these fine people, PiercingMetal.com has put hundreds of Metal and Hard Rock fans into the shows at these venues during the course of 2011. I’m not exaggerating here as we have hosted giveaways on our official Facebook fan page for more shows than I can easily recall and hence lost count of the final number. With any luck I will be able to keep offering this kind of thing up in 2012 so act fast if you are one of our official page likers so you don’t miss out.
Mike Catricola of “The Heavy Metal Mayhem Show”: Signing onto the program as their official concert reporter/Metal man on the street was also one of the “coolness” factors of the 2011 Metal Year but I also wanted to extend thanks for the yearlong support of the site and announcing what we were up to even before joining forces.
How Readers Can Help Out: I am leaving this almost the same as I did last year because the larger premise about how our kind readers can help it out has remained almost the exact same way. In that I ask that they continually help by checking out the site and sharing articles of interest with their friends. If they are not already on the Social Networking mediums that we are using they should know that both the Official Facebook and Twitter are the most used ones and this will allow an easier transfer of any of the items that they deem cool. Since the only place that one can leave comments on the site is on the blog postings we ask that topical and subject matter related commentary gets dropped on the posts as often as they can. This not only expands the value of the posting but also lets me get a little better look into what you find most interesting. I’ve been tweeting the monthly calendar and fans can retweet it or share it across their own Facebook when they see it. This is there to assist your plans so tell your regional friends about it. There is also the use of the Amazon.com stuff which we went into detail with just a few sections above. All of this keeps the Metal energies flowing on this thing and with so many different items to address it’s the reason I like to share my state of the site views each year to let you know of key developments and changes. The bottom line is that if you like it, we ask that you keep the word spread and actually to do the same if you hate it because it gives you something to argue about with those who disagree. I will try to keep it as interesting and as insightful as possible going forward.
And Now We Adventure Into 2012: What’s the plan?
One of the things I am looking to do in 2012 is a site redesign. After six plus years and heading into the seventh very soon I am thinking this is a necessity to do. This is by no means an easy initiative and something that I cannot simply go blindly into and with over 3000 pieces of content making up the core site of PiercingMetal as we close 2011; there are obviously a lot of things to consider and make work. I will say that a new framework will most likely use a WordPress engine since it’s very easy to work with and also powerful/functional. Right now there are so many moving parts to the site that it becomes a task to add more than a handful of items at a clip. We love what we have here already but now it is time for the Metal Makeover.
Thank you again and let’s keep the Forces of the Metal Republic strong in 2012.
Ken Pierce – Editor In Chief