I don’t know about you readers but to me it sure seemed as though 2015 had begun and was over in a flash. My guess is that there was just so much to do and so much going on in our Metal and Media scene that it felt like there was barely a moment to breathe it all in. As I close up on my own creative year here at the PiercingMetal Command HQ I wanted to just go over a few personal highlights and some changes to the presentation that we did. Think of this as the “State Of The Site” address for the outlet Let’s go.
Site Modifications: At the time of this writing, PiercingMetal has now been using WordPress as its model for 1.5 years and believe it or not there is still some conversion of the older articles going on. It’s like that based on my needing to touch every single legacy piece and get it properly set up into this no longer new format and that has taken a little bit of time. For the duration, I opted to present all of the legacy content in a menu option which depletes as time moves forward but since I have to keep up with current news and Metal trends it’s a process that I do whenever time allows me to. When I began the redevelopment in the middle of 2014, PiercingMetal was made up of over five thousand pieces of content in terms of articles and photo galleries and each of these items needed some reworking in the new model. Brick by brick the new Metal Command HQ is continuing to be built and it works out so awesomely when more items are added to the new mix. This legacy option will be gone by the sites eleventh anniversary in April as the plan is for all of these articles to have been integrated by that point in time. The redevelopment finds me taking no less than five different parts and making them into one big place and a lot of progress has been made here.
Music: The sites music reviews now encompass not only the CD releases but also the digital only editions and the occasional early single release and vinyl when we are asked to offer up thoughts on them. Instead of numerous menu options I’ve tagged what it actually is to be more succinct but all of these reviews now fall under the “Music” section at the end of the day and I am enjoying the slight broadening of opinion and chances to talk about even more great music. With so many music fans not even knowing what a CD looks like anymore this was a move that needed to be made. You might be laughing at that thought but tell me, when was the last time that you actually went out and bought a few CD’s?
Video: Similarly to the music side is our video side that covers not only the standard DVD releases and the Blu-ray issues, but streaming only product and Music Video Clips. The old version of the site didn’t allow me the flexibility to showcase a bands music video whereas WordPress does and its something that has been long overdue. I’m planning on adding more of these kinds of posts to our content in the new year for as many bands that send them our way to be presented to you. For me it’s a fun new thing to do since so many of these clips are awesome and I’ll be aiming at leaving the horrible ones out of your notice unless it’s so bad its good.
Concerts, Events and Book Reviews: Nothing at all has changed with these three offerings and its business as usual with our Concert Review pieces along with the Events coverages. The city seems to be offering up more and more concerts while the super special events outside of the conventions are growing more limited. The books have been getting done a bit slower though based on time and I think I need to get this stuff on Audible to be sure I can actually enjoy them while dashing back and forth across the city. Maybe someone can create an app where we hear books in the voice of our favorite performers. Damn, I just put a million dollar idea out there for free. Sigh.
Photo Galleries: This has been the hardest part of the transition based on the sheer number of images that were on the site before I pressed “Install WordPress”. Since the new software and directories do not work in the same fashion as on the static site there was a lot of thinking on how I wanted you to enjoy them. Once I figured that out I began getting them back into the site and when it’s all said and done this Photo Gallery area will feel like the old site version but be a little more flexible and with broader searching thanks to the tagging that I have been doing.
When my PiercingMetal Musings Blog was integrated into the main website, most of the topics discussed over there were re-categorized to fall under the sites Features category while others were moved into the already existing items if it was better for the presentation. Here’s a little bit on what’s been happening with some of the most popular offerings.
Comics: I’ve been into comic books for decades and was really excited to share some of the highlights with my readers over on the blog but after the integration can say that I am completely stoked at how smoothly these items now flow along with the rest of the content. Seeing them flow in the same space as the music, video and live event stuff just feels so good. I’ve increased the monthly solicitation posts for Marvel, DC and Valiant and am aiming on offering more from Dynamite, Image and Dark Horse as 2016 kicks into gear. There are also going to be a lot more issue spotlights to enjoy when some of these properties have something special going on. Considering that I’ve been covering the NY Comic Con and other related conventions here, keeping the comic book stuff is something that will keep on coming.
On Screen: There have been so many movies and television shows related to the comic medium that this category seemed to amplify itself, and this is especially so over the last couple of years. I saw a graphic during the last part of 2015 that illustrated how between 2016 and 2020 that something like 20 more big screen films will be coming out about super-heroes and who knows how many more television shows will pop up. We’ve already been enjoying “Arrow”, “The Flash” and “Supergirl” and a few new ones are starting up towards the end of January along with specials. I’ll be aiming at keeping this part of the site a good discussion point for such items.
Milestones: In the blog the Milestones were strictly for music related items but once I moved it into the larger site it became obvious that I was going to have to expand upon this premise. It now features some film and comic book related stuff if I can work out a nice item for your interest and the expansion is still on the new side but there should be a lot of these coming in 2016 since numerous albums of importance are hitting 20, 30 and 40 years old this year. The same for some comic book heroes. Let’s see what happens.
Now for some of the other stuff that makes the site special and keeps me busier than ever
The Events Calendar: Since the sites inception back in 2005 it has served up a robust regional events calendar that has remained one of the most popular features that we offer the readers. I’ve mentioned before how this started out as a simple tool to help my own plans upon the scene but eventually this developed a life of its own and became something widely used by so many people. The site calendar received a massive upgrade in the middle of 2015 based on the original software sorely needing a replacement and fortunately I found a great plugin for WordPress. Now another major part of the site was right here in one place for ease of access and with this new software I was able to expand upon the listings with ease and this allows me to keep up on more venues and more events. Lots more conventions that interest our readers are already in and as usual I am a month or two ahead of where we are today so you can always see listings in advance. As I’ve expanded these listings, I have also expanded the chance to miss out on something every once in a while. That is why the submission form is on the bottom of the calendar. Its where you can alert me to the most glaring of omissions or send me stuff that might be worth posting. I’ll miss the old calendar but can say that while it offered up over 4800 events that our new one is already passed 500 listings which is more than 10% after only six months of use. I think your plans are in good hands with this new offering and I hope you like it.
The Social Networking of PiercingMetal.com:
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. Today the PiercingMetal MySpace tells you to find everything else but stresses that it’s all happening on the main website. Let me go over some of the thoughts I have about them after heavy duty posting during 2015.
Facebook: I hate to admit this but I should start this part off by saying how Facebook no longer really holds the magic and sway on my brand as it once did and this is based on all of the changes that they keep making on their platform. First you had to “like” the page on your own which seemed to work out fine but now in order to see the posts that are made you need to also select “show first” or something of that nature and it’s just too much to keep up with. Since this page is unfunded, Facebook makes sure to keep it out of your visual path and that is understandable since they are a publicly traded entity now. During 2015 I learned about “ghost followers” and that means the folks that like your pages or profile but seldom interact with it. Personally speaking I am happy that anyone comes to us on these things but if you do visit, the best way to help is to click through to the site and maybe like the posts and images that you see on the social side as often as possible. Those who support this particular page are encouraged to suggest it to their friends to up the numbers and let others see all the myriad of offerings. I can even be reached via this pages mailbox if you needed to call my attention to something.
Twitter: I’ve been using the Twitter to shout out a lot of events that I am out and to do the whole #FF thing out to those users who I enjoy as well. I still don’t feel comfortable in a Twitter conversation since I feel the whole world can see it but maybe I am wrong here. I can probably use Twitter better but I am not sure what to change about my practices on it at this time. If you consider yourself a big #FF person we never hate being included in those tweets.
Google+: The PiercingMetal Google+ Page is a constant feed of what gets posted on the site and if you use this account then please add that page to your followed circles so you can see it first. Some are finding us on the profile for said page but that account doesn’t get the posts as fast as you might think. Sometimes I realize that I have not shared things to the profile and find myself sharing a dozen posts. I don’t want you to wait too long to be entertained.
Tumblr: When I relaunched the old site into WordPress I reactivated the use of Tumblr but this profile is purely a “catch all” and will sometimes showcase posts from PiercingKen.com if I want those followers to see anything or even my Instagram since there is a means to share here on that account. I don’t know a lot of people using this service but if you do and it’s easy enough to follow us then please do so as its used in the same fashion as the Google+ is.
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. Subscribing is most welcome but comments are moderated to avoid too much off topic soapboxing.
Instagram: I am loving the use of the Instagram app but don’t really think that its sending me any website traffic at the end of the day. Despite that it’s a blast posting images from the moment and even interacting with others who are posting great images and video clips. As the year closes up I have something like 1800 plus images online and I guess I will surpass 2000 soon enough.
Now I know this is a lot to keep up with and you might be wondering how the heck to easily get on point with all of these socials so you can keep the efforts moving forward and make the voice louder than ever before in 2016. All you need to do as a reader is look over on the top right-hand corner of the website because I have embedded some “Follow Buttons” and these will bring you to each and every one of our networks with the exception of the Instagram one. That one is displayed on the left-hand side of the site and shows the last “4” posted images.
The Coolness Of 2015: Personally speaking the biggest cool thing for me as a creative was watching my website turn ten years old back in April. When 2015 began I was already fully understanding my new format and had found the best way to make two different voices speak as one. As I close this year I can say how almost 85% of the music product content is back online in the new format while a lot of concerts and galleries need to be worked on. There was nothing else on my mind that made this cool other than the anniversary and I guess my own personal milestone as entertaining this craft for 12 years.
Affiliations & Advertising: PiercingMetal.com continues to use the Amazon.com Affiliate program as its primary source of income based on its overall success. I view it as silent support while continuing your regular consumer activities. 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: 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 2015 closed up we found that service ranking PiercingMetal.com as the 820K most trafficked site on the global internet with a US base of around 250K. Our site visitor retention time was about 60 minutes per visitor and approximately 2 million pages were viewed by over 175 countries. This is not bad and should be better during the coming year since more of the missing content will be back in place and using the current tools to be broadcast. Outside of the USA, the top ten countries that visited PiercingMetal were China, Ukraine, France, Germany, Russian Federation, Canada, Great Britain, Spain, Romania and Israel. You can check out our most current standings via THIS LINK. 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.
Reflecting Upon the Music & Entertainment Losses of 2015:
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. 2015 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.:
Scott Weiland (lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots), Percy Sledge, Lemmy Kilmister (legendary founder of Motorhead), Cory Wells (Three Dog Night), Chris Squire (Yes), Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor (former drummer of Motorhead), B.B. King, Patrick McNee (John Steed of The Avengers). Christopher Lee, Yvonne Craig (TV’s “Batgirl”), Vic Firth, Justin Lowe (After The Burial guitarist), Wes Craven, A.J. Pero (Twisted Sister drummer), Leonard Nimoy (the great Mr. Spock). They shall all be missed and we thank them for making our lives more fun.
Special Thanks To: All of you. If you are reading the website and clicking like on the posts as you see them presented in WordPress and adding insightful comments to the posts or doing the same over on any of our Social Networks I thank you from the bottom of my Metal heart. Bonus thanks to those who copy and paste their comments from the social networks onto the website comment area since that broadens the scope of my work. If you’re suggesting our socials to your friends as something that needs to be followed or giving me a smile if you should see me at a show, know that you are making this all the more fun and easier to do. As 2016 approaches rapidly, I have to say that there are now a ton of other outlets out there and the same applies for photographers so if you are dedicating any of your time on our domain you are getting a big “thumbs up” from me.
And Onto 2016: The Plans: The plan is a simple one and that is to keep pressing forward and get as much in front of your screen as humanly possible. I’m also going to strive to get all of the legacy content into the new format and have set some monthly goals on how best to do it. Let’s see if I can keep to my own schedule. Wishing you all a very Happy New Year to you and your loved ones. Together we are going to keep 2016 a super heavy one. Thanks for reading this super long run down of mechanics. I promise to taper it down for the 2016 edition.