Ladies and gentlemen today I am saying goodbye to “PiercingMetal Musings”, a presence that has served our readers well as “The Official Blog” for PiercingMetal.com for just over seven years at the time of this writing. I see that you look a little sad at that announcement but let me tell you why you should only be smiling at that little bit of news.
I’m about a month into the redevelopment of my PiercingMetal.com site and since I am now using WordPress to deliver all of the content that you have come to this dotcom to enjoy, there was no longer a need for a side presence to the brand name that used this same software. When I first installed WordPress and created the “PiercingMetal Musings” Blog it was to expand my creative voice outside of the context of objective reviews. It worked very well but as we steadily approach the websites tenth year online it was time to make a change. Over the last few weeks I have been importing all of the posts that you’ve enjoyed for the past seven years and have appended their categories to fit nicely into the new framework. Some of the more visible changes come via my “When The Music Died” and “Movie and TV Mania” categories. The topics written for those particular categories remain online but the top levels have been renamed to “In Memoriam” and “On Screen” respectively. I dropped my “Heavy Metal Holy S**t” and “Around The Metal Republic” categories and put all those stories into my “Heavy Metal Happenings” grouping for the time being. Once I get a little further along I will examine that stuff a bit more and see which category works out best for the particular story. I’m going to create an Editorial category where I speak on any number of items and call that one “PiercingMetal Says” to keep it simple. In time there might be other categories added but I would rather keep this whole thing streamlined as much as possible. The sites popular Events Calendar is still there and using the same “Web Calendar” software that it has since 2005. In time perhaps that will be more integrated into WordPress but I need to see what is available to be used for this item. Continue reading Merging “PiercingMetal Musings” Into “The All-New PiercingMetal.com”→
Queue dramatic music…..Ladies and Gentlemen of The Metal Republic I am proud to announce that “PiercingMetal Musings” – The Official Blog Of PiercingMetal.com is Seven Years old today and I can hardly believe it.
A few weeks ago I posted a narrative that discussed the 2011 year in my blogging adventures and how we had used the various criteria that get written about in this particular part of PiercingMetal.com – After this went online I got to thinking. What were the most popular posts for the year in peoples minds and what were they reading more than some of the other stuff that we had offered them? With that in mind I checked the statistics for the blog and listed the Top 20 Posts that were accessed in 2011. You will notice that some of them are from previous years in addition to what was written in 2011 and I felt that it would be interesting to see the whole list as opposed to just focusing on items that were written in 2011. Clicking on the title will launch the post so please do give them a visit. Perhaps you missed it when it was first written yourself, or meant to leave a comment and didn’t. There is truly no time like the present.
I have to laugh when I realize just how much I love having a blog for PiercingMetal.com and that is because when I first toyed with the medium it was hardly on my plate of interests and really something that was being scoffed at by the more “traditional” music journalists and the various publicity representatives that someone like me has to deal with on a day to day basis. I kid you not because there was a time when I distinctly remember hearing “this ISN’T a blog is it???” when I would reach out to some press people for products or show tickets to do reviews for the site. Nowadays there are blogs everywhere and not only do the record companies have them, but so do the bands, the publicity firms and of course the writers and photographers who are aiming at doing the best work possible for the various topics that they focus on. Oh yeah, and everyone else outside of those folks seem to have one too. These days the once maligned medium is not only accepted but practically expected of a creative resource and since I really love doing it, I say fantastic to that news. Anyway, so while I realize that I have some thoughts about blogging in my Editorial for 2011 over on the main site, I wanted to use this narrative on the Musings to look deeper into how we were using it in 2011 and what we hope to accomplish going forward in 2012. In that, I decided to point out a few of the most commonly used categories and discuss my overall thoughts about them and what I loved or didn’t about some of the categories this past year. Read on my friends.
The Concert Reviews: This is my most populated blog category of them all and that’s because we do tend to see a lot of concerts. Very early on in the blog’s beginnings the Concert Reviews were merely signposts that had a brief introductory sentence and a band logo. When the readers clicked the logo they were teleported over to the main PiercingMetal.com site where they could now enjoy the full on report and images from the show. That started to change slightly in 2009 and 2010 but really took on some life of its own in 2011. Periodically I would find myself taking photos of the fans that I meet on the front barricade or shots of the available merchandise. There were even times when we ran into other Metal personality at a show and snapped an image of them with the other talent. These kinds of images were worth sharing but did not truly fall into the context of the live concert galleries so I began to post them in these signposts. From time to time we have even posted videos that were captured at the shows in these blog posts and while they also “live” on our YouTube.com channel for the site, they are best enjoyed right here in the blog. I love sharing this kind of stuff with the readers because it brings everyone into an often unseen side of the bands adventures. I also enjoy hearing the fans thoughts about these same shows in the comments section and here is the only place that PiercingMetal.com can have comments. Our existing design does not allow us to have them on individual review articles. Fans should watch for a lot more in this area in 2012. Continue reading PiercingMetal Musings: 2011 – The Year In Blogging→
If you have been reading these segments about how I have been journeying through the various Social Media networks over the years since I became a writer you might have a recollection of me stressing how at the end of the day that your own thing was in some sense a better idea. In my case, I was already running a website for the purposes of professional and objective review of music releases, video, and concert performances but not everyone needs their own full on website and might be better served at showcasing their interests via a very focused and constantly updated blog. After starting my own PiercingMetal domain I also decided to venture into a side blog which I felt would let me explore in a little more personal detail, all of the stuff I was learning and observing as a music media person. I started this by using one of the free options provided by Google which was called “Blogger” or sometimes referred to as “Blogspot”. I decided to call it “PiercingMetal Musings” and yes, you are right now in this same blog, but it has since been imported in full into a WordPress installation under my own domain. I will explain why we did that in a moment. Click the logo below to be taken to what a no frills version of a Blogger account looks like. I used my personal side blog as the link for good measure. It features some posts that I did but it was unmodified in terms of its overall design.
Another popular medium for Blogging is WordPress and I morphed over to this format a few years ago for both the PiercingMetal Musings and PiercingKen blogs. It was more important for me to do this with the websites blog because if you remember on an earlier post, I stressed how it was better to keep all traffic as your own as opposed to sending it away from your domain name. The tools offered by hosting service allowed me to install WordPress under my domain and I have been a happy camper ever since. To check out how a WordPress Blog looks and feels outside of the one you are already in, just click the logo below. That will take you to the updated version and slightly visually modified personal blog that used to also live on Blogger.
Don’t get me wrong here because Blogger is the best to some users while WordPress is the only option for others. This is purely a personal preference and quite honestly if you have some great ideas and images and want to showcase them, doing so in a blog is the very best bet. From here you make your own voice a louder one above the crowd and the chance to be viewed a little more professionally is done with a little more ease. The rise in popularity of Blogs has become so great that even if you have a very content loaded and popular website, you are almost expected to have a Blog as well somewhere for people to enjoy. I admit that I was initially hesitant about Blogs and felt that they should by no means be given preference over a historically archived website like many I supported as well as my own but in time I grew to appreciate the stand out ones based on how solidly they were set up. The goal of the PiercingMetal Musings Blog is more wide spread today than it was when I first pulled the trigger and started blogging. It began as a “side views” of life as a music journalist and eventually became a little bit of everything in terms of how we entertain you over on the main site. At this point in time I am embracing the medium for my own writing and while it adds considerably to the workload, there are times when it can be a lot more fun to do than the focused and objective viewpoints that I offer up as music reviewer on the core site. Setting up a blog is also FREE and we all love that. You just need to create an account on one of the providers mentioned and you are good to go in the beginning of setting up your own blog. Historically viewing the PiercingMetal Musings blog, this was originally a free Blogger one, but now is what is referred to as a “self-hosted blog” which is in WordPress. I neglected to mention that before and I apologize. The reason for self-hosting was to capture all of ones traffic numbers but this need is not applicable to everyone. At the end of the day, it does not hurt to give it a whirl as its much better than putting your hard work all up on the social networking sites and risk losing control over it.
As the readers are already in our sites blog, we ask that they subscribe to our RSS and if they want to see the side blog which is more personal photography and touristy NYC life, then they can click the WordPress logo above to be taken to my PiercingKen.com site. For those who want to learn a little more about blogging on the whole, just click the Wikipedia entry right HERE.
PS: For those who think this might be something to do as well they need to realize and understand that its a very different geography from when I started my own (especially when its music related). One needs to constantly offer up content to remain viewed as “relevant” and doing three or four product discussions will not get you backstage to the Rush or Iron Maiden concert. You need to keep at it and not give up easily. A recent Technorati study cited that there were over 50 million blogs online today and that means that practically every topic has scores of people writing about it. This is especially true in the realm of music review and commentary. It’s how loud you make your voice that gets you noticed, well, that and a quality bit of copy.
One final thought on the blogging. It’s very important to leave comments on blog posts if you have the means to do so and can bring something of interest to the readers of the post. Don’t soapbox or lambaste the writer without a valid point of view as that will only get you reported or banned. It’s also useful to leave said comments with your own domain listed where you post your name. That can act as a traffic sign to your own work and potentially move you into a larger reader base.