Archive: Site Updates
We've had quite a few offers for running contests and giveaways lately, so I decided to create a dedicated page for them. There's no room for a link the main navigation, but you can find the latest contests on the home page sidebar and they will be featured on various other places throughout the site to promote our latest ongoing contests and giveaways.
So check them out and don't forget that the KISS ticket giveaway ends tonight (Sunday, November 15)!
Labels, PR companies, and bands, feel free to contact us if you'd like to run a contest or giveaway on Metalunderground.com.
We're on Twitter now at twitter.com/metalundergroun (yes, that 15 character limit does suck!). We've plugged our news and reviews feeds in there, so if you are just on Twitter a lot, prefer it over RSS, or use it on your mobile phone, you can now subscribe to our updates by following us on Twitter. We'll be making additional updates and posting Twitter-specific contests there in future in addition to the regular news and reviews.
We've also placed "retweet" buttons after our news articles. Twitter users, please share articles you like and help get the word out there about Metalunderground.com, your metal news site of choice.
Starting immediately, you can now get Metalunderground.com updates on your smart phone via Viigo. With the recent feedback I've gotten from a number of users saying that our dialy digest emails are too big for their Blackberries to handle, the launch of the Viigo Rock! channel could not have come at a better time.
The official press release follows: More...
I've had a number of reports from Metalunderground.com readers that they cannot access the site today. Metalunderground.com has been up all day, but unfortunately our registrar's DNS server apparently changed IP addresses, which means that many people who do not already have our DNS cached cannot access the site for an unknown period while these name server changes propagate around the 'Net. This can take anywhere from an hour or two to 48 or even 72 hours. Apologies to those of you who were affected and could not access the site, but the issue is out of our control at this time. Thanks for your patience, as always.
UPDATE: The subscription price appears to have been dropped to $0.99 per month now!
Metalunderground.com has now been added to Amazon.com's Kindle blog library. You can now get Metalunderground.com updates (full articles) sent automatically to your Kindle for just
$1.99 a month (we had no say in the pricing). A 14-day free trial is also available to check it out.
For those who don't know what a Kindle is, it's Amazon's proprietary e-book reader and more, basically. They come in 6 inch and 9.7 inch display sizes. Some people love them and swear by them, so I'm glad we can make Metalunderground.com available on this platform as well.
Whether you own one or not, it would be a great help if our loyal readers would stop by the promotional page and rate our content and write a short review.
It recently came to my attention that the newly released Internet Explorer 8 was causing some display issues on Metalunderground.com - most notably, the sidebar was dropped down to the end of the main content. This was easily fixed by running in "compatability mode," but has since been corrected on our end.
Continuing to run Metalunderground.com in compatibility mode may actually cause the old behavior to be displayed now.
As always, if you experience any issues with Metalunderground.com in your browser of choice, please feel free to contact us and let us know. Thanks for your patience while we worked this issue out.
We were experiencing some DNS issues that resulted in some users being unable to connect to or resolve Metalunderground.com properly. The issues were intermittent throughout most of yesterday and into the morning here, but seem to have been fixed now. We apologize for the issues and possible interruption to your favorite metal news provider. :-)
Rest assured, it was nothing on our end and there was no impact on the site itself other than being unreachable to some people intermittently yesterday.
Metal Hammer has announced the winners in their Web of Death awards, and Metalunderground.com was crowned the winner of "Best Multimedia Metal Portal," noting our photo gallery in particular.
Once again, special thanks go to our photographers and the rest of the staff who have made Metalunderground.com what it is today, as well as all the readers who visited Metal Hammer to put in the good word for us!
You can read about all the winners here.
We hope you enjoyed our April fools stories yesterday! We had fun writing them despite the fact that we can't really fool most of you in our seventh year doing fake stories on April fools day. Special thanks go to those of you who tried to play along early in the morning rather than blurt out “April Fools!” In case you missed them, you can read yesterday's stories here.
You can also check out our previous years' spoofs at the following pages:
As always, no offense is meant to either the people or bands discussed in the April Fools stories or to those whom we've attributed fake quotes. As is often the case in life, the bands we like most are the ones that get "picked on" in these stories. Or in the case or Lars and Axl, they are just easy targets to pick on, but no offense intended anyway. :-)
In recent years, I've decided that March marks our anniversary since that's when we posted our first news story - let's call it a "soft launch" - even though the official launch was in April, 2001. Unlike the prior year when we had a lot of technical updates to the site, the biggest improvements to Metalunderground.com in this past year have been the additions to our staff. We've grown by a large number of writers and are better covering the full range of metal genres in news, reviews, and interviews, with the quality improving in every area as well. For the first time ever, our reviews section is running at full throttle, with at least one new review posted each day (so check out our new reviews if you haven't been paying attention).
It's hard to believe that it's been eight years since I first launched Metalunderground.com, originally as a one-man show. The sheer size of the site, staff, and our readership has surpassed what I ever imagined. Yet, at the same time there's so much more I planned to have done on the site. It's a tough task balancing family and demanding job with a hobby this size, contributing to the site every day and still finding time to code additional features. I have to thank all of our contributors, past and present, for helping keep Metalunderground.com up to date, writing interesting articles, and helping to get where we're at now. My hope is that with the exceptional staff we have now that we continue to grow and get more recognition, and that I will be able to add more new features this year as well.
Since the site's inception, we've posted over 43,000 news articles and covered more than 7,000 bands that are in our database. We currently serve well over 600,000 page views per month to over 250,000 visitors.
I want to thank all of our contributors for making Metalunderground.com one of the top metal sites around. I also want to thank all of our readers, and especially those who have made Metalunderground.com their metal destination of choice, for making it one of the best communities to participate in. Even as the owner, I enjoy reading the contributions of our staff and discussing metal news with our readers on a daily basis.
Here's to many more years of Metalunderground.com! I promise we have some more surprises in store in the near future.
Metal Hammer has recognized Metalunderground.com by nominating us for "Best Multimedia Metal Portal," noting our photo gallery in particular. Personally, I think we compete with the best in their news and reviews category as well, but I could be biased. :-) Perhaps that's the intent with the use of the term "portal," as we do our best to cover it all here: metal news, interviews, reviews, bands database, photo gallery and more. Please head over to their site and leave your comments in support of Metalunderground.com and tell them what you think about the site overall! Thanks to Metal Hammer for the recognition, the Metalunderground.com staff for all their hard work, and to our readers for their support!
Winners will be announced April 6, 2009.
I was recently approached by a company to review the DYMO® DiscPainter™ CD/DVD printer, and since it's really not something we would normally review, I thought I'd rather make a contest out of it and give it away to one lucky winner. More...
Just an update on the email issues we've had here at Metalunderground.com. The web forms' generated emails may be delayed in delivery, but email in general is working normally, as we've moved our email host to an external provider.
If you had sent an email since the holidays that you do not think we received, please feel free to re-send it now. Thanks for your patience in this matter.
We've had intermittent email issues for a few months, here at Metalunderground.com. Over the holidays I thought possibly email traffic was just THAT low, but it turns out our email server is dying and we're simply not getting most of our email in the first place (we normally get a LOT of email).
We'll be working on resolving this situation in the next few days to a week and I'll post an update when it is resolved and when it's safe to re-send any emails of interest that you may have sent since the holidays. Thanks for your patience in this matter.
Following up on our previous interview with Bendon Small (Dethklok co-creator, live vocalist and guitarist), we're giving you, Metalunderground.com readers the chance to ask Brendon your own questions. While we tried to stay out of Dethklok geekdom a little bit with the previous interview, you are free to leave no stone unturned in this one.
Simply post your question in the comments below and we'll pick the best/most interesting ones to go forward to him at the end of next week (August 31).
(Please leave only questions in the comments on this article. All commentary or side conversations will be deleted.)
For everyone who tried to sign up or register an account with Metalunderground.com in the past week, you probably got errors or a message that the username was already taken. The error was a side effect of changes made in code cleanup after the hacking attacks. Rest assured that your registration(s) DID go through despite the error message.
The issue has now been fixed. I offer my sincerest apologies for the inconvenience.
(Thanks to Rose for alerting me to this issue)
A software exploit has resulted in serious issues for Metalunderground.com late last week. The culprit was very difficult to track down, but we think we have it isolated and are now back up and running in full force with only minor data loss (a day or two of news and comments, etc). In the meantime, some links and site functions may not work, as we are rolling out sections of the site at a time.
While I'm really disappointed at the extended down time and how hard it was to troubleshoot this issue, I'm glad the data loss was minimal. It's always a learning experience and I hope to be better prepared for it next time.
Due to the nature of the attacks, I would highly recommend everyone updating their passwords on Metalunderground.com, as that info may have been compromised.
Also, if you happened to send us any emails from Thursday night through the weekend, please resend them.
Thanks for your patience. Tell your friends and fellow metalheads that Metalunderground.com is back!
Metalunderground.com now supports avatars for registered/logged in members of the site. The implementation is achieved using a third party service called Gravatar.com, which stands for Globally Recognized Avatar. So in order to have your avatar appear on metalunderground.com, you need to do these things:
- Create a free account on Metalunderground.com if you don't have one already.
- Create an account on Gravatar.com using the same email address shown in your Metalunderground.com account.
- Upload your desired avatar on Gravatar.com and assign the image to the email address used on your Metalunderground.com profile.
- To avoid any inconsistencies, it is recommended to type you email address in both Metalunderground.com and Gravatar in all lowercase.
- Your email address is still never exposed within the HTML of Metalunderground.com or Gravatar. It is matched by comparing an MD5 hash of your email address, which is an irreversible encryption that generates a fixed-length string.
- It may take some time for your avatar to show up on Metalunderground.com due to caching issues, so please be patient. If your avatar is showing up in your profile page, but not on comments after a day or two, please leave a comment about it here.
- Pornographic avatars are strictly forbidden. They should not be allowed by the system, but if you do happen to get one to show up here, it is grounds fro instant revokation of your account and banning.
Avatars are a great way for our members to express themselves and to identify each other, so add yours today!
Like many things here, when I launched the member sign up, it was a quick and dirty job to allow for users to 1) reserve their username and 2) register for a couple of giveaways I had lined up.
Finally, I've completed some of the essential functions that go with a membership site, such as the ability to view and edit user profiles, as well as a "forgot password" and "forgot username" functions.
I have heard the comments about users too lazy to login to comment in the past. I would highly encourage all users with existing accounts to login and update their information. I have some things in store that will make your member accounts more valuable - as was always the intent - and those who have been around here for a very long time may even get some added bonuses. At some point I will also have to "clean up" (i.e. delete) unused accounts, so please go log in to your account today.
One very minor but important addition to profiles is the ability to mark them private. So as to not expose anyone's personal information without their knowledge or consent, all existing profiles have been set to private by default. You can uncheck this box when you edit your profile information. Profiles set to private will not show any personal information, but may show some sorts of site interaction, yet to be determined (such as favorite bands or rated albums, if any).
Currently, registered members get the following benefits when logged in: More...
I wouldn't bill this as a "new design" per se, but I've been cleaning up a lot of old code (remember, this site is over seven years old, and a lot of the code running it shows its age, unfortunately) in the past few weeks and am currently pushing these changes to the live site. Please pardon any issues you experience in the next couple of days. I should have them ironed out fairly quickly, as a lot of the issues I am already seeing just do not show up on my staged testing server.
The good news is that these updates should make adding some new features easier, as the old code base was really hindering progress in some ways. I'll have more frequent site updates over the next couple of weeks as things progress.
Thanks again for your patience while we clean up around here.