Archive: Site Updates
Since I'm planning to redesign metalunderground.com (for May 1 CSS Reboot), I wanted to get our readers' opinions on some things that have been commented on in the past. Primarily, I'd like to know:
- Do you like the overall site layout?
- Do you start on the home page or the news page?
- Do you find the text difficult to read because it's too dark or too small?
- Do you read metalunderground.com on a mobile/small screen device, and if so what is your experience like?
- Do you experience any web browser-related problems. If so, what web browser are you using?
The plan with the redesign is to keep the current design mostly the same, but change what goes on behind the scenes so that multiple site themes or designs can be made, which our readers can choose. However, I am open to improving the current design as the "default" option.
Please hold off on suggestions for new site features, as that is beyond the scope of this discussion. Thanks in advance for your input and for visiting.
We hope you enjoyed our April Fools gags yesterday, as we devoted the entire day to them. We sure did. They weren't as many as last year's, but we managed to get some good ones out nonetheless. If you happened to fall for any of them, then we apologize. If you weren't tricked, then hopefully you were still entertained. If you missed the stories, you can still read them all here. (Note the date on each story, however, to determine which ones are April Fools stories.)
We now return to our regularly scheduled programming of Real MetalTM news. Thanks for reading.
I want to briefly address the advertising on this site. As you may have guessed, this site is supported by advertising - that's what covers the cost of running the site (our time is still "donated," however). However, it has never been my desire to run annoying or intrusive ads. Lately some ads for "smileys" have been showing that play sounds when your mouse passes over them. I make a conscious effort to "opt out" of such annoying ads and am in the process of tracking this one down and removing it from metalunderground.com. I apologize for the annoyance factor and hope that you'll please bear with us.
I want to assure you all that I'm taking steps to improve the overall relevance of the ads by offering some direct advertising and using less intrusive formats as well. Furthermore, in the near future I plan to eliminate all intrusive ads to members who are logged in. Our dedicated readers and members should not have to put up with popups, interstitials (between-page), audio or layered ads and I plan to make this so. Many of the changes coming up in 2006 will be member-centric actually, as you all - as well as all the great metal bands - are what make this site worth running (despite some of the flaming comments at times).
Finally, if you are a metal label, band, promotion company, etc. interested in advertising on metalunderground.com, please contact me here. Thanks for supporting metalunderground.com! \m/
Metalunderground.com's readership has been growing at a decent rate and we're outgrowing our current set up. I've noticed the responsiveness of the site to be less than ideal a few times lately and want you to know that I am in the process of researching and evaluating various options for the site in the near future. Please bear with us in the meantime if the site seems a little slow now and then. (It's certainly not a problem all the time - just at peak usage times).
I'd be glad to hear your feedback on the matter as well, so feel free to leave a comment and let me know how the site speed is for you or if you've noticed any slow downs. \m/
If you haven't noticed, we've introduced two new features here at metalunderground.com, which are being pilotted to become weekly columns. First, we introduced "This Week In Metal," a roundup of what's happening on the metal charts in album sales (based on CMJ's top 10) and singles' radio play (based on MuchMusic's satellite radio airplay chart) brought to you with commentary by Negatyve_One. Next, I introduced "Now Playing," a weekly column that will written by a different staff member every week to highlight what they're listening to and what they like. Both are intended as conversation pieces and a means to introduce our readers to a number of metal bands that are either doing well or recommended by us.
These columns will be listed on the news page as well as featured on the home page just under the main headlines to the right.
I finally got round to introducing myself, my name's Sean , I'm 21 and I am a university student based in Johannseburg , South Africa. After listening to metal for many years I am glad to actually be part of a team that brings the news to all the fans out there. Being based in Africa I know exactly how hard it can be to get decent metal news , so it will be my job to not only shed some light on international news but that of the developing South African metal scene as well.
My metal taste is pretty broad and includes such bands as Black Sabbath , Judas Priest , Megadeth , Sepultura , Soulfly , Fear Factory , Arch Enemy , Dark Tranquility and yes In Flames to name but a few. That's the short list , after all this is only an introduction.
With the formalities now out the way I hope to get stuck into some writing, enjoy your stay here at metalunderground.com .
Hi, my name's Rich and I'm a 19 year-old Englishman. My permanent home has been in Belgium for the last 8 years, but I'm about to start my second year of a Computer Science degree at university in the UK. My time spent between the two countries has proven to be very useful for catching many great concerts and festivals. I listen to a wide variety of metal and have always been a big fan of the whole Bay Area thrash scene. Some of my favourite bands include Metallica, Testament, Megadeth, Kreator, Exodus and so on.
My main aim here is to give more direct coverage of the metal world in Europe and to hopefully make people more aware of some of the great bands and festivals we have to offer. I'm also very interested in finding and hearing new bands - I know there are many out there that don't get half the recognition they deserve and I think this site would be a great place to help some of those groups be heard.
\m/ I am Negatyve One. (As per the Mudvayne Song) My name is Mark and I'm 21 years old from the middle of the United States. I'm a long-time visitor of this site (formerly Devildrivor) and I share a love for metal music. My favorite bands include classic Alice In Chains, Nothingface, Pantera, as well as alot of the new scene, Lamb of God, Shadows Fall, Dry Kill Logic, Bloodsimple, Devildriver, and of course Mudvayne to name a few. I also get into the bigger picture of metal scenes with bands like Heaven Shall Burn, Opeth, Dimension Zero, Meshuggah, and the likes.
Outside of metal, I work on a government contract at the local army base (Fort Sill) and I play poker semi-professionally. I've been married for nearly 2 years now and I have a little boy of 15 months named Zane.
My goals here being on the team now are to help others know more about the bands, and help people find new music that fits into what they like. Lets face it, there aren't a lot of metal sources out right now, sometimes a band's only way to your cd case is by word of mouth. Spreading the metal is what will keep it alive. \m/
Metalunderground.com is once again looking to add a few volunteers to help with news and other content (band bios, interviews, reviews). We are also looking to expand our international coverage and appeal, so anyone outside the United States – especially from the UK, Europe and Australia – is especially welcome. If you’re into any of the non-mainstream metal genres, the Swedish Metal scene, Hardcore, or Industrial, we’re especially interested. Local underground scenes and European festival-goers are a big plus!
Applicants must be 18 or older. A good grasp of the English language and basic computer literacy is required. You must be passionate about metal and/or related subgenres and have a few hours a week (preferably a little time 3-5 days a week) to dedicate to the site. And finally, you must have or sign up for an instant message account (Yahoo, ICQ, AIM are all fine).
There is no pay, but potentially a few perks/freebies once in a while.
If this sounds interesting and you would like to become part of a rapidly growing metal site and community, drop me an email at email@example.com or instant message me (AIM dgibson666, ICQ 354916).
Metalunderground.com has teamed up with Total Assault (sponsors of Sounds of the Underground Tour) to do a pair of giveaways. Read on for more information:
Static-X return on June 14th with Start A War, which reunites the band with their original guitar player Koichi Fukuda, and is by Wayne Static's own admission their attempt to recreate the magic that was felt on their fan favorite debut album, Wisconsin Death Trip. Joining them on the road will be 10 Years, out of Knoxville, TN, who will release their Republic/Universal debut, The Autumn Effect, this August.
To celebrate this tour, enter to win one of forty (40) signed Static-X lithograph and a 10 Years shirt. 10 Years will be joining Static-X on the road starting June 21st in Salt Lake City, with the tour winding on until August.
This giveaway ends July 7th, so enter now.
The second giveaway is from A Static Lullaby. A Static Lullaby recently released their sophomore effort, Faso Latido, and wrapped up a run on the Taste Of Chaos tour with The Used and My Chemical Romance. To celebrate the band’s release, you can enter to win a Sony Network Walkman Digital Music Player along with copies of the new album Faso Latido.
One (1) Grand Prize Winner Will Receive:
A Sony Network Walkman™ Digital Music Player
A copy of the new A Static Lullaby album Faso Latido
Ten (10) Runner-Ups Will Receive:
A copy of the new A Static Lullaby album Faso Latido
This giveaway is exclusive to Metalunderground.com (whereas the Static-X / 10 Years is open to other sites' registrants as well), so your chances of winning are very good!
This giveaway ends July 12th, so enter now.
While the site should not be offline for any period of time, It seems we are still having some intermitent issues that may affect the site speed and download times of pages intermittently. The temporary fix that was made apparently is not 100%, and it may be a few days before our new hardware comes in to completely solve the issue, which amounts to a loose connection.
So please bear with us if you notice any performance issues and if you get a "page not found" error, please try reloading the page. Sometimes a page request will timeout and sometimes it will come through really fast.
Thanks for your patience and for visiting.
We had some technical difficulties today that put us offline from around 2pm until 9pm. We should be back up and running now, although we'll need to replace some hardware somewhere down the line. Thanks for your patience in this matter. Now, back to our regularly scheduled metal news programming.
We hope you enjoyed our April Fools gags yesterday, as we devoted the entire day to them. We sure did. They weren't as extreme as last year's stories, but we think we tricked some people just the same! If you happened to fall for any of them, then we apologize. If you weren't tricked, then hopefully you were still entertained. If you missed the stories, you can still read them all here. (Note the date on each story, however, to determine which ones are April Fools stories.)
We now return to our regularly scheduled programming of Real MetalTM news. Thanks for reading.
It's been four years since Metal Underground.com went live and began delivering heavy metal news to anyone who stumbled across the site (click here for the very first posts). Developed in the final days of my single life, I launched the site in test mode before departing for my wedding - perhaps as a way to commit myself to moving forward with the site upon my return; I don't remember because married years seem twice as long as single years ;-).
Building a site and community is quite an effort - from actual coding and database design to search engine placement to getting your URL out there and links back to the site, and finally getting readers to come back often by keeping the content up to date. While delivering non-stop metal news the entire time, I've been slowly but steadily making improvements to the metalunderground.com.
Metal Underground.com would not be where it is today without its dedicated staff of contributors. I've seen staff members come and go, but in the past year or so, we've really had a stable core of dedicated contributors serving up loads of good metal news, interviews and show reports on a daily basis. In that time, due to the diligence of these people, Metal Underground.com's audience and sense of community has grown tremendously. I want to publicly thank all of those contributors (past and present) and all of the metalunderground.com readers out there who have made this a fun and worthwhile "hobby" for all of us who enjoy working on it and reading it.
As the metal scene regains its strength in the passing of nu-metal, we're even more enthusiastic about bringing metal news and reports in the years to come. Keep visiting for your daily does of metal news and stay tuned for some more new features that are on the way.
KEEP METAL ALIVE! \m/
I've posted a new contact form that can be used for contacting us for comments and suggestions or for sending news tips. Due to enormous amounts of spam, we've been forced to shut down several email addresses that we previously used such as firstname.lastname@example.org and my direct email email@example.com. If you've sent news tips within the past month or two, I apologize if they were not posted, as I stopped checking the news account regularly, but was only just now able to get this contact form posted with some free time I've had over the holidays.
Thanks for your understanding and the many news tips to come.
I'm aware that with the official release of Mozilla.org's Firefox browser, there are some bugs with the display of metalunderground.com. I will be looking into fixing these in the near future. These bugs should only be graphical in nature and not affect the functionality of the site. Thanks for your patience.
You might notice now that it is required to be logged in to post as a registered user's name. I've tried to make this as painless as possible by providing the means to do so on the comment form itself if you need to login. So if you'd like to prevent people from impersonating you, register now.
Also, I'm fiddling with some different styles on the comments. Let me know what you think about them and the site design in general. I have some changes in mind, but other priorities first.
In the wake of the Metallica 'So What' giveaway, I'm giving out gmail invitations. (Gmail is Google's web-mail similar to Yahoo's or Hotmail, which offers 1GB of storage space; accounts are available via invitation only while Google beta tests the interface and scalability issues.) The first 6 people to post their email addresses here - in the form of name AT domain.tld (to prevent email harvesters from reading it) - will be sent gmail inviations.
UPDATE: The winners have been chosen and notified. This giveaway is now over.
Random House has been kind enough to provide Metal Underground.com 3 copies of the recently released book "SO WHAT: The Good, the Mad, and the Ugly", the official illustrated Metallica chronicle, by Steffan Chirazi and Metallica. It's hard-cover, full-color, and contains tons of photos, images of hand-written notes, and is the first and only fully authorized Metallica book.
Here's straight from the press release:
Edited by Steffan Chirazi, full-time chronicler of the band and editor of So What! magazine, a quarterly that is mailed to the 22,000 members of the Metallica fan club, SO WHAT! illustrates Metallica's journey from the inside-including its milestones, memories and darkest days. A collection of both new and archival materials, SO WHAT! lavishly chronicles all aspects of Metallica's rise to fame from its small but fierce cult following in L.A. through the late 80s and early 90s when the band attained massive success, becoming the best-selling rock act of the 1990s, to the present day where they can be found on the "Madly in Anger" tour- So What! magazine has been there for for all of the highs and lows, and everything in between.
SO WHAT! includes original interviews, handwritten notes from the band, intimate journal entries, and more than 1000 exclusive photos. With the intimate involvement of current band members, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, guitarist Kirk Hammett, and bassist Robert Trujillo and compiled with the hard and humorous attitude that has earned Metallica their place in the rock-god stratosphere, SO WHAT! provides an all-access pass to the backstage including:
- Transcripts of exclusive interviews, including the first-ever Metallica round-table discussion, an in-depth perspective of the band from Lars' father, Torben Ulrich, and an exclusive Spring 2004 band interview;
- Intimate access to the band by way of notes scribbled throughout the book, lists of favorites, snapshots, and personal contributions;
- Journal entries and one-on-one interviews with each of the band members where they wax eloquent about life, each other, the music and everything in between;
- Honest discussion about more difficult times such as the search for a new bassist, James Hetfield's rehabilitation, and their extended hiatus from 1999-2002;
- Thousands childhood photos, the band's early days, tours, vacations, and the recording studio.
The one and only authorized Metallica chronicle, SO WHAT! is an intimate look at the musical, physical, and emotional life of Metallica as a band and as individuals. As James Hetfield says in his personal Introduction to the book, "We want something that goes beyond just information. A deep and honest look into us as humans and the fun and pain we go through. This book (in our best attempt) shows our warts and all inside and out. Reminding ourselves that we are 'works in progress.'"
All you have to do to enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of these 3 copies, is to sign up as a member of metalunderground.com. You must provide a real email address, as notification of the winners will be done via email on September 15. Failure to respond within a week will result in a new winner being drawn.
A member signup form has been on my to-do list for while, but with recent impersonations, etc going on in the comments and a giveaway looming, I decided to bump it up to a priority. There will not be any other immediate benfits of having a membership on metalunderground.com, but there are plans for a full-blown forum and personalization options in the future. Keep an eye on the site for the official announcement...soon.