Archive: Site Updates
I would like to introduce you all to and welcome Dark Icon, the latest addition to the metalunderground.com staff. He'll be helping out however possible - posting some news, populating the bands database and reviews once that section is live. I'll leave the actual introduction to Dark Icon:
Hail, fellow metalheads. As Deathbringer has said, my name is Dark Icon and I'll be helping out the site as things progress on our way to becoming the number one metal site on the web.
Now for those prying minds out there, I'll blab about a few things. I hail from upstate New York, but I'm currently in NC getting that higher education out of the way. My musical tastes run to the death and black metal side of things, but I do listen to other types of metal in order to keep myself as knowledgeable about the scene as I can. Well that's short and sweet, and tells you some things but let's me stay enough of an enigma to be perplexing.... heh heh heh... Rock on!
Since the purchase of Launch.com by Yahoo, I've had to migrate my Launchcast station to my Yahoo account (dgibson666). It appears as though this change may have broken the link to my Launchcast station on the left, and the image has definitely been broken for a week or so. I'll try to clean all of this up on Monday.
I have noticed that a lot of features on Launchcast have been removed while they make their system more robust and able to handle the growing number of users. I'm sure this will benefit the nine that have listened to my station! But overall, I do like the changes to the program that I've seen, and I didn't use a lot of the advanced features that were removed temporarily.
The web server has been sucking the moose cock lately (see recent VOD quote for reference) and server downtime has been increasing as of late, and I apologize for that. Hopefully these issues will be worked out soon, as we're supposed to be upgrading to Cold Fusion 5. Please bear with us until this is worked out or we get new hosting.
I've been toying with a top navigation scheme rather than having the navigation on the left, and I think I like it better. The stuff on the left gets lost being so far down the page. So be prepared for the leftnav to disappear soon and get used to the top menu.
I hope you all like the new background image as well. I'm looking for more photos of other metal bands to make similar backgrounds so I can display them randomly on each page. For now, all I have is this first "test" of Slayer (credit to Slayer.net for the original images). Slayer kicks ass!
First I want to apologize for the sparse updates this Thanksgiving weekend. My wife and I were busy being hosts and between meeting friends, shopping for computer deals, and my car breaking down, I haven't had a lot of computer time. I suspect the same is true for Nightstalker, as I haven't heard from him since Wednesday.
As such, I just wanted to post a call for help here, as the box on the right doesn't seem to get much notice. Not that we're looking for someone to cover all the weekends and holidays for us, but we are looking for someone to fill in the gaps in news and in taste here at metalunderground.com. If you have a little free time on your hands, are big into all kinds of metal, know a little HTML, and want to be part of something BIG and getting bigger every day, click here for details.
The metal section (soon to be just "bands") has been in progress for the last week or so. Most of the major bugs have been ironed out and only some formatting and lots of data entry remains. If it isn't obvious, this will be a key area that links to band info, members, discographies, live reviews, album reviews, and file links, which could be from tabs to mp3s to pictures and wallpapers. Reviews will eventually consist of both staff and user reviews.
I've also continued to upgrade small things around here, such as adding embedded fonts that work in IE (4 and up or 5 and up - I dunno) and improved the default fonts for other systems that do not have the fonts used and don't support Microsoft's font embedding.
I've just about polished off all of the functionality I intend for the links section. You can now display links alphabetically by the first letter of the site name or grouped by category. I've also implemented column sorting, which will be useful to sort the site by name, rating, date added, etc.
I've also gone through the site and my style sheets and improved them for compatibilty. The site looks much better now with the default fonts. If you want to see how it should REALLY look, download the fonts and install them (unzip to your /windows/fonts or WinNT/fonts directory or where ever fonts go in your system). In the process, I've also introduced a small bug in IE6 (the right side table borders are cut off), which I will explore on Monday...
If you ever find any compatibility probelms with metalunderground.com and your browser, feel free to drop me a line about them. I'm a professional web developer and I've tested the site in Netscape 2,3,4 and 6, IE4,5,5.5 and 6, Opera, WebTV and even others. It should work in all of them, although it may not be pretty in all of them.
It was August 21 when we reached the milestone of 10,000 hits. It took about 6 months to reach that goal and now we've gone and doubled it in just over a month! Thanks to everyone who has visited and visits regularly, and for those who contribute by spreading the word and sending in news.
As always, I'm working on the new features as fast as I can, so stay tuned for more content and interactivity in the future!
It's been probably close to six months since the RIAA filed suit against Launch.com for their Launchcast service because it gave the user too much control in what music is served by allowing them to rate artists/albums/songs to affect their frequency of play. When the site went down, I removed the link and wrote them off. Well, just this week I went to check them out again and noticed they are back up and running, and metalunderground radio is still there!
So now, I present you with the new radio link (on the right) to listen to the station I've set up through Launch.com. The service and software are still not 100% rock-solid, but if you've got a decent connection to the net and it works fine for you, then I'm glad someone is enjoying it! It's free, afterall, and has only cost me some time to set it up. I try to keep the best metal on here and weed out the 80s hair metal and newer pop-metal - you may hear some of that but only very infrequently. They don't give you 100% control, afterall.
In the span of a week, I got some feedback that metalunderground.com was too dark and sometimes hard to read. I even witnessed it on a computer or two, although the case was usually that the person had their brightness turned so far down that they could not see any dark shades anywhere. So I've taken some steps to lighten up the text a little to make it easier to read for more people. Let me know if it has helped or if it is still really dark and/or hard to read (but turn up your brightness first!). Now I just need to lighten up the logo to match a little better...
All of the links section should be back in order now. I've trimmed down the number of categories to make things more intuitive to find. Next up for that section is a good search feature, and paging of lists if they are too long to display all results. And eventually, a "site of the week" feature.
On these slow weekends, when I have time aside from family, etc, I am reorganizing the links sections by cutting down on the number of total categoies and recategorizing many of the links. So if things seem a little out of place in some instances for the next week or so, you know why... Please bear with these changes, as I think it will make it easier to find what you're looking for.
Additional sorting options and a summary of the newest additions and coolest links will also be available in the near future.
I've added a good bit to the site since last week, but not a lot that everyone will see immediately. I've taken more steps to break everything up into pieces for easy updating and fix up the administrative area a little more. I've also been working on the database design, which means that the membership section is that much closer (as well as other functionality). As always, stay tuned - there'll be plenty of news each day to hold you over.
If you notice something different around here, it's that I've deployed the new site design. It's very similar to the previous design, but makes better use of space and is more expandable for future functionality. The rollout went without a hitch for the most part, except that NightStalker couldn't login for a little while!
There are more "coming soon" sections that I'd like on the site and I've made it a personal goal to get them all working as quickly as possible and will add at least one piece of functionality a week.
As always, if you have any comments or bugs to report, feel free to email me!
The minor site redesign is coming along well and should be rolled out very soon. "Real life" prevented me from having time to test it out properly last week and posting it live.
You can now navigated forward and backward through the news on metalunderground.com using the links at the bottom of the news pages. Next week I'll be rolling out a new layout that will help the site move forward with new functionality by handling the additional information more easily. Stay tuned and thanks for visiting metalunderground.com!
Well, I finally got rid of that "beta" on the logo. it's obvious that we are not uploading new pictures of the week, however. I am working on a redesign that will allow for more information on each page and is more scalable to future functionality. The look and feel will remain about the same though.
Well, I think the top banners are working out fine and no more popups are appearing. But now I've had to remove the Link Exchange banners from the bottom of the page template because Link Exchange appears to have been down for over a week and their banners were not loading, causing the page to take longer to finish loading.
If anyone knows of a really good metal/music banner exchange, drop me a line with a link to more information about it!
Yesterday I put up some new advertising, and shortly afterward I got some reports of pop-up ads. There should NOT be any pop-ups, pop-unders or any annoying crap like that. If you are still getting pop-ups or just find a particular ad annoying, let us know. A couple annoying, stupid ads are certainly not worth losing readers over! I'll do my best to keep the annoying ones off of this site (ads, not readers ;-).
Just a quick site update: The links section is nearing completion and we're adding more links every day. You can look forward to more filtering and sorting options as well as a means to submit links for approval in the links database.
I've also tracked down and killed a nasty CSS bug that was making the page look like utter crap in Internet Explorer 5.0 for the PC. I am ashamed that anyone ever saw it in that state! If you ever find bugs, feel free to report them!