Archive: Site Updates
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!
On a personal note, I'd like to say that moving sucks! Moving and work have taken up all my time and I just haven't had time to update the news or work on Metalunderground.com for the past week. To top it off, the mail-reader I wrote stopped working due to a server issue, making it even more of a hassle to get the news.
But enough excuses! By next week I should be back with fairly regular updates and with help! Shawn, webmaster of Pantera Land, has volunteered to help out on Metalunderground.com. I'll have him give a quick introduction shortly...
Well to start things off, like Doug said, I have been the webmaster of PanteraLand for four years. I am currently shutting down the site. After four years I realized there is only so much I can do with one band. Therefore here I am! Let's make this the Ultimate Metal Community. See ya around the site. Oh ya, if you have any Questions, Comments, or Suggestions send your E-Mail to NightStalker@panteraland.com
The news is rolling in faster than my pre-moving schedule can accomodate, but it's all going up even if it's a day or two late. That's still better than a lot of other sites where I see week or two old news posted! I'll be back on track shortly.
I'm moving (not the site), so updates will be a little more intermittent for a couple of weeks, as much of my time is taken up with packing, and general moving stuff (cancelling utilities and opening new accounts, etc.) in addition to the usualy amount of work and real life biz. Moving sucks, but it'll be nice to have a place of my own to call home finally.
After I'm all settled in, I'll get the reviews section up and running and start accepting submissions (full CDs, demos, etc) for review. And get this stupid "beta" label on the site removed...
News has been slowing down a bit lately. With the upcoming death of Listbot as a free service (bought by Mico$oft, what'd you expect?), I imagine it will get even more scarce since many mailing lists are run off of that service. Now more than ever, feel free to directly email metal news and site updates to email@example.com
Other free alternatives to Listbot worth checking out are: Yahoo
On the site front, things are moving along. I'm still fixing some bugs that are showing up in certain releases of browsers (like IE5.0).