Exactly one year ago I launched this website. The first blog entry I posted had the laconic title "So it begins...". In this blog entry I discuss the past, present and future for the site.
First of all, this website wouldn’t be up and running if it weren’t for my friend Mikael (self-taught website builder and professional web analysts). He knows everything that there's to know about tags, index, spam referral and Google algorithms among other things. It was fascinating to watch him make the settings, choosing a fitting template and adjusting the site according to my wishes in just a couple of hours. My vision for the website was a black and white site, stripped-down with uniform departments, no banners or pop-ups of any kind and, of course, no commercial what so ever. Another preference was overview and easy navigation. It's a very simple site by any standards. I probably only use one promille of all site functions and possibilities. It was easy to migrate (translate and revise) existing articles from the swedish site cdrunda.se and fill the site with new content. On November 20, 2014 the visitor counter passed 10 000(!). This is more than I could ever hope for. Today, the visitor counter shows 14155 visitors. In my wildest dreams I hoped for 2000 visitors in the first year. I’m obviously not the only one obsessed with this kind of music. We are maybe not many, but we are committed. However, the number of visitors isn’t my primary goal, but of course, the more the merrier. The big boost for the site came when I saw the need and started to contact artists and bands. To write articles you need information. The information that can be found on Internet are often recycled and ruminated (and sometimes even incorrect). Direct access, first-hand information and the possibility to ask questions are big advantages. These direct contacts have also given me a deeper understanding of the genre, insights in the artists creative process and I have also learned a thing or two about the individual/-s behind the music. My attemps to get in contact with artists and bands have almost always been appreciated and well-received. I believe the factor that I live in Sweden and run this weird website has something to do with it. Of course, I run the risk of standing too close to the material, but that's a risk I'm willing to take. In some rare cases I don’t get any response, but that’s all right and understandable since people sometimes are not particularly interested in talking about the past and want to move on in their life. I almost got banned once. I namely stopped receiving The Roe Family Singers newsletter after expressing concerns about their new musical direction (too "family value" oriented) and criticizing their album covers. But, this occurence is an exception.
At the moment there are 46 articles published under the menu "Articles". It's in the nature that the production rate tend to flatten out when the number of articles increases and the most important artists and bands are covered. Actually, since I'm reluctant to lower my quality standards it's nowadays very hard to decide who the next victim shall be. The "Artists" department is a simple table overview with links to the "Albums" department and, where applicable, a link to articles. At the moment the "Artists" section is limited to artists where I have one or several cd albums. The "Albums" department consists of plug-in product (Music Collection). At the moment the "Albums" department is limited to albums I have in my collection. The launching of the "Lists" department has been postponed a couple of times, but premiered today with a list in one of the four undercategories (artists, albums, songs and miscellaneous). The "Miscellaneous" department will be launched in June 2015 provided that nothing unforeseen occur. At the moment there are 51 blog entries. My goal is to write at least one blog entry per week. The "Contact" form works well. I get some recognition and encouragement in some messages, while others include well-informed suggestions of artists and bands to check out. Thank you! I also get some messages from artists and bands to review their music. I'm obviously not a professional reviewer, not even a good amateur reviewer. Some of artists and bands haven't perceived that I run a dedicated "gothic country" site and not a heavy metal website, but that's not really a big problem. From the contact form and otherwise I have concluded that this website fill some form of function when it comes to basic consumer guidance in the "gothic country" genre. A lack of interest, stamina and capacity to contribute with something more extensively written and at the same time a need for overviews, summaries and analysis works to my favour.
The future is unknown, but my goal is to continue with the construction of the website and from there slowly but surely continue to fill it with new content. I strongly believe in organic growth. The organic growth will consist of both publishing new material and updating existing material. I'm also considering another project which I have discussed with one of the most renowned artists in the article series. I don't want to reveal anything more about it than to say that it will mean that I have to step out of my comfort zone and make a work effort beyond the ordinary which will include a long-term commitment. Perhaps the decision to engage myself in this project will resolve itself. At the moment I hide myself behind “at the appropriate juncture, in due course, in the fullness of time”. However, I believe it's a too good idea to let it go to waste and I'm also considering alternative ways for the project.