"New album from Slackeye Slim"

spotify joeroganSlackeye Slim is back. Not a day to soon. In fact, it's been over eight years since "Giving My Bones to the Western Lands" was released. The preorder of his new album "Scorched Earth, Black Heart" will open April 10th. Slackeye Slim posted this on his website: "I've been working with Gotta Groove Records on nailing down a solid release date, and we finally got one! June 23, 2023 is the day. By this date I will have the limited edition vinyl and cassettes ready to ship out. Preorders for the limited edition packages will open on April 10, and when you preorder you'll get an instant download of the full album before the official release date! Sorry, no preorder for digital. This offer is only valid while supplies last, and it won't be available for long. We're only making 100 records and 50 cassettes, so don't wait or you might miss out. Preorders will be exclusively available at slackeyeslim.bandcamp.com." No cds at all. I will have to settle with lossless digital (24 BIT/24 KHZ WAV high-resolution source audio). I don't know anything about the album more than it's a concept album written from the perspective of a circular firing squad. This sounds promising. I'm pretty sure it will meet my high expectations.  

"CD Baby closed shop"

spotify joeroganThe reputable online store CD Baby closed shop without prior notice and without adding any frills: "Where's the CD Baby Store? CD Baby retired our music store in March of 2020 in order to place our focus entirely on the tools and services that are most meaningful to musicians today and tomorrow." Unfortunately, this meant that the tools and services that were most meaningful to me (physical cds) were gone in an instant. I've bought several albums through them; The Broken Prayers: Spanish Wells, The Darklings: Desert Ship, The People vs Hugh Deneal: Gas Station Sandwiches, Woodbox Gang: Drunk As Dragons, Hazy Loper: Ghosts of Barbary, Kal Cahoone: Saints and Stars, Salter Cane: Black Swollen River, Palodine: High Desert Hymns & All the Pretty Wolves, Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy: S/T & Hatchetations, The Maledictions: Idle Hands, Ashcan Orchid: The Woods, Various Artists: Yells From the Crypt, Christian Williams: Defiant, Myssouri: War/Love Blues & FurnaceSongs, Antic Clay: Hilarious Death Blues, The Blackthorns: The Blackthorns, Creech Holler: With Signs Following & The Shovel and The Gun, Pushin Rope: Blood on the Line & Murderous Songs Of Despair and The Roe Family Singers: The Earth and All That is in It. I will miss the long and ironic note in the order confirmations. "Your CDs have been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow. A team of 50 employees inspected your CDs and polished them to make sure they were in the best possible condition before mailing. Our world-renowned packing specialist lit a local artisan candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CDs into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy. We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved "Bon Voyage!" to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day. We hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. In commemoration, we have placed your picture on our wall as "Customer of the Year." We're all exhausted but can't wait for you to come back to STORE.CDBABY.COM!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Sigh... We miss you already. We'll be right here at http://store.cdbaby.com/, patiently awaiting your return. CD Baby The little store with the best new independent music." The order confirmation note was maybe a little bit over the top and the company name CD Baby leave something to be desired. Nevertheless, CD Baby was an important online distributor of independent music. One comparative advantage was the shipping option USPS INTL-AIR NO PLASTIC. Very affordable. On March 31, 2020, CD Baby ceased its retail sale. You will be sorely missed. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

"Nine is fine"

pool eight ball kvadratSeven is heaven, eight is great and nine is fine. I launched the website on March 1, 2014, which is exactly nine years ago, hence "nine is fine". The first blog entry I posted had the dramatic title "So it begins...". Since then I have posted an anniversary blog post every year. The second blog post (2015) had the expectantly title "So it continues...". Here, I discussed the past, present and future for the site. The third blog post (2016) had the prosaic title "And so it goes on and on and on and on and on...". Here, I did some merciless following up on ambitions and promises. The fourth blog post (2017) had the patronizing title "The necessity of content gardening". Here, I stated that a website, with proper content gardening, could live forever. The fifth blog post (2018) had the technical title "Ratchet effect through organic growth”. Here, I speculated how web indexing and algorithms drove traffic to unprecedented levels. The sixth blog post (2019) had the glorifying title "5 years and 100 000 hits". Here, I rattled off statistics lengthwise and crosswise. The seventh blog post (2020) had the dutiful title "The show must go on". Here, I concluded that the responsibilities I have towards society are too important to be calling it quits. The eight blog post (2021) had the explanatory title "7 is the number following 6 and preceding 8". Here, I complained about muddling through in the time of the pandemic. The ninth blog post (2022) had the cheerful title "Eight is great". Here, I made some random remarks. Today, it's time again for a new blog post. The visitor counter indicates 220 038.


Executive summary: The website has operated successfully for the last nine years. New content has been added with regularity and to a sufficient degree without any deterioration in quality. The website is in need of a minor review, primarly with the intent on updating existing pages and removal of dead links. A plan for this has been developed and implemented. Minor disruptancies in the operation of the website have occured, but this haven't affected production or quality. The coming year we will see a strong focus on content and the management and development of the site.  

Visitor statistics

To go from zero to 220 000 visitors took 3 277 days. The site didn't have many visits from start. Then the web indexing and Google algorithms began to kick in. The average number of days to reach another 10 000 visitors has normally been around 130-140. The last year has been a record year. More than 37 000 visitors during the last year. All time high.  


Hits Date Days Total
10 000 2014-11-20 264 264
20 000 2015-07-05 227 491
30 000 2016-03-05 244 735
40 000 2016-10-21 230 965
50 000 2017-04-09 170 1 135
60 000 2017-08-18 131 1 266
70 000 2018-01-09 144 1 410
80 000 2018-05-19 130 1 540
90 000 2018-10-06 140 1 680
100 000 2019-02-17 134 1 814
110 000 2019-07-16 149 1 963
120 000 2020-01-03 171 2 134
130 000 2020-05-03 141 2 275
140 000 2020-10-10 140 2 415
150 000 2021-02-20 133 2 548
160 000 2021-06-14 114 2 662
170 000 2021-09-22 100 2 762
180 000 2022-01-27 127 2 889
190 000 2022-05-24 117 2 997
200 000 2022-09-04 103 3 100
210 000 2022-11-25 82 3 182
220 000 2023-02-28 95 3 277

Department statistics
I wrote zero new articles last year. New articles have no intrisic value. I don't want to lower my standards. I have a list of 4-5 bands waiting to be included in my prestigious article series. Moreover, I listed 28 new artists in the table, created zero new lists and wrote 34 blog entries (which also is some kind of record). 

Department 2023-03-01 2022-03-01 2021-03-01 2020-03-01 2019-03-01 2018-03-01 2017-03-01
Articles 68 68 67 66 65 62 62
Artists 171 143 142 141 138 135 128
Lists 42 42 42 42 42 32 27
Blog 248 214 184 158 129 99 84

Most visited pages
The five pages below are the most visited. The order has shifted over time. The start page (Home) is and have always been the most visited page. Not very surprising. The second page is the list "10 essential gothic country albums", which comprises a canon of must-have gothic country albums. The third page "Artists" is a simple list with links to Discogs and articles. Review of "Fossils" (Sons of Perdition collaborative album) is placed as number four. The "10 best version of Wayfaring Stranger" list is a newcomer and placed as number five. The Sons of Perdition article page belonged to the five most visited pages for many years. It's now placed as number seven. 

No Page 2023-03-01 2022-03-01 2021-03-01 2020-03-01 2019-03-01 2018-03-01 2017-03-01
1 Home 220 038 182 591 150 601 124 031 100 813 73 857 46 277
2 10 essential gothic country albums 28 662 26 981 24 663 19 722 14 372 7 540 3 946
3 Artists 28 414 22 312 19 410 16 228 13 312 9 983 5 513
4 Review of "Fossils" 19 972 16 942 13 390 - - - -
 5 10 best versions of "Wayfaring Stranger" 18 632 - - - - - -

The website has been up and running almost twenty-four seven. Some components have given up. Easy Image Rotator (2022-03-27) and Music Collection (2022-10-09) didn't survive an uppdate and have been replaced. I reached the limit of number of simultanous PHP-processes (2022-06-24), which stopped traffic to the site. I experienced long response times both frontend and backend (2022-08-29). I have done a lot of maintance, but still has some minor things to fix. If you stumble over any obsolete or incorrect information or any dead links don't hesitate to contact me and I will fix it. I take some pride in that the website is updated. On October 23, 2022 the website was succesfully migrated to Joomla 4. At the same time I changed web hosting provider. The site is future-proofed. 

My junk mail folder is filled to the brim with SEO-obsessed programmers who wants to give advice of how to earn money from the site. The site is non-profit and free of advertisment. This is the way it has been and will always be. One of the strangest suggestions last year was an offer to write blog posts automatically. According to the programmer, it is time-consuming to write a blog post. Another suggestion I got was to use an AI Content Generator since it can be both time-consuming and difficult to come up with content ideas. Yes, but it's fun and rewarding. Other than that, it's business as usual. The Russians try to infiltrate the site and the Chinese try to scam me into buying CN domains. Apparently, China Registry received an application from Hongqing Ltd requested "gothiccountry" as their internet keyword and China (CN) domain names (gothiccountry.cn, gothiccountry.com.cn, gothiccountry.net.cn, gothiccountry.org.cn). There's a reason these e-mails go directly to the junk mail folder.
I will go on untiringly within the limits of family, work and other duties.

"Spotify key metrics and arithmetics"

spotify joeroganSpotify published their final accounts for 2022. This is not a text for the faint-hearted. They made a huge loss. This comes as no surprise. Spotify presented losses in every quarter. The operating loss amounted to €659m ($706m). The accumulated deficit amounts to €3 647m ($3 908m). You have to wash a lot of dishes to cover this bill. According to the annual report Spotify has 205 million paying (premium) users of a total of 489 million users, which makes 42 percent. The share of paying users has never exceeded 50 percent. Moreover, the tech market analysts have missed that the share of premium users is decreasing (it was 44 percent in 2021 and 45 percent in 2020). The freemium users grows faster than premium users. This isn't sustainable since costs grows faster than revenues. The conversion strategy (by providing freemium, users will upgrade to premium) is nothing more than a mantra. Who wants to invest in Spotify nowadays? Not many. The business share price has plummeted since the introduction in 2018. The annual report provides the following laconic comment in the fine print "We have incurred significant operating losses in the past and may not be able to generate sufficient revenue to be profitable or to generate positive cash flow on a sustained basis. In addition, our revenue growth rate may decline." In any other business the top management would be whipped, keelhauled and then forced to walk the plank. Not in this case. The management takes the opportunity to enrich themselves before the whole shithouse goes up in flames. In fact, their salaries gives the concept of overpaid a new and deeper meaning. Spotify management team is placed no 1, 2 and 7 on the list of the 10 people with highest salaries in 2022 (Sweden). Alex Norström, Chief Business Officer ($30m), Gustav Söderström Chief R&D Office ($28m) and Katarina Berg CHRO ($10m). Spotify have always prioritized growth before revenues. Now everything has come to a grinding halt. Spotify has found out that a company, sooner or later, must operate with efficiency. CEO Daniel Ek said: "I take full accountability for the moves that got us here today." Then he fired six percent of the staff in an insouciant way. In reality this means that he holds his staff, and not himself, accountable. This will not go down in history as a moment of inspiring leadership. Personally, I don't feel sorry for the people being laid off. They chose to work for an unethical and evil company that rips off musicians. Arithmetic is an elementary part of mathematics that consists of the study of the properties of the traditional operations on numbers. The four mathematical operations are addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The key metrics speaks for itself. Top management needs to do the math. 

"Do You Believe In The Westworld?"

aimlowandhit1Website traffic analysis allows you to find out the percentage of a target audience that visits your site, the most effective traffic source, session duration, and the number of pages viewed per session. Analytical tools flood the market. Some tools are free, others are not. However, you don't need a very advanced tool to find out that 90,2 percent of the traffic on this website comes from the Westworld. The US stands for 51,2 percent of the total traffic. The Western world, also known as the West, primarily refers to the various nations and states in the regions of Europe, North America, and Oceania. The Western world is also known as the Occident (from the Latin word occidēns "setting down, sunset, west") in contrast to the Eastern world known as the Orient (from the Latin word oriēns "origin, sunrise, east"). The Western dominance is not surprising. We share - more or less - the same history, culture and understanding of the English language. However, it seems like the Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians also have a soft spot for the gothic country genre. They add another 3,1 percent to the traffic. Moreover, Central and South America add 3,0 percent. Populous countries, like China and India only add 1,1 percent. Apparently, size isn't everything. Gothic country music doesn't seem to be their cup of tea. Some of the visitors protect their integrity through a privacy setting on their IP (not set). This share is small, only 0,4 percent. Should I make an effort to expand in other parts of world? No, I should sit tight. In 1982 Theatre of Hate had a hit with "Do You Believe In The Westworld?". And the answer? Yes, I do.