A music blog from Ireland.
As the most dramatic music blog in Ireland (I’m happy to assign that dramatic title to myself in this dramatic manner) Harmless Noise has been hit with tiny hitches and trips that all invariably unwind with the release of music. Right now we’re in a pretty good place though… It’s been a good feeling to set off on a new year with a new website and some very noticeable changes.
One of the first lessons I learnt about blogging was to keep up with the internet. It doesn’t matter how; news, streams, responses, comments – just show that you’ve absorbed the information. As a result, you gain a strong foothold, and turning off is never a good option. So when this blog was faced with a move, I knew it had to get going again right away, even though I’m realistically looking at three to six months of overhaul edits to get everything absolutely perfectly streamlined. Because the posts deserve that, even if the numbers that go back to them are very small.
There are a few things to get in order here. To start with, the things mentioned in May’s emotional post about quitting blogging: I said that “I wanted to create an interesting place for Irish music on the web, an outlet and resource that discriminated against nothing and welcomed everyone” and do it for “For all the musicians, artists, creatives and supporters of Irish music out there whom I admire and respect and want to impress with a well-maintained blog”. I still want those things and in the strangest twist, now seem as though they are goals that can actually be reached as a result.
My own standards of websites are high and while I understand why other sites choose to display them, I do not want this space to be filled with adverts. If blogging is a type of independent advertising then, as a lifestyle website, I only want the very best and that’s a clean welcoming environment for readers.
Now, I can get that. But I can’t rush. I won’t rush. It may seem silly but, the words of someone struck me last year and I’ve taken them to heart: “slow down“. That cool old guy is Nick, dad of Ruan who’s the unaffected ‘Scene Icon’ that I know I’m not alone in getting a buzz out of being around. Maybe cos he heard words like ‘slow down’…it makes you think.
And so it made me think about what this blog is. That and doing it for a job again. Getting a solid job was unexpected actually but working over at entertainment.ie was a very interesting period, and I learned a lot from them. It was particularly valuable period for me to operate on a working level and I got to experiment with a few features on the blog, discerning what kind of content made a real impact.
While I remained faithful to the promise of bringing my daily average to harmlessnoise.entertainment.ie, the numbers were not high enough to sustain a paid placement on the website. When I examined the options it became clear that Harmless Noise needs a full crew to make it a successful site. Well, I’ve got my whole life to give. There’s no doubt it’s the most worthy pursuit I’ll ever find.
So achieving this fruitful future requires a whole shedload of work. I’m talking hanging all the hammers on a hook in the tags, which you will now see as a very neat A-Z of featured artists. But right now, if you click the band’s name, you may not see any results because the design I have requires a featured image on each post. Since last Friday, I deleted 2000+ redundant tags, re-categorised a directory of posts into 100+ folders, added images to as many Interviews and Videos as so to keep the immediate browser interested.
There’s a lot of work ahead. A lot. I’m inspired by Pete over at Thumped who runs a massssive server. Oh yeah I also promised to do more stuff like this there. And Nialler‘s site is great with the bright colours and lively environment. I know I can actually build a really cool, enjoyable place to read up and listen to great bands. It does mean that things are really glitchy and jerky though. I’m just one person with a passable knowledge of HTML and a web designer on hold who I’m anxious not to pester. I won’t bother you with the technical details (thankfully there are no disasters) but I wanna get shit done in big blocks and just keep moving.
So that’s where you guys who’ve been visiting come in. I need a lot of patience in the time ahead. A bit like waiting for a great album, it’s not something that should be rushed (sounds arrogant but c’mon, think big). I want to write great features for the main site. Right now as I shift through the bulk of things, time is not emphasising the need for meticulous upkeep. It is emphasising the need for some really powerful pieces of writing to sustain things in the time ahead and I’m really excited about those. The readers and listeners of a blog are not always united and so it’s a case of catering to everyone at the moment.
And evolving. You may have seen the Tumblr; I love it, it’s bright, quick, easy. You can just throw these great audiovisual textual posts together at short notice. I’m trying to merge it with the blog but I really like the division between the two. And I don’t want to sound sanctimonious but the posts that appear on Harmless Noise take a fair bit to compose. They require a lot of checking and formatting etc, and I really enjoy doing that in a nerdy way. I want to slow down, research them, explore and enjoy what’s going on. One thing I do keep coming back to is finding new ways of interacting with great people making things, and think that personalities are a really engrossing part of blogging. No one’s going anywhere. I’m prone to the odd extravagant metaphor but I feel arms wide-open like a dam, holding all this mad gush of music and just letting the top-sailors pass it by. Embrace the Internet, and stand fast.
I haven’t really made it clear yet that with Harmless Noise, I’m prioritising what happens from now on so that I can keep aiming at steady work. As I want to love, enjoy, relish every minute of doing this (cos that’s what I ultimately get out of it), I’m making it so that HN is not my job. I’m keeping it for good and I will maintain it in the same way but refuse to allow it to take over all the other important things I have to do. It gives me the experience to be the strongest music writer I can, and I’m so lucky to be able to apply that to my work. So fuck yeah, personal ambition.
I’m not gonna outline what I’m aiming for. Imagine all the gabbling, I think it’s better I just get a move on. Changes will happen as they happen and gradually, the nice fluid space I want will be constructed. Posts will continue appearing: I’d really love your feedback below in regards to how you access them. Tell me what you’d like to see, I’m gonna keep on bringing out what I think you’ll like to hear!