Sunday, June 21, 2015

Open Letter to Readers

Greetings, readers! It's me, Samantha (aka Metal Maiden). Hope you are all well.

I'd like to take a moment and share something with you in the hope that anyone who might be curious can gain a better understanding of how MM works and the amount of effort that has gone into creating and maintaining it. An unpleasant incident has spurred me to write this, and the issue will be addressed here and now to prevent any future misunderstandings about the way this site is run.


Recently, I received a very nasty text laden with vulgarity from someone whom I'm not well acquainted with (a friend of a friend -type scenario) claiming that because the calendar was missing a particular show, I must have left it out intentionally in an effort to "boycott" the show or shows in question.

I didn't pay much attention to it, since I absolutely detest conflict and tend to simply distance myself from chronic instigators rather than engaging, but I was later informed by a friend that this person has been harassing others about their grievances. That is why I intend to leave this here to address that allegation and set the record straight for anyone who might have received misinformation.

Firstly, and most importantly, I run this website entirely on my own, with no help aside from occasional reviews from a contributor or two. I am not getting paid to do this. I generate virtually no income from doing this as all my services to local bands are free. This site is run by me, in my spare time, between being a mother and wife (to a husband that is often away for work), a musician looking for vocal work, a writer working on a novel, and as an aspiring actor.

There is so much I endeavor to do on a daily basis and there is not always time for all of it. Often it is the things like the calendar that fall behind when shit get crazy, which I do my damnedest to keep current and have spent many a late night watching the clock on the computer creep past 3 or 4am while I furiously type band names, web addresses and directions on to the list of upcoming local shows.

By the way, this is what I'm seeing when I'm sitting there, working into the wee hours with blurry vision and frazzled mind:


It's enough to make you go cross-eyed. Doing articles and reviews is in the same vein, with similarly befuddling screens littered with HTML, image tags and java commands. I have made and maintained this website the same way I did when I was thirteen, written in code from scratch. I don't fuck around with site builder software or the like. I do it old-school. Sure, it takes a little extra time, but it makes everything that much more precise and pleasing to the eye.

Unfortunately, until I have better resources, more time, or start making actual an actual profit for all my work, this means that some things are bound to fall off.

I do my best, but there will be some shows that I will not get listed in time. Some articles that I want to post might never have the chance to get posted. Some reviews that I intend to do may take a while to finish.

This does not mean that we are "boycotting" any shows. This website will never discriminate against any event or band. All bands deserve a chance to have their hard work be heard.

People will have varying tastes and opinions, and I have never been bashful about sharing my own when it comes to music - however, I keep in mind that different folks like different things. That is why when it comes to shows on the calendar, there will never be any show that does not get listed because of personal conflicts or opinions.

The only reason that a show would be missing off the calendar is if I wasn't aware of it, or if I simply didn't get to it yet. That's it. I am sorry to disappoint anyone who has invested themselves into a vendetta against me, but that's really all there is to it.

Typically, the events I post are found through Facebook. I look at my own invitations, then scour around other public local events until I find shows to post. I also go to venue websites and sync up information with their calendars.

So, if you do have or know of a show that you think should be listed, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that it gets the promotion it deserves with us:
  1. Share your event. Share, share, share. There are a few metal groups on Facebook that are based in this area that will add you in one click. I have joined a number of them and if you post it enough places, I may be able to find it. Even if I don't, though, you will have gotten yourself plenty of promotion with this step alone. Congratulations!
  2. Email me the link to the event or the details and a copy of the flyer for the event. Again, my inbox gets about fifty-plus messages per day so there are still no guarantees, but it greatly increases the chance I will see it and be able to add it.
  3. Tweet your event to @MetalMaidenSE or post it on our Facebook wall here. You will get retweeted and/or shared and I'll do my best to get you on the calendar, but here again, you will still get some promotion out of it.
It was my intention when I started this to seek out all the info on my own, which is mostly what I still do. It's a hell of a lot more daunting than I expected it would be to keep up with everything that I'd planned on for this site. If you throw me a bone, I'll do what I can to take care of you.

The ultimate reason why I do it, though, remains unchanged; I love the metal community, both here in the Mid-Atlantic and all over the world. 

Pretty much everyone I've ever encountered since I started getting into metal 15 years ago has been amazing in their own way... they've almost all been loyal, caring, passionate, generous and intelligent. The music we all gravitate towards is raw and real. They invoke everything from the darkest feelings of hopelessness to the soaring highs of euphoria and all the grey matter in between. 

We believe music should be written from the chasms of the soul and raise up those who deliver it. We stand behind one another and for others who need them in their corner, whether they have similar tastes or not. We are open-minded and relish learning new things, living new experiences, and seeing through unique perspectives. We aren't afraid of questioning the evils of the world, or the evil ones behind it. We embrace both the light and the dark, for each one has its joys and sorrows. We work hard, without buckling or breaking, to do the things we love and the things we must. 

Metalheads, musicians, artists, actors, writers, filmmakers and other equally creative souls are simply the best kinds of people that exist in this world. That is why I made this site into what it is, and why I will continue to try and improve it to serve more of those people from all over the earth. It's because my love for them and all that they do is unconditional. My desire to help them succeed in a world that barely gives them any credit will forever drive me to do whatever I can whenever I can.

If one day one of my own endeavors succeeds and I'm blessed by the Goddess with wealth, I'd likely spend most of it donating to Kickstarters, building venues and theaters and funding promising projects. For now, since I'm far from rich (at least, monetarily speaking), I'll do the best I can with what I have for all of you.

But....

I will absolutely not tolerate someone harassing me, my friends or readers. I will not tolerate any negativity of any kind. If I am not updating content fast enough for you and you feel the need to complain about it here or on any of MM's social media platforms, your comments will be deleted and disregarded.

Constructive criticism on this site is more than welcome. Accusations and insults, however, are not.

This project is run out of the goodness of my goddamn heart. It astonishes me that someone out there, someone whom I've never really spoken to, is legitimately pissed off because a show isn't on the calendar. As if I owed it to them. As if they were my boss. As if I got paid to do this. As if this was the only thing I have going in my life.

It makes me a little sad that the four months I spent nearly every waking hour at my desk, building this website from the ground up and writing enough content to get it rolling. Just ask my husband - he can attest how deeply engrossed I was when it was getting started. I've put in countless hours and performed a litany of tedious programming and entry tasks just to get it to the point where it was manageable to maintain and a little more self-sufficient than it was in the beginning. I've stayed up for hours updating and writing and adding and fixing and improving. Now that I have a reliable laptop again after months following me working my last one to death, I was back at it and thought I was catching up quite well.

Apparently not, according to the unhappy camper... but I have wasted enough breath on that subject. Suffice it to say that I am dealing with them the same way I'll deal with anyone as enamored with dramatics as this person was - by ignoring them and steering clear.

I learned long ago that people like these serve only to drag you down, and that life is better lived without them clouding the air. I am not one for confrontation, and though I know I can defend myself should one arise, I prefer to take the high road. Stewing in anger just isn't my style.

The bottom line is that I'm here and happy to help anyone who has a show or band that they'd like to promote and give a bigger web presence. Please refer to the tips above to help make the process go a little quicker.

I am utterly thankful that out of all the wonderful people I've worked with thus far, this is the only instance of a bad apple that I've come across.

So, thank you all who have supported this blog from the beginning. Thank you, dear readers, for taking the time to visit. And an especially big thank you to the bands; the featured bands and others who have sent music and videos for us to share with the world. You all have my eternal gratitude and respect.

I will be taking it slow the next week and updates will be light. There are many plans on the the horizon, however, so stay tuned.

Until we meet again... be well, be safe, and be good to each other. And stay metal as fuck, won't you? :) \m/

xoxo
- Samantha        

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