“It’s our blog. Down here. Our blog. Chester Copperpot.”
On a overcast Monday morning in NYC five years ago today, Slade Sohmer published a post titled “And So It Begins” that introduced a feisty blog called Hidden Track to the world. Our aim was to bridge worlds that at the time we started weren’t connected–the worlds of indie, jam and classic rock–and while there are many websites that focus on those genres now, it wasn’t that way in ‘06.
[Old (Below) & New (Above)]
Over the past five years we’ve published more than 7,500 posts written by approximately 100 contributors that have been read by over six million visitors from across the globe. We took home a Weblog Award for the best music blog, were honored as best music blog by WNEW and have had our work linked to by the biggest publications on the web.
Now don’t get us wrong, the past five years haven’t come easy. Our contributors and staff ALL have day jobs and it’s our passion for music that drives us day in and day out. We’ve seen a number of music-related websites come and go (and come and go again in some cases) during our time and have always placed importance on consistency. Our readers rely on us for fresh content and we take pride that you can come to Hidden Track every two hours on a work day between 9AM and 5PM to find something new. But enough about the past, let’s talk about the future.
“The site will need a little work and it’ll take some time to reach the full rolling boil, but we’ll hit it eventually.”
In our continuing quest to add value for our readers and make your stop at our humble home a good one, today we’ve dropped the curtain on a new design for Hidden Track. We laughed, we cried, we missed deadlines, we had Aha Moments and now are happy to share what we came up with at the start of our fifth anniversary week. Ultimately we think we’ve come up with a more enhanced way for us to deliver and present content to our readers.
Our first goal of the redesign was to find a way to make sure our readers were aware of our featured posts. To that end we added a Slideshow to the top of our front page that displays a rotation of our latest and greatest original content. We also added lists of our five latest news items, reviews and features at the bottom of our page so you see what’s happening on HT this week at a quick glance. Additionally, you’ll notice as you get close to the bottom of each post a small banner flying in to alert you to two other articles we think you’ll enjoy based on the content of the article you’re reading. Nifty, aye?
“Please drop down some knowledge on us at any time”
We can’t emphasize enough how important your comments, likes and retweets are to us. We put ourselves out there and we want to know that someone is picking up what we’re laying down. Another aim of the redesign was to make it easier for you to interact with our site and to share HT posts with your friends using a variety of social networks. Enjoying one of our posts and want to tweet a link to your followers or share the link with your friends? Simply press the “tweet” or “like” button at the top of each post or at the bottom of each excerpt on the front page. We’ve also made it easier to sign in and leave a comment using Facebook (or not) at the end of each post. Taking a minute out of your day to let us know you agree with what we’re saying or think we’re full of shit validates that we’re not just pissing into the wind: PLEASE interact with us, we don’t bite (well, Wade might).
But wait…there’s more We’ve got page breaks! Read on my friends.