12th April 2015
Music in Leicester
The Editor’s ‘lament’
Music in Leicester magazine – from the outside it looks like a BMW i8; from the inside it looks a 2CV. So, let me take you under the bonnet to show you how this magazine works.
Things you need to know about MIL
- It is an on-line magazine; it has never been printed on paper and never will be.
- It is a not-for-profit organisation; most of the running costs I fund out my own pocket.
- I am the Editor; some other writers and photographers help me in their spare time, as best they can. They do a wonderful job.
- We are always looking for new people to join the production and editorial team; people turn-up from time to time and we use them if we can.
- We have no offices. Everyone works from home.
- The phrase ‘shoe-string’ comes to mind.
Since it started in June 2013, Music in Leicester has published a regular supply of articles. Several people have written reviews of the shows they have attended and we have a group of photographers who are sending in excellent pictures. We cover as much live music as we can but always we are scraping the tip of the iceberg – such is Leicester’s music scene.
Is it all worth it?
I look at the visitor statistics regularly and am pleased with the number of people who are reading articles. Knowing that a good many people are reading what we publish, makes it worthwhile. Never being one to be self-satisfied, I continually look for ways of improving our reach and increasing the number of readers.
Can it be improved?
Undoubtedly yes. A list of possible changes, alterations and developments sits on my desk. Change is good; hopefully it will be for the better. There is however always a down-side to change – regular visitors get used to the way things are. Change something and some people get confused. Quite often I go on other rock music websites, to see what they are like; sometimes this gives me new ideas; sometimes this confirms that what we do is pretty much what other people do.
Content is king.
Whatever we do to make the site pretty, at the end of the day, it is all about the content. One thing has been weighing on my mind of late – gig reviews. There was a time when we would go to a live music event and write about all the bands that played, reviewing the whole night as an event. This has become less common these days; more often now, we write about the bands that stand out for us and mention the others. I would rather write in-depth about bands or singers, than publishing reports of gigs. In the days of Arts in Leicester, we always had a band of the month. MIL has rarely done this. We have published articles focused on one particular band – leading to us having a portfolio of ‘featured bands.’ Featuring a band is what happens when there is something significant to write about – such as a local band doing a headline slot at a gig.
MIL has continued the practice (started in Arts in Leicester) of having monthly round-ups of gigs we have attended. These articles contain links to articles (posts) alongside smaller write-ups of gigs that did not get separate articles. Up to now these have been confined to shows attended by MIL writers. Should we also mention a few of the gigs that we could not attend but which were significant or outstanding – as part of the monthly round-up? This might give a fuller picture.
As of today, MIL has 421 pages. In fact, just to be technical, it has 102 pages and 319 posts (in WordPress speak.) The main reason it has so many is that we started publishing stuff in September 2012 when the site began in its present format. We want MIL to be a repository of historical content; hence, nothing gets deleted. This makes it difficult for the casual reader to find what they are looking for. Fortunately we have a search bar – so if you want to see all references to a specific band, person or artist, just type something into the search bar. There is also a drop down box for ‘Months’ which will bring up all items published in any chosen month going back to May 2013 (at the current time.) We have a contents page where articles are indexed (manually). I spend time organising published material – in the hope that people will find what they are looking for. And then there is Google…
So, I hope that what we have now is a vibrant and meaningful magazine about rock music in Leicester. If you want to comment about anything, feel free to message me on my Facebook page