Thursday, 28 July 2011

What is the strangest place you've blogged from?

...answer: my bath- right now

That's right this blog update comes live from my bathtub. Chilling out with a glass (large one) of whisky, some good tunes and my blog. But what could I possibly want to write about while bathing? Well nothing bathroom related so don't worry.

But what I will talk about is how reached 2000 registered members today, which is a great milestone to pass... With a new goal insight of course. Its took 10 months to get these sign ups, all this with
*no official forum link
*a 1 band member page
*quite a news quiet band (ie no releases)
So impressive. I think the last time I gave an update to Tuomas we were sitting on 1500 and that wasn't long ago.
Of course it's a lot of hard work keeping the promotion and activity ongoing to draw in more interest. It sounds easy, post news as and when and throw a competion up bi-annually. Erm no. If you ignore basic promotion, even if media silence, then you get bored members who wonder away and don't attract new ones. After all, without a community a site like this will be dead in no time. I know. The first attempt to publish this site failed miserably, non existent community and no prospects. But I didn't give up, got a rebuild (4th gen now) and changed my methods. By pure accident I fell in with Ewo which helped phase 2 of relaunch. The rest is history.
So what's next? Lots!!! I have loads of ideas to discuss with the boss in December and a few little things in-between. 1 you have to wait and see, and the other is the Summer games; which is just a bit of fun for members...but that's what this is all about, fun!

But could I do this alone? Hell no. Without the TH Team (dubbed by Tuomas as "mindless ghouls") I would never sleep and never be able to keep it running so smoothly. We anticipate an increase in activity when we have a single release, so I'm glad to have a team I can trust. I could wonder away on vacation for a week and not have to worry. But that's a dream although I could use one.

So it's time to stop soaking here and turning into a prune.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Random updates are best

Not much to discuss but I'm sitting a little bored. I do have work to do but I am trying to have at least 1 day off a week- and today was once I said I won't work today. Besides I'm not feeling creative so I will start on a few things tomorrow.
However I've had a productive last few weeks, The Islanders is now finished and launched and all we need now are a few more sign ups so we can order the rest of the merchandise. The official launch will be in London on September 3rd, should be a good laugh, we have a few people confirmed coming so far. It was good fun when we had the TH gathering in the same place.
While in London I'll also have a catch up with Pip Williams. Lot of people know him for being the orchestrator on the last 3 NW albums. Going to do bit of an interview too which to my knowledge has never been done by a NW website before. I was lucky enough to meet him when I went to London to meet up with T.
Tuomas sent over the Kiteen Pallo theme, it doesn't give much insight into Imaginarium's sound but its something which has fans excited about. Funny thing is everyone is still "omg is 6 months away".. I think they forget there is a single in Oct/Nov so its more closer to 3 months.
Speaking of Tuomas, I'm a little disappointed in the lack of usable art work we have for the birthday project at present. I think people think his birthday is not till December so we have plenty time, only thing is they fail to realise that the amount of time to design the overall booklet and get it sent for printing will also take some time. Hopefully the mass mail/messages to the pro quality artists will bring some results. Times like this, I wish I was good at art myself.

Well I can't think of any other things to write about so I'll leave it there for now,


Monday, 4 July 2011

Thanks to all.... Tuomas - Kersantti - Anette

Well I guess I should update and start with a big thanks for all the support towards the new Tuomas site.
It's taking a lot of work and still have the translations to add to the site but it's not too far from being 100% finished (as long as the translators are fast with what I throw at them hah).
Few people have asked why I decided to make a new site. Well I have reasons I won't go into and I have other reasons: I got comments from people that it did not look official, it looked like a fan site. Ok "technically" it is a fan site, as it's run by "fans" (some of us don't like that term).. however it ceased being a fan site once we were made official. Also since it used to be a fansite, it never lost that feel to me, looking at the same layout (ok it was changed a little) and basic look.
Another change was to distance Tuomas from Nightwish. Okay some people will scream at me here with "he IS Nightwish!"...yes I know this only too well. I did intend to mirror Nightwish.coms look (kind of did by adding the Imaginarium background on the 'blue site: mk 3') but the more I thought about it the more I thought "why have 'another'" So I thought a bit more about what I can do, what is the best action to take with it. Of course a thing that keeps coming to me is Tuomas does have his own projects, and one day Nightwish will be a past project of his. But Tuomas quitting music completley won't happen, and because of that I hope we will still be around. So I decided to go for a general look, something simple yet dynamic. So with design changes thrown at Mojo for criticism (trust me you cannot get a better person to be critical about your work) I worked on a basic structure and then added the design elements on top.
The banner was the hardest to think up. The "logo" started as an idea of a wolf silhouette with a TH or Tuomas over it... this idea lasted about 2-3 hours then binned. Then the banner had Tuomas' image in... this was binned after 10 mins of being on the site. Mojo was the one who mentioned Tuomas' autograph, so I went through some promo's I have and picked the easiest to see and scanned it in. For around 2 hours I sat and cut it out practically pixel by pixel..can anyone say hand cramp?! However I think the final look came out cool, so kudos to Mojo for thinking of that one.

The best part is only the TH Team knew this rebuild was happening, and I didn't inform them until about 60% through construction. I decided to keep it a secret from the members as I didn't know how long it would take me to put live.. or even if I would at all. It's a scary thing to have to replace a successful website, I especially did not want to damage the forum in anyway and for us to lose all those member and posts. I also was not going to launch the site till all languages were 100% complete. But typical thing would be that it would put me into August, which is when Imaginiarium gets mastered and the film shootings not far away. Meaning there is a chance for updates, so I would be constantly playing catch up with news and translations of. I also wanted to wait and get the thumbs up from the boss (Tuomas) since the site bares his name, however his vacation time is tearing him away from his macbook. So it was Mojo who suggested a earlier launch time and just add the translations etc as we go, and I think it worked well. The big worry of so many hours work and the database transfer failing would of annoyed me anyway.
So we went live and apart from a few little bugs, it was pretty smooth. A couple of people have mentioned 1 issue with colour on an area of the forum.. so far investigations have shown this to be a browser problem and not one with the site. Both myself, Mojo and others on the Team went through and checked everything on every browser. So people with issues, try emptying your cache and check if there is a browser update: last one especially for internet explorer users.
But here we are going strong and getting 90% positive messages, which is a larger percent than I ever expected. So big thanks to everyone for that. Of course we are plotting more things for the future with the site.

At the time I was updating TH, I was also working on my PR and promotion company: Kersantti presence management. So I have the site pretty much done for there and I've started on heavier promotion of the existence of it. Anette Olzon gave permission to promote her new fabulous solo demos, which has gave a big boost so thanks to her. The company has a long way to go, lets just hope it's journey is fruitful.

Talking about Anette's demos, both sound so different to a lot of what we have heard Anette sing before. You can hear the keys in Dark Passion Play were probably not the strongest keys for her to sing in. Although DPP was great, these solos really show the true emotion and ability of her voice.

Floating: A gentle song which actually makes you feel like you are floating if you close your eyes and listen to it.
Very beautiful, light and gave me goosebumps.

Invincible: My personal favourite of the two. I believe her voice in this has such a great timbre, very elegant sounding.

Both tracks show her true potential as a singer although only demos we can see this, the main music is the only thing that lets them down.. but that's demo's for you. The quality of the recording/mixing etc is not what you would use on a final mix. This defiantly wets the appetite for the amazing Imaginarium once more, but also has people excited for Anette's eventual solo album.
Good luck to her, and Kersantti will be giving her support.

I have a lot on and a lot of responsibility coming up, but as long as the attitude of myself and the team currently have continues, I think our future will be bright.

So lets all have a laugh together in this journey