Brain Cloud or We Got Merch!

Disclaimer: if, for some reason, you don’t want to read more ramblings from Eden on writing, the blog and life in general, here’s the tl;dr – we’ve got blog shirts! They were designed by the incomparable Caroline Harrison, printed and sold by the amazing A Thousand Arms, they’re a great way to support us and you can buy them right freaking here!

OK, what is the blog, when you get down to it? Sure, it’s a website where a bunch of people write their thoughts about the music they love but it’s also a community, a perspective and a statement. The second and third are easier to understand; it’s a perspective because everything we post on the site, as disparate a group as we might be, represents our worldview and point of view on the metal community. That’s what makes it a brain cloud, an ephemeral collection of ideas, musings and analysis from a group of people who happen to be friends. It’s a statement because we’re trying to do something different. In the age of The Death of the Blog, we’re trying to tap back into the reasons why people loved blogs in the first place; longform, analysis, and just a sheer variety and amount of music.

But the first attribute, a community, is perhaps the most important thing running in the background of the blog. It has a few meanings, a few “senses” in which the blog’s community exists: the community of the writers who produce the content, the smaller community of the editors who viciously duel each other to death over coveted trinkets made of bone and ivory, the somewhat larger community of bands that we love and who love us, of friends, significant others, well-wishers and others who assist us in what we do. But the most important community is, of course, the hardest one to see and that’s the community made up of ourselves and our readers. In the paradoxical which this damned universe prefers, the fuel which makes the blog run is also hard to pin down and “touch”.

Regardless of its mercurial nature, it’s been obvious to us for a while now that strengthening our ties with that community is the only way to survive as a blog. That’s why we make an effort to reply to everyone who comments on our posts, that’s why we run surveys and, most of all, ask ourselves over and over again when we come to write: what do our readers want to see? How can we make sure that they have a reason to come back to Heavy Blog, because we give them something meaningful, important and enjoyable? In addition, we’ve been breaking our brains on the question: “how can we make this community more palatable, more physical and more cohesive?”

Well, today, I’m proud to present you with the first step down that road: Heavy Blog shirts! And yes, before you point it out in the comments, this is also a good way to make some extra cash. The blog is expensive and all of our writers are volunteers; the hosting, social media promotion and occasional musical expense (albums, festival attendance, flights) are mostly paid for with a mix of our ad revenue (which isn’t all that much) and our personal funds. Any money we make from these shirts will go directly back into the blog, into making the site better, more stable, prettier. Into paying our writers’ fare to go to the shows they want to review for you, to buy the albums they want to write about.

But, beyond monetary and fiscal concerns, this is also a great way for us to reach out and try to solidify our community. We’ve already been out and about in the world with our own Staff shirts (a variant of which you can buy for yourself) and getting responses from people about them has been a true joy. Imagine how we’d feel if we see someone wearing one of our shirts in the wild? It’d be pretty cool. OK, I’ve rambled long enough. Bottom line, these shirts are a great way to support the blog. You can get them here. We love you. You’re the best readership in the world. Yes, you reading this; you’re important to us. Write to us. Comment. Email. Buy a shirt. We want to keep this brain cloud of ours together. We’re in this together.

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Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.






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