You may have noticed that I relaunched this site a few days ago. And you may have wondered why. Or you may have come upon this site inadvertently, and wondered why you should give a damn about any of it. Here, then, is a brief FAQ to that end.
Q: Who the hell are you?
A: By day, I’m vice president of a certain music channel’s news department. By night, I am a singer/songwriter, documentary filmmaker, and writer. I was born in Iowa City, Iowa, on September 4, 1971, and lived in DC, Indianapolis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Syracuse, Saratoga Springs prior to settling in New York City since 1995. For more, check out my bio.
Q: Why did you change the site?
A: Four reasons (at least). First, the former incarnation of was hand-tagged HTML which was difficult and time consuming to update. Second, the way that the Daily Journal displayed — an entire month on one page — was bad for search. Search engines constitute the bulk of new discovery on the Internet, and I want people to discover my site (and thus, my music). Search privileges new content from sources that generate lots of content. As far as Google was concerned, I published on page per month. Now I’m publishing one a day. Third, I wanted the site to be more usable and discoverable within itself. Previously, if I wanted to link to, or you wanted to read about, say, July 4, 2005, it would have been pretty difficult. Not so much anymore. Finally, Internet user expectations have changed, I think. This site (powered by WordPress) better reflects some of the functionality (tag cloud, comments, RSS) that users expect.
Q: Why is it black and blue?
A: The initial design felt more appropriate for a sixteen-year-old skateboarder: splattered paint, black and gray and neon green. But, being that I’ve rounded the corner towards forty (yikes!), it just didn’t feel right. So I settled into this. We were going to develop a new logo, but the graphics dude was a flake, and I just wanted to get the content out there, so I shelved it. Maybe later.
Q: Where did the “Morning Mix” go?
A: I’ll still be posting downloadable MP3s of new songs and writing about the inspiration and process behind them. They’ll show up in the blog with “MP3” in the headline, and are all sorted by “MP3” in the tag cloud over there to the right.
Q: Where’d the music videos go?
A: I’ll add “Bloom,” “Jackie Chan,” “New York,” and “The Rest Of My Life” videos just as soon as I have a chance to encode and upload them. Between YouTube, WordPress, and the iSight camera built into my MacBook, I’ll be able to bring you more video of all sorts in the future.
Q: What happened to all of your photos?
A: Some of ’em are there: Honduras, Bonaire, Nantucket, but there are hundreds of others. I have to manually migrate the rest over to a new server, and a new platform, so it’s gonna’ take me some time to rebuild everything. Some photo galleries will be condensed, and some will be omitted altogether (I’m betting you can live without the pics of 2003’s Philadelphia Broad Street Run, for example).
Q: What happened to all of your photos of Ethan & Edward!?!
A: Same thing. They’ll be back. They’re too photogenic not to have a home here. Plus, I like to be able to pour over photos of them; they always make me smile.
Q: What’s up with those ads up there on the right?
A: I launched Benjamin Wagner Dot Com in 1995. My objective has always been to expose people to my music so they’ll buy records (or, now, download them) and come to shows. I began writing daily in February, 2002 (with no knowledge of the burgeoning blog movement) in an effort to offer people a) a glimpse inside my creative process (so they’ll buy records and come to shows) and b) a reason to come back every day, and thus know what I’m up to (so they’ll buy records and — you get the idea). It’s evolved into something else completely, of course. But I still want to sell records and (to a lesser degree) play shows so that I can make more records. Hence the ads. I may advertise for other things in the future as a means of generating a little income (so that I can make more records), but for now, it’s all about iTunes.
Q: So what’s next?
A: I’m trying to settle into my new marriage, my new job, and figure out where all of my artistic aspirations fit in with all that. I hope to finish “Mister Rogers & Me” this year, and it may well have an accompanying soundtrack. Likewise, I have a record’s worth of new songs just waiting to be recorded by Chris, Tony, Ryan and me… eventually.
Did I miss anything? Got any more questions? Holler!