On December 31st, or maybe during the early morning hours of New Year’s Eve 2019, the DonaldPierce.com site went down, at least from an administrative point of view.
If you were on the net and checked in up until the end of April 2019, you could still see the posts–all of them–starting with our annual New Year’s post for 2019 and stretching back to 2011. Over 2000 posts, complete with photos, illustrations, links, tables.
There were another 1000 or so posts in the “article inventory”….an editorial trick the Media Bunker staff picked up from the days when we put magazines together for the world’s greatest publishers….with the intent of publishing all of those articles at some time in the future. Maybe they needed more work or polishing, or maybe the timing just wasn’t right….but they’re going to get posted.
Most of the publications that the Media Bunker created and nurtured survived, and a few became massive hits for the simple reason that the Media Bunker staff is composed of a group of very very talented multidisciplinary artists who can do everything from write a business plan to create a product or generate a brand and a website from scratch. Don’t talk about that stuff much because the DonaldPierce.com site is not and never has been about “what we can do for you” or “what we’ve done in the past that might impress you” or even “we’re shopping for a social influencer deal”.
We don’t do that stuff.
What the DonaldPierce.com site was about–and will continue to be all about–is a living, breathing, work-in-progress about extending the bandwidth of what’s possible in all forms of communications. In the past, we’ve done historical pieces, film, music, film festivals, reviews, inspirational quotes, obituaries, travelogs, how-to-do-its on everything from writing a business plan to making a Christmas wreath (we like Christmas…a lot…like the whole idea of it, not just the gift part).
In the process, we developed some themes and editorial components (as we say when we talk with publishers) that showed promise…real promise…and got notice all over the world, which seems amazing. I mean–none of this stuff is heavily publicized and still people seek us out. Amazing.
Things were noticed, and people started tuning into the site to see what was going on.
Tracking visitors via Google Analytics (thank you, Google, for your fine tools) we found that people all over the world were tuning in…and the total of visitors was rising every day, every week, and every month. And then….shut down/turned off/invisible.
Another reason why the sudden admin blackout (we were not able to get into our own site to update it, revise it, edit, etc…and to this date have still not been able to do so)was a bit of a shock.
But the break provided time for some retrospection and that was good. We decided to take a look at what had been created and what to do going forward…if we were going to go forward.
One feature we created, “The Nightshift“ developed a pretty good international following.
If you’ve been to the site before and seen the “The Nightshift”, you know the format: a very streamlined world news site, with some appropriate editorial photos, a list of three or four or five news events of the day worth your time (with links to each ) and a listing and links to the major English language newspapers in the world.
It was developed when one of the Media Bunker writers was grousing about the extra effort necessary to check out how a single news story was covered throughout the world–journalism is about telling the story, not necessarily shading it (although that happens)–and wanted to find out how other countries were viewing/reporting the same news.
So a couple of days later “The Nightshift“ was created to give writers and readers and people who want a different perspective on the news a single spot to see the world’s take on the day’s events.
Through the kind graces of Getty Images, who enabled world-class photo journalism for the site–and a commitment to publish everyday, even if the publishing day was coming up just as the editorial staff was coming in from a long night out–the format was created, refined, updated, shoved around a bit, expanded, refined again, until it became a very solid, clean piece of world communication.
Without hyperbole, it’s a site that’s faster, more focused, sharper, and streamlined than many big budget news websites. The cleanliness of the design (thank you Anne Ellen Geiger and Handgame Design), the focused and useful content, and the by-necessity brutal streamlining of the news-you-need-to-know editorial approach created a site with regular readers all over the world who want to see what the other side is thinking. Which was the point in the first place.
For the Media Bunker team, the site was a learning project, a chance to test some ideas and learn to program and create in a tight deadline-mandated format (thank you Word Press).
And then it all stopped.
But…in a huge bit of good luck, it stopped on New Year’s Eve……our annual New Year’s Eve post made it up and online and then we couldn’t post anything else.
Time for our own re-set.
So….that was then and this is now and things change. Going forward, The Nightshift has grown enough and received enough support that it will now receive the ultimate gift from the Media Bunker staff–it’s own site.
Effective immediately, The Nightshift breaks out of DonaldPierce.com and flies on its own.
The new web address: www.nightshiftnews.com. It will be an evolution of the format that was originally developed for it although graphically it’s going to have a lot more range because the New Year’s Eve blackout forced some necessary changes at the Media Bunker (more about that below). Archives will be available via this site (donaldpierce.com) until further notice; one of our big challenges is going to be moving legacy Nightshift content over to their new site. Honesty point: we don’t have it all sorted yet, but we do have enough going to push the button and get back online again.
Web hosting has been moved out of our original site at E-Builders. Thanks guys, you were great. But we’re now in a different mode and require different assets and digital opportunities. We still don’t know precisely why we lost the ability to post/edit/control the original DPC site (or why you didn’t sort it out for us), but it makes no difference. As Enzo Ferrari once famously said, “what’s behind you doesn’t matter” and so let’s move on.
We’re now at TMD hosting and onto a new platform, Divi, built on top of our old reliable WordPress platform. There is a learning curve. We’re still learning. We have not mastered it 100% and won’t for a while. We had over 2000 WordPress created posts under our belt when things screeched to a halt and so we were very invested in one program and now have to create, again, that same type of familiarity and ease of production. But we will. We did it before when we didn’t know anything, and we can certainly do it now when we know more than we knew before. We also have more control, more assets, the ability to use an increased array of media formats. It’s all good. It is time consuming making this change, however.
The Nightshift gets its own site and that’s good news.It’s the one good site to know even if the world news is bad, It’s designed to be refreshed daily.
The other good news:
DonaldPierce.com will return to it’s roots as more of a personal and experimental editorial outlet. More of the stories that you can’t find anywhere else (“The Sociology of Christmas Trash”; “The History of Sebring”; “Pain Never Sleeps”; “The Hunter S. Thompson Film Festival”). More great Christmas posts and playlists and videos; more Weekend Video Concerts; more reviews of things fast (Porsche turbos) and slow (Sunfish sailboats) and investigative reporting, like our still-famous report on what is actually inside the black boxes that are retrieved after airliner crashes. More commentary, more humor, more science detuned and a lot of science not detuned because we believe you will get it. More of the stuff that gets us sent to the principal’s office is still present.
The new posts on DonaldPierce.com have started. There is a direct link to The Nightshift (and a direct link from TheNightshift to donaldpierce.com) and until further notice, all of the previous 2000+ posts will be accessible via the donaldpierce.com site. This is a new design and a new learning curve and everything is moving at once and no doubt we will make mistakes. We’re working our way through through an issue with legacy photographic posts currently. If we don’t make mistakes, we’re not learning and the point is to learn and push the envelope and have fun. If you liked it before, you will love it the new iteration even more. Stay tuned.
And….there’s more. The Media Bunker staff and parent Perception Engineering have lined up over 30 different web projects to be produced in the next 3-6 months. Not of all of these will escape beta, but a good proportion will. Some of them are purely artistic in intent and content (our coming digital art gallery) and others high-tech-industry focused and commercial. We’ll do pop up websites and a few other formats you haven’t seen before.
It’s an experiment.
The bottom line is that a breakdown, somewhere, on the last day of 2018 year, has created an atmosphere in which change was necessary to continue with the program. The choices: Either change or pack it in and call it a day. And that is not the way we do things here at the Media Bunker and Perception Engineering.
We committed to move forward, expand in new directions, develop new concepts, bring in more music and film and design and photography and continue the experiment that started 8 years ago.
Thanks for reading this far and y’all come back. There’s more where this came from. So tune in and turn it up.
The Fine Print: Video embed courtesy of our friends at YouTube. YouTube has lots of stuff that you should see. Have you seen YouTube today? donaldpierce.com and NightshiftNews.com are produced by The Media Bunker and Perception Engineering. All content, unless otherwise noted, is (c) 2019, donald pierce, all rights reserved. If you see a piece you want to use, drop us a line, we’ll provide the correct attributions, and go for it. DonaldPierce.com is a continuing experiment in news, media and communications and works within a surprisingly wide bandwidth, powered by Macintosh Computers; WordPress; the Elegant Themes Divi publishing platform; McIntosh Laboratories audio amplification equipment; Wilson Audio Speakers (and Audio Technica, B&W, and Beats headphones); Adobe software; Canon video and digital photography equipment; Spotify and iTunes music (on all the time). Hosting by TDM. Follow us on Twitter at @donzzo and on Instagram at @donzzop. Investment banking services provided by Miles Geauxbye at Breakout Funding. The staff of the Media Bunker and Perception Engineering trains at Lifetime Fitness.