Congratulations to BME on recently celebrating its 13th anniversary! While not as old or as large in size, Modified Mind quietly celebrated its 7th year in existence a couple of months ago. BME is a big part of the reason why Modified Mind has managed to stick around...Shannon has helped increase the amount of visitors Modified Mind receives thanks to mentions of this site on Shannon's IAM page from time to time; these visitors have often helped through contributions of jewelry reviews and employment listings or by volunteering to be a part of the Round Table. I know I've probably said all this before (and don't be surprised if you read something similar again next year), but this site lives through the support of its readers. I remember when I'd get excited when 10 people visited the site in a 24 hour period, now Modified Mind averages about 100 unique visitors a day. While this is still a far cry from what BME stats look like, it makes me happy to see that there are people out there interested enough to check out my small site and maybe even make return visits. Thank you to all the readers for what you bring to this site...just by visiting you help motivate me to make the site bigger and better.
On that note, I do feel that the site has veered off course over the recent past and that's what I'd like to address this year...
When Modified Mind started, it was meant to be a comprehensive news and editorial oriented site. I wanted to talk to people in the body modification community (Profiles), hold debates on important topics (The Modified Mind Round Table), point out body modification in the media (Tune In, Headlines, The Reviews), and point people towards body jewelry suppliers (ModMap) in a more organized link listing than any site had ever accomplished. As the site evolved, I wanted to give people a central resource to discuss their experiences with jewelry suppliers (Jewelry Supplier Reviews) and point visibly modified people seeking a job in the right direction (The MM Employment Line). I also wanted to give Modified Mind more visual displays (Gallery, Custom Gallery, Signature Piece), profile jewelry suppliers (Warehouse), and provide a youth oriented section (Young Blood).
Despite some of these things being more recent additions, I feel that lately the site has a heavy focus on body jewelry and has been primarily reduced to updates of Jewelry Supplier Reviews and The MM Employment Line. While I love the jewelry aspects of Modified Mind, I do not want it to become known as a "body jewelry fan-site". I want to return to the original course of Modified Mind: a more evenly rounded body modification e-zine. I have several goals this year to help bring the site back to where I want it to be.
First, the Modified Mind Round Table will be returning, though I must sadly announce that the Goldmind Awards will be placed on hiatus (but might return next year). I have a few questions already in mind for discussions I'd like to see and look forward to presenting these topics to the readers. I plan on being stricter when it comes to how active the "active" members are since I feel that the inactivity in the past has resulted in the Round Table being on hiatus for several lengthy stretches. I have been lax in the past with members who have disappeared from the radar for extremely long amounts of time, letting them remain on the active roster unless they've requested to retire. This will change, as I am reducing the number of active members, at least temporarily, to revive this section and create more active participation. Any members who go inactive for a long period of time will be retired (although they can return at any time). Also, I plan on opening up the Round Table questions to allow readers to submit a response (and volunteer to be permanent members, if desired) that will be published with those of the Round Table members.
I want to revive what had been known in the past as the Front Page section, which basically featured articles that don't fit into one of the more specific sections. This section never really got off the ground to begin with and probably will still remain somewhat small, but there are a couple of features I have in mind that would fit into this section.
I also have several ideas for reviving the Profiles section. This used to be one of the strongest areas of Modified Mind and several of the Profiles were actually published on BME. There have only been a few recent Profiles, but I have one jewelry oriented feature almost ready to go and have ideas for several Profiles that look at people who don't fit into the usual category of Profiles on this site. I'm excited about my ideas here, but making these ideas turn into reality will be a challenge.
I'm also always looking for new ideas. I plan on really emphasizing this within some of my feature ideas. I'd also like to see some of the ideas from the Launchpad brought to life. Many of these ideas have been on that page or on Modified Mind in general for some time, but nothing has ever come of them.
Another goal is to change some of what is on the main page of Modified Mind. I have already laid the Atlas section to rest and have given up on Modified Education again. Only Tune In, Headlines, Spotlight and the link submission form are solidly in place. I do have one weird new idea that I'd like to ask help from volunteers to make it work. The idea is one I hope is going to be a great addition to Modified Mind, but for it to happen I need a volunteer artist who enjoys doing comic strips. I know, probably sounds crazy, but if it sparks your interest and you have the skills, please contact me. I'd really like to get this in place very soon.
I hope Modified Mind continues to grow and I look at this next year as a very important one in the life of this e-zine. I thank all of the readers for continuing to visit Modified Mind and for any help you've given the site. Please let me know if you have any ideas or input on the site. Thank you.
Modified Mind Editor/Creator