Since 8 October 1997 BtP has provided the online world with its daily dosage of Procol Harum news and history. We like to think this has been a positive contribution both to the band and to us, the fans. Based on that, we hope you enjoy the major change already made at BtP this year: most days the website is updated twice. Make sure you visit whatsnew.htm every few hours for a new load of Procol Harum reading. Some times the second part of the update may point to earlier-published pages on BtP: we are doing this because it's interesting reading, and relevant to other postings the same day. Equally we know we have many visitors who found BtP only recently, and will benefit from being pointed in various directions on the website.
Another major upgrade is currently taking place, probably unnoticed by most of our visitors. For several years BtP has relied on statistics from 'Hitbox', to provide us with information and feedback about traffic on the website. This free service really gave us insight into what was going on, yet, alas, from 2004 they decided to charge a fee for the use of their system. This is a fee we cannot (and will not) pay, so from 1 January we started to rely on server-stats provided by BtP's website hosting company. We regret the loss of Hitbox's detailed information, but fully believe that the traffic information we still get is sufficient to give us the broad picture we need. And it's free!
Another positive side-effect from this is that we now can make BtP pages load faster: Hitbox relied on a string of code on each page that connected to one of their servers, where your visit was logged. We now can remove that code, since we no longer need it to contact Hitbox, and the pages will consequently load faster. The code removed from the webpages represents a total of 150 megabyte of less data downloaded from BtP in an average month!. This may seem only a minor change, but we hope all will appreciate it. We are currently updating the pages and removing the unwanted code, but with more than 3,600 pages to edit, this is a major task that will go on for a while.
Very soon BtP will move to our own server, dedicated to BtP only. We do this to make room for further expansions and improvements in the future.
One of the new features we are contemplating is the prospect of occasional broadcasts from BtP Radio. Test programming has already been recorded by Radio UCLA's DJ#6, and by Palers One-Eye and Jeremy Gilien. A few technical obstacles still need to be solved, but we really look forward to some more Procol Harum radio marathons.
Last year saw Paler gatherings both in USA and in Europe, something we really enjoyed organising, and believe all the Palers enjoyed attending. We have some really exciting notions for gatherings in 2004, but there are still lots of matters to be resolved before anything can be announced: of course, if the circumstances don't look auspicious, we may decide to postpone: no point in doing things by halves! We hope to come up with something grand, and assure you that in any case BtP will continue our efforts to promote Procol Harum and their music, and to give all Procol fans their daily input of Harum reading.
Finally; the BtP team relies on our visitors to come up with material for posting in the website's daily update. So please send us all memorabilia, news articles, reports, setlists or whatever Procol Harum related reading you have in your archives.
Jens + Roland