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16 Years of BreatheHeavy: the transition from Britney to pop music


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To celebrate BreatheHeavy turning 16-years-old this month, I am taking a stroll down memory lane and share past memories, stories, old layouts and more. 

I'd like to open up about the uphill battle transitioning BreatheHeavy from Britney-only to pop music in 2014.

Below is the announcement I made... before the blood bath.

 

BreatheHeavy.com Sees Major Changes On Its 10th Anniversary 
 

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Britney Spears’ biggest website, BreatheHeavy.com, sees major changes today on its tenth anniversary, opening on June 6, 2004. The content on the main page shifts from solely Britney Spears news to instead focus on pop music and the stars submersed in it.

Writing on Britney Spears for ten years and growing my website from nothing into a huge community is one of the best experiences in my life. BreatheHeavy.com started in an era where fansites littered the Internet, but over the years social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram eroded the need for them. It was crucial to expand the website in the ever-growing world of pop culture in the digital age.

Exhale, BreatheHeavy’s highly interactive forums, still features a home for the “Britney Army” with its “Britney Spears News” section. Updates about Pop Stars will make the main page with comments linking to its corresponding thread in the “Celebrities” section. Topics that don’t fit into either category belong in General.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out the newly-designed EXHALE and REGISTER so you can post with thousands of other members.

A HUGE thank you for reading BreatheHeavy. I encourage you to continue reading what’s going to be one of the hottest, most up-to-date pop music blogs on the web (that will STILL include the legendary Miss Britney Spears!).

Let the meltdowns commence!

– Jordan Miller
CEO and HBIC of BreatheHeavy.com

 

At the time, I knew there'd be a lot of resistance and negativity flung my way about the decision, but I didn't anticipate how much of a physical and mental toll it'd take on me in the months to come. I actually got pretty depressed for a few weeks after the change because there were SO many hurtful comments about the change. At the time, I remember feeling like I betrayed Britney in some way, let the fanbase down, pissed off my members/readers and worried I was going to lose everything I spent 10 years building. It was really hard to pull myself out of the fire. 

I remember telling my CrossFit coach about all of the madness going on at the time, and he suggested I make a big change in my life. Which resulted in him literally shaving my head in his garage after a workout :orangu: We still to this day joke about that cause as soon as he did it I was like...

giphy.gif

 

Here's a photo from that day. I look confident but yea, inside... felt like crap.
 

me.jpg.770044219dab9f58d2c28000b1aff12d.jpg

 

Cut to six years later, I still get a lot of people telling me they miss the old BreatheHeavy, when it was just Britney, and that this place is a flop now. Unlike before, these comments don't hurt my feelings anymore. It's not because I've built up a giant wall, rather... I understand now where they come from.

It's almost as if people think I expanded because I felt like Britney was irrelevant, and that was a reflection on her legacy. It's not the case at all.

I decided to venture into pop music because I was no longer challenged by writing exclusively about Britney. Isn't that a good thing?!

When I first launched BH, it was scary and exciting. I had missed that feeling. Covering Britney for a decade gave me the courage to jump into the unknown again. Everything was new, and that was nerve-wracking, but exciting. Then, the added layer of an avalanche of hurtful comments. It was a lot to process. It lead to me tuning members and commentators out entirely versus engaging in any kind of dialogue because I didn't want to hear it. I was protecting myself.

I'll never make that same mistake twice. Hence why Exhale is so special to me now, because I've learnt how to hear constructive criticism and run with it versus shying away / ignoring it. Even if someone says something really out of line to me, I pause and do my best to refrain from reacting. I want to live intentionally and treat others with respect no matter the circumstance. 

I think if I hadn't ever expanded, that would've ultimately been BH's demise.

Not everyone saw the transition into new territory as professional growth for me, but I did. Those earlier lessons also gave me the confidence to begin featuring topics on the homepage that don't pertain to pop music - that's why you'll see topics related to Black Lives Matter, Coronavirus, politics, and other non-music related things now. Because I want to continue to challenge myself and make BreatheHeavy better - even if that means ruffling some feathers in the process.

I encourage you to do the same in different areas of your life. What's something you could do that'd make yourself become a better person, but scares you? If you can become comfortable with discomfort, you'll manifest some pretty astounding life experiences. 

What were your thoughts on BreatheHeavy expanding from Britney to pop music in 2014?  Do you think it was a good change? Or do you still wish it was Britney only? I'd love to hear from you. 

Thank you again for the support over the years. 🙏 

Jordan

transition.jpg.7cea936c77f6814b074a49b3ecb78f37.jpg@Blaze @Ember @Fire @Flame @Inferno @Phoenix @Solar Flare @Spark

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I really appreciate that u went out of your comfort zone and expand this community for the better. Increasing this platforms content is one of the very best things u have contributed towards the exhale community:selenerz:. In case people bored of talking of Britney and Britney we can move on to other subjects on other pop stars that our fave. I really appreciate that u went through that hate because I have seen yr YouTube channel and the hate comments littered over there really hurt me :crying1: Thx so much @JordanMiller❤️
 

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17 minutes ago, JordanMiller said:

literally shaving my head in his garage after a workout :orangu:

:umomg:

 

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I was one of those that were really pissed about the change :yesokay: 

This was like my Britney place, I could come and visit and know it was gonna be just about her, it was like the closest we have to a "fan club" after the official one disappeared (or whatever happened to it).

 

I don't remember being rude to you or something, hope I didn't say anything mean, don't remember lol :cuteidk: And yeah, that's when many of us moved to that Britney-universe, but things just didn't work over there. And I think it was the timing as well. We were in the middle of the "Piece of Wig" era, and there were a lot of users that were very rude towards Britney and the show, and her looks, and there was no third single in sight for Britney Jean, so it was like a very weird moment on the fandom, so I was like, if this can't be a safe place for Britney fans anymore, because there's gonna be other people coming in here, to say things about her on top of what her own fans already say, I was like, it's better to just move to the other site.

Another thing was, to me, as a reader I was like, fine, if Jordan wants to do other things and write other stuff about other artists, why doesn't he just start a new site and leaves BH alone? :beynah: I felt like it was you taking advantage of what you had created through Britney and her fanbase, to push your new project. And that's exactly what you did, and now, years later, I think it's ok lol I mean, why wouldn't you? 

So yeah, it took me a while to get used to it, but as time goes by, it just makes more sense that this transition happened. :yaknow: And now with the new layout I sneak more often into those Music forum threads about other artists or other stuff, so I think it works for everybody. 

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23 minutes ago, JordanMiller said:

If you can become comfortable with discomfort, you'll manifest some pretty astounding life experiences. 

Love this, very true also change is always a good thing life experiences are learnt through our entire life if we don't  explore past what we know we will miss out on so many great things 

<<<Magic Begins at Midnight>>> 

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i genuinely thought you switched from just Britney to pop culture a lot longer ago than 6 years :decisions:

I’ve only been here a few months but i’ve followed breathe heavy and read many articles for about 3 years now and I absolutely love this site, you’re doing great Jordan, keep going, we’ll always stick by you :clap:

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