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Photography | Design

The build starts

Like I haven’t enough to do, I’ve started on the photo site, now online (but not doing much) at http://pi2011.xerxiam.com. So there’s a home page, and then pages for Photography, Graphics, Art and a link to the xerxiam web design page. Not completely sure about the banner graphics just yet but it’s something to be getting along with while I build the php scripts and build the database. I’ve no idea how I’ll set up payment systems for the checkout (PayPal I guess) but I’ll get to that. Certainly plenty of room on the server for big images. I probably should generate some opinion from the forums, though I’ll wait till the db is running (tracking data, building the basket etc..).

Noticed I’ve a Google PR4 for XerXiam, and PR3 for FWDX and Forum sites. That’s nice (though unsuprisingly no PR for Xeream).

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Back with new ideas

About week into my holiday in the beautiful Languedoc Rousillion countryside inspiration hits me: for the FWDX site a directory for users and a place for anyone to offer jobs (for no charge). The other is to extend the watercolour art site to have photography and graphics templates that can be downloaded (for a fee). HAve name for this site too….wait for it…..[drum roll]….. π2.011 (that’s meant to be a greek letter pi). Da da!

Let’s get building…

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Stiff competition

While checking the web-related forums it has become apparent that there are a lot (and I mean a heck of a lot) of forums for webmasters. My guess is that uses of these forums are not particularly loyal (I certainly have moved around) but ultimately they aren’t going to switch if there’s nothing doing at XerXiam.

The only real thing I can do is get content and news. “News! What!!?”. I know, where am I going to get that from. And the time? And just how useful can the articles be?

Well, there’s something to be getting on with. I’m away for a couple of weeks so it’ll have to wait.

Au revoir!

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All quiet on the Western Front

So I bother 4 different forums (webdesign.net, bluegeckonetwork, netmag, and webdeveloper.com) and drive traffic to the forum, services page, and FWDX pages but no conversion whatsoever. Clearly something is amiss. A o% conversion rate is not very good. So I can summise that there are issues with these sites. Well with the forum at any rate.

However, if you think about it, the visitors who are arriving are already using an up and running busy forum, so why would they sign to another one that has little or no activity? The point being that I’m targeting the wrong audience. The other point is that the freelance forum still covers subjects that are covered comprehensibly by the forums from whence these people have come.

So, plan of action: (1) make the forum subjects more specific to freelance issues and subjects (so do some research about what these are); (2) think about where this audience is, other than on forums themselves. Where else are these people hanging out? Can they be caught via Google/MSN searches?

What is my objective? This is all significant levels of work, but for what purpose? The original intention was for improving the SEO on the main site, but I like forums: I use them a great deal and have learned much in doing so. For that reason I’d like to have a forum of my own, but covering subjects that appeal to me, and are of use to me. Likewise, the FWDX site I would use a resource for getting at useful links (the articles kina being already in my head from having written them).

Summary: I like web design. I would like to do more of it. I think these sites will contribute to my web presence for gaining work, and will contribute to my abilities, skills [same thing, shurely – Ed], and understanding of how to create a good web page.

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Holiday thinking time

Soon I’ll be off to southern France for a couple of weeks (so prepare for unmoderated forum [lol]). How I will cope with being away from the net (forums, email etc..) I know not. However, it’s good to take a time out, re-invigorate the creative juices, take loads of photos of the area, and think big thoughts.

The ‘big’ thoughts are about setting up a business as a full time freelance designer and developer. Not yet, but in about 6 months time. What I need to sort out in my head is an overall strategy, future plan (where should I be in 5 years), and what possibilities there are for partnership with a medical eMedia company I do work for. If I can think these thoughts casually and without normal day-to-day preasures, just a cold beer and a swimming pool (OK I’ll try to ignore the screaming kids, wife and in-laws) then perhaps the great ideas fill fall into place. Then when I get home, get it onto paper and them start approaching the right people for helps and advice. Keep you posted.

This is something that needs a link () but not sure how it works or what it’s for. Some sort of blog link thing.

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Waiting for Google

So this, FWDX and the Freelance Forum have been up for a while but still no Google PR. I know these things take time but surely Google has spotted me by now. I think MSN search like me. Type in ‘freelance web design forum’ and I get top spot! Do the same for Google and the forum is not even in the top 50. Likewise for Yahoo and AskJeeves. Funny that. In fact, ‘web design glasgow’ in MSN: number 5. The rest: dunno.

Added a introduction to ASP article to FWDX resources. Such a large subject it’s hard to known where to start. The best bet is really to link out to the usual sources of good tutorials like webmonkey and W3Schools.

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