Saturday, November 24, 2007

Black Friday Sales

Sorry, about those last posts. I let my inner progressive out to play. My inner progressive can get ugly at times. In school, I thought I would have a great future as a progressive thinker. I knew more paradoxes than all of the other progressives I know. But, of course, I knew that they were paradoxes. The people who are good at the game delude themselves into thinking that they are actually engaged in critical thinking when they recite paradox.

Anyway, I was letting my inner progressive play this morning as I was waiting to count my Black Friday Earnings. Counting money is what us capitalistic minded people do best.

Anyway on Black Friday my web empire had two sales and made $7.90.

Last Black Friday I had zero sales. Because I supported vouchers, almost every inbound link to the site was yanked and traffic fell 40%; So, I was worried that the sales would be zilch. But greediness and hatred prevailed and I had sales.

I had switched the site to West Host of Logan and only have to pay $6.95 a month. So, my capitalistic enterprise was able to cover hosting costs for the month on a single day.

Big Arm BayThe way that the site works is rather mischievious. My photo site has links into the community directories, and the community directories have links back to the photo site. (BTW, I just added a section of pictures Flathead Lake. I posted these with a leading edge of 1024px). I also have this blog and a really silly page called A Fountain of Bargains that has nothing but ads.

In other words, I basically am making a link farm that I am trying to pass off with a pathetic claims that amateur photography is content and links to things in the local community are some sort of community service.

The slime page shows you how slimy and corrupt the directories are. Right now the community directories have 15,000 links. About 14,000 of these go to local sites, and a little over 1000 go to evil affiliate programs (he, he, he). Of course, only about a quarter of the affiliate programs actively pay commissions.

I've had people get real upset at me for this structure. However, if you compared my directory structure to DMOZ, you would find that my structure actually gets more people to local community sites than DMOZ.

The stats page says I've had over 4 million page views on the directory. I've also had several million views of the calendar and other pages on the site. The protophoto stats show that the picture pages get viewed about 1.4 million times a year and the gallery pages get about 600,000 views a year.

Of course, all of this is dropping like a rock at the moment.

The site is a bear to maintain. This old link page shows that I've added about 21000 links to the directory. I've removed 3700 of the links because they've gone blank. There could be up to 1000 other dead links in the directory.

The only way for a community style site to thrive is figure out a way to users to contribute content to the site. I haven't been able to crack that code. I had some forums and a classified section which I had pulled as they only attracted spam and weren't worth the the maintenance costs. I would probably add stuff like that back to the site if ever I had any interest.

Not being able to crack that market, I am letting things idle as a link farm. The link farm breaks even and is really the only source of inbound traffic for several local community organizations and artists. Blogs tend to link to politicians and other bloggers, they rarely link to artists.

In some ways, I am glad that the site is a failure. If I had even an inkling of success, I probably would have hired people. Since I really dislike the corrupt UEA, I probably would have still shot my mouth off about vouchers, been publically ostracized for the effort, then I would have had to lay my employees off.

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