Saturday, November 24, 2007

Site of the Day

Wow, my blog was just named Salt Lake Site of the Day for December 12, 2007. Can you believe it? I must know somebody.

The SoD program was not intended to be an award. Here is the evolution of the idea.

Salt Lake Sites was intended to be an all inclusive directory. No matter how bad the site; I will list it if it is from or about the Salt Lake Valley.

The directory lists over 5000 sites. I wanted a way to point out some of the better designs. I also wanted to figure out a way to get people to realize the diversity of the local web.

The other idea in my brain at the time was that I wanted changing content on the front page. I decided to do a site of the day program so that something new would show up on the front page every day.

This changing content idea proved problematic for Google. Google would cache the page and put it in the index. Since the front page was changing every day, the data Google had about my site's front page was always wrong.

This was problematic; So, I pulled the SoD program from the front page and left the reviews on stand alone pages.

In choosing the SoDs, I was trying to concentrate on design and not content. For that reason, only a few blogs are SoDs. A blogger uses a design from a third party. Also bloggers tend to link to each other. The SoD program gives a bias to artists, musicians, environmental and social organizations. These organizations are often link starved. Not to burst bubbles, but your typical non-profit social organization does more for the community than your typical blogger.

I occasionally throw in an advertiser. Actually I do so because I think some of the Advertisers are doing SoD worthy things. Of course, being a capitalist, I put the advertisers in Q4. I figure that if I am morally compromised; I should be morally compromised effectively.

Having created a SoD program, I was trying to figure out a way to monetize the calendar. I had tried putting affiliate ads on the calendar, but that didn't get a sale for some 300,000 page views; So, I decide to make a Store of the Day program. The Store of the day is pure commercialism. My thought was that all of the calendar events would have a link to the store of the day. When you add a calendar event, the event page would have a link to your event and one to the store of the day.

The store of the day is a money making ad, pure and simple.

he, he, he. I am so evil.

Actually the design lets me show local stuff with a minimal intrusion. I am trying to find ways to have ads that is less intrusive.

I think that the site of the day program does give extra exposure to the quality sites in the directory. The reviews have been viewed some 200,000 times.

Being a Site of the Day gets you about an extra 50 links a year.

If a web designer was smart, they would link to their SoD. Just like I am linking to my SoD in this post. Boy, I wonder what I did to deserve being called Site of the Day?

The rules for the Site of the Day is that a site can only be a SoD one day a year. I recycle the sites each year.

I thought about trying to make the SoD a wiki type thing where the public at large selects the site and writes the review. If you think something should be a SoD, you can drop me a note.

I just made a report that shows all of the SoDs. I do this silliness for Salt Lake (all SoDs), Provo (all SoDs), Moab (all SoDs), Park City (all SoDs) and Denver (all SoDs).

So, For all of you who you think all I do nothing but complain about Utah. Well, the truth is that I spent 95% of my time praising Utah, then grumble on this blog as a counter balance.

BTW: I don't put a lot of links on this blog, because I went link silly with the directories.


Anonymous said...

Hey, I didn't even know I'd made the list - otherwise, I would have said thanks earlier.

Are you going to join the Photowalking group? You don't need aninvitation, but I can get one engraved for you if you want :). AT

y-intercept said...

I did not know about the photowalking group. I will look into it. Judging from this shot, going to the group will make me suffer camera envy. Once I have camera envy, I will start opening those spams that say: "Are you embarrassed by the size of your lens?"

You also pointed out that there is a logical disconnect with the Site of the Day program in that I don't tell people when I make them site of the day.

I did some experiments with notifying people that they were the site of the day. The notification had a link that would let them delete the review if they didn't like it. The only response I got was an angry letter telling me that my email was spam and that they were going to sue me for sending unsolicited email to the contact address on their web site.

So, I stopped.

It seems to me that it should be okay to send an email about a web site to the contact address published on the web site. In most cases, the reason put a contact address on a web site is to solicit information.

Unfortunately, my experience with courts is that courts are irrational. Without a legal team on my side and clear court rulings saying that it is okay to send emails to a contact address, I figured that the liability risk of contacting people is too great.

My goal with this site is to promote quality web design and not to deluge people with spam.