I am making progress

with the site re-design and re-launch. I am about 2/3 through reading Michael Connelly’s The Scarecrow, which will be published by Little Brown on 5/26/09, the same day that I will re-launch libdrone.info and my new Amazon book store Libdrone Sells Books at libdrone.com. I have been thrilled to have the time away from producing regular blog content to work on the re-design. I am pleased with what I have to go so far, but my goals and methods for the site going forward are becoming clearer and I have been analyzing my traffic and realizing that fully 49% of my visitors are located outside of North America.

I was visiting a friend today. This friend is a good bit younger than I am and is a music DJ and a techie who’s been online forever. He was poo-pooh’ing “blogs” for the umpteenth time. somehow he thought blogging was like posting on mesage boards or getting your name on a web site. I took him to Blog Catalog and showed him what _I_ mean by blogs. I showed him that I was the number one non-paid listing for “Books” on BC. I went over and logged into my site and showed him my Firestats in my WP dashboard. and he looked at the 130 uniques per day viewing 550 some odd pageviews and said, hey you got yourself some decent traffic there. I pointed out that all of those visitors (and showed him the hits table, which blew his mind) had come from search engines and the fact that they viewed an average of more than 3.5 pages each indicated they were finding value and digging deeper into the site.

And for the first time since I dropped out of Entrecard when my friend (who never understood why I ‘bothered’ with ‘just doing a blog’ –you could be on MySpace, you know?) understood clearly my 10 year business plan of accumulating highly tagged, high quality original content that can appeal to a broad audience and consistently receive search visitors with No marketing expense to bring them in. And soon my Libdrone Sells Books store will be opening and I will once again, as when I first began my career be a direct seller of books. I can’t wait to get the site finished and get back into the game and get started on Year 3 of my 10 year plan. Stick around, folks. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Check out my updated punch list if you want to see how the upgrade is coming:

Let publicists know about the break and re-luanch plans– emailed Julie, Miriam and Tracee on 4/23 (done)

Let advertisers know about break and re-launch plans. msg’d all 8 advertisers on CMF. will take PW widget down during hiatus.

TRL on hiatus 4/29–5/26 4/29–migration post goes up. post is closed to comments. done

1) JD creates mirror–done

On mirror site:

2) change theme to http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/whiteplus

substitue existing header graphic for theme included graphic in new theme. re-size rather than crop the header image. make sure the barcode scanner’s line shows–done

ask JD about changing font color in blog header– working on editing header image. having trouble finding right font color for header

3) Consolidate all of the About pages under one About Page that has links to About Me And About This Blog, About The Links, About The Bookstore, About Books and Libraries, About My Audience, About Libdrone.com, Instructions for all in one About page below. working, largely done

Add widgets and privacy policy page– this page may go under About or under something else but definitely buried.

Add review copies and submission page– this can under Something, maybe taking place of suggestions and guest reviews page

4) Change dotCom page title to Blogroll. libdrone.com will become the book store page on it’s own blog done

5) Review and Revise Suggestions and Guest Reviews page

6) Add bookstore page using Amazon’s a store in Beta, working

7) Experiment and work with widgets and widget placements to get a very well designed an professional looking layout

Add a Welcome page that explains all of the changes

8) check and test EVERYTHING three times

9) Write and schedule May 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th posts about Michael Connelly’s The Scarecrow–reading, Barry Eisler’s Fault Lines rcvd, Steve Luxemborg’s Annies Ghost rcvd, Joel Goldman’s The Dead Man rcvd

consider) ??Renew paid Library Thing membership Re integrate Libary Thing Links to all posts less than one year old. Consider using Library Thing widgets to place long strings of book covers on bookstore page. to do that. Include a link to library thing profile in sidebar

May 24th– JD points the URL to the new site a full day plus before the Resuming post goes live (gives time to work out any kinks and can put up a ‘how do you like the new look’ post as soon as the new site is up and running properly)

next upgrade (whenever) add non-blog page for V-Bulletin. meanwhile Comment On Book Blogs!

Hello,

From April 29th to May 26th my blog The Thin Red Line will be going on hiatus. The site will be up (and will continue to get traffic from search visitors, which is my main source of traffic) but I will not be posting any updates during this time. When I relaunch on May 26th, I will have a brand new look and theme and a number of new pages and site features. I am writing to you because you have an advertisement on my site that will be running during this planned hiatus. As I said, the site will be up and will no doubt continue to receive search visitors, so your ad will receive some impressions. If however, you feel that you want to pull the ad during the hiatus, just reply and let me know and I will request that your ad be canceled and your credits refunded. Alternatively, I would be happy to place an ad on your site when I re-launch next month. I wanted to let you know about this a few days in advance, just to keep you in the loop. Thank you for advertising on The Thin Red Line, which will be back for it’s third great year starting 5/26.

Alan

Advertisements

coming changes over on libdrone

In a little more than month from now The Thin Red Line will be Two Years Old and in preparation for that milestone I am going to take a hiatus from publishing libdrone.info from April 29 to May 26th. When my hiatus begins I will have written and published 351 posts, an average of 3.36 or so posts per week. (Under promise, over deliver. That’s why I changed my announced post frequency from “almost daily” to thrice weekly. The daily posting target was frankly too much work. And I spend a great deal of time selecting and reading the books that I review (it actually got me in trouble, at least to the degree of a Warning for reading on duty last week; oops) and I definitely want some time to reflect, review, revise and re-launch the site into my third year. This is my tentative plan for the hiatus and relaunch:

TRL on hiatus 4/29–5/26 4/29–migration post goes up. post is closed to comments.

1) JD creates mirror

On mirror site:

2) change theme to http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/whiteplus

substitue existing header graphic for theme included graphic in new theme. re-size rather than crop the header image. make sure the barcode scanner’s line shows

3) Consolidate all of the About pages under one About Page that has links to About Me And About This Blog, About The Links, About The Bookstore, About Books and Libraries, About My Audience, About Libdrone.com,

Add widgets and privacy policy page– this page may go under About or under something else but definitely buried. another buried page??

4) Change dotCom page title to Blogroll. continue to promote the libdrone.com URL but get rid of the too cutesy dotCOM page name

5) Review and Revise Suggestions and Guest Reviews page

6) Add bookstore page using powell’s partner bookshelves

7) Experiment and work with widgets and widget placements to get a very well designed and professional looking layout

8) check and test EVERYTHING three times

9) Write and schedule May 26th post about Michael Connelly’s The Scarecrow

May 24th– JD points the URL to the new site a full day plus before the Resuming post goes live.

The plan probably isn’t complete in that I also need to plan policies and procedures to deal with advertisers. My post announcing the hiatus that will be up (but Not commentable on) the entire time I am offline is written and assumes an openly celebratory tone and announces a very special book selection for the come back. This is my first experience doing a written plan for a blot or website transition. Have you given your site a major makeover? If you did, please leave a comment and let me know any tips or suggestions you have.