Another project on the horizon

Back in January I talked about the status of my web dev projects. Basically I’m rewriting all my software to turn it into more of a platform or package that I can just plug in and reuse more easily on multiple websites.

My friend Potter, whom some of you may know as Jiita and Piccolo in ZMT, came to me recently with a cool idea for a website. Now I have even more motivation to finish my software so I can use it on this new project.

Here’s a quick lowdown on status since the last status update:


PD GALLERY UI – members area selection of galleries is ~COMPLETE~ but still need to redo the browsing menu.

AJAX COMMENTS – I’m still stuck on this one due to a technical problem with jquery’s form plugin file uploads. I’m working to resolve this still.

ADVERTISEMENTS – I’ve been trying a variety of ad networks. So far I’ve tried, Project Wonderful, AdEngage, BlackLabelAds, in addition to Adsense. Some have been more successful than others.

AdEngage was probably the most dissapointing. I tried it in the adult section of PaperDemon and didn’t get any buyers for ads. Instead my ad units just showed CPC ads that got me only about $0.02 per click. I’ve since removed most of the AdEngage ads and replaced them with BlackLabelAds (Adbrite’s adult ad network) which turns much higher profits than AdEngage does. Adengage also uses CPC but the money earned per click is much higher than AdEngage.

I tried out BuySellAds but realized I don’t have enough traffic on the ad unit for it to be worth $5 per month for an advertiser. This is the lowest price you can go. Plus it would be showing the same ad for the whole month and a lot of my traffic is repeat visitors. I doubt my visitors would like seeing the same ad for a whole month especially if I have to put it on every single page to give it the traffic it would need. If I could get my traffic to triple I’d have a much better chance of selling an ad unit and I could place it on the art pages which typically have more random visitors, it would be a better value for the buyer.

With ProjectWonderful I have 3 ad units each getting somewhere between $0.01 and $0.10 per day. It fluctuates a lot. I plan to put the skyscraper ad unit on more pages in hopes of getting it more traffic and driving up the price of the unit. And at least 0.02 is better than a giant blank ad that says "your ad here" and not getting any money at all.

It’s unfortunate I can’t place Adsense or Project Wonderful in my adult section because the adult section is doing very well traffic wise. But I guess BlackLabelAds will have to do for now.

Strangely, my Adsense revenue has dropped significantly as of late. I’m not sure why that is as most of the adsense ads that I removed and replaced with Project Wonderful were underperformers. I did hear something about other publishers reporting a drop in their Adsense revenue and that it had to do with the fact that advertisers are spending less money on advertising. This means the cost per click is lower and my revenue goes down.

Basically in the end it all comes down to needing more traffic. I need to try some more SEO strategies.


Latest project happenings

So back in November, I mentioned I’d be dedicating myself to Webdev for at least 6 months before returning to my Multimedia projects. Here’s a quick look at the in-progress webdev projects I have completed, have in progress, and future planned projects.

Completed Projects

UTF-8 – I migrated the site to UTF-8 back in late November. This is something that needed to be done since I will be developing more XML based apps.

REDESIGN – I just finished a visual redesign of template. It’s not a major overhaul but it does resolve a few issues that I had with the older layout. It’s mainly a change to the header and footer and a few color tweaks.

REFERRALS – Just created a new referral system the other day on PD that allows members to recruite newbies and get free premium accounts. I’ve done this in an effort to increase traffic and activity (and hopefully increase ad revenue).

In Progress Projects

ADVERTISEMENTS – I’m also working on adding more advertisements to PD, particularly adding adult ads in the Red Curtain. My hosting costs far outweight the ad revenue and I’m hoping to change that now that I have a mortgage to pay (just bought a house, whoo!).

AJAX COMMENTS – The commenting system is something I’m working on a major rewrite of. I rewrote it to be more exportable and have made it an XML based output with XSL and AJAX using jquery stuffs. It’s nearly done but I’ve run into a snag with the jquery ajax image uploader. This project started out as a good candidate for experimenting with XML/XSLT based reusable system but ended up being more complex than I thought and is taking forever to finish.

GALLERIES UI – The galleries system for artwork on PD right now has been very confusing for a lot of users. I’m working on a new interface and reorganization of the gallery trees. Not sure when I’ll have this done but I’m hoping to have it done by end of February.

WEB PAGE CMS – I’m in need of a simple yet flexible content management system for web page content for the ShrunkenHeadMan club at SJSU. I’ve started work on this and am about half way through. Content is stored in a database but is served in XML and converted to HTML via XSLT. It allows for multiple layouts and uses YUI Grids for the layouts. It also archives past edits of a page.

SHM REDESIGN – working with the SHM webmaster and have developed a new template for the site. Working on implementing the new template now and should be done within the next couple weeks.

Future Projects

MEMBERS/LOGIN/PROFILE REWRITE – the code for member logins, profiles, etc is my oldest code and is just a huge mess. I can’t easily plug it in to my other projects. I’m rewriting this one and want to make the profile thing xml/xslt based so it can easily be customized for my other sites like PaperDemonMedia, SHM, and a family site that I want to start soon.

PHOTO GALLERY – I’m going to rewrite my simple photo gallery that is used on PD and add a couple features like albums and upload from picasa. Will use this for the family site and for SHM.

FAMILY SITE – once all of my code is rewritten for better reusability and customization, i want to create a new site that uses all my existing software just for my family to post photos and connect with each other. I might integrate it with other apps such as twitter and facebook.


As you can see, I have a lot going on. I jump around from project to project. I’m thinking 6 months isn’t enough time. It’s already been more than 2. Well, back to work.