Author Topic: Phil Skips Stones Across the Pond of Life  (Read 93991 times)

Offline Phillip Dampier

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Phil Skips Stones Across the Pond of Life
« on: February 15, 2006, 03:54:26 pm »
For those interested in learning about the daily ups and down of getting this site off the ground, I present my periodic "blog" or journal about its progress.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2006, 10:47:15 pm by Phillip »
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Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: Phil's MiniBlog/Diary
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2006, 04:05:35 pm »
As of writing, this is day four of BetterMost (Wednesday).  As you can see, things are now slowly evolving in the forums on here as the site look and feel gets tweaked and I get the hang of the forum software.

Challenges:

  • Lots of guests but not very many people seem to take the time to register for the forums.  It takes about two minutes to do, but people don't seem to be doing it.  This is contrary to my usual personal experiences - I guess I am much faster about registering.  For every one person registered, I see about nine unregistered visitors, so the site is seeing some browsing.
  • Although you aren't seeing huge mega-messages from me in the last day or so, it doesn't mean I am ignoring the site. Behind the scenes, I am learning about how to deal with the advertising elements of the system, which might one day defray bandwidth costs, as well as just getting the site listed and recognized by Google.  It's actually harder than I thought it would be.
  • Figuring out forum formats.  I appreciate the input from some of you about the site and what you'd like to see.  It's like the mountain at the top of the screen - wide open and still sorta empty, so I can try all sorts of things to make this place work for each of us.
  • Site Promotion.  I am not one to want to go out and be sleazy about promoting this site by flooding message forums with promotions for it.  If you like what you see and participate in forums where people are discussing the movie and how it affects them, let people know about BetterMost.  Better yet, write some messages on here yourself so we can start building some traffic.

Plans:

For the rest of the week, I'll be focusing on site promotion, tweaking the forums further, finding some new Brokeback movie resources (if you can follow my general format example when posting your own, that will be helpful to people looking for something specific), and starting to outline some tutorials you can follow on using the forum software.  I'll also be participating in the discussions that do occur here.
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Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: Phil's MiniBlog/Diary
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2006, 01:13:07 am »
It's just turned Friday morning here in western NY (well, just after midnight anyway) and we're headed into the first full weekend the site has been online.  Hopefully I will be able to do more posting over the weekend.

A major windstorm is set to strike the northeast tonight and early tomorrow and the weather people claim there could be widespread power outages if trees take out the power or, eeks... the cable modem.  If I suddenly go missing, we can blame the weather.

Some users from Annie Proulx's own forum will likely take some time to stop by over the weekend on the forums.  It will be interesting to see if we can pick up a few longtime fans of Annie's writings to help give us some perspective there.

Also, it's day six and Google still hasn't found the site.  Argh....

On the advice of some web geniuses, http://www.beyondbrokebackmountain.com has been registered and is a duplicate of BetterMost.  It's part of the effort to help properly brand the site.  Either URL gets you to the same place.

It was also nice to pick up a few new users today.  If I can add a few a day, I'm happy with that.

More from me by the weekend.
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Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: Phil's MiniBlog/Diary
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2006, 11:30:08 pm »
We are now one week into the experiment that is BetterMost.  We finally turned up in a search engine today, albeit buried at #30 unless you get real specific - Yahoo! now has us indexed (as well as the search engines that rely on Yahoo!'s engine).  I was surprised by that because Yahoo! was notoriously difficult to get a listing on for a long time.  Google continues to be our problem - their search engine still hasn't found the site.

Thanks to 25 folks who joined during the first week.  Of course, keeping you coming back for more will be the ongoing challenge of the site.  I've tried to bring some content and projects in for our first week, especially in the forum for moving beyond the film. 

Writing messages inspires others to write - we definitely need to see some more participation if we can get this thing jump started.  I am noticing a definite fall off in traffic on some of the more general Brokeback movie forums as people begin to move on.  If you participate on one and want to mention this site, that would be great.  I am always uncomfortable joining forums elsewhere just to push my own site.  It's almost spam like, and while I have contributed my fair share to other forums about the movie as a whole, I don't want to invest a huge amount of energy on those when I need to devote it to this own site.  So if you can spread the word, that would be a great way to help the site.  Remember, we're bettermost.net.

I hope week two will see some more messages from people other than me.   ;)
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Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: Phil's MiniBlog/Diary
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2006, 03:31:15 pm »
I am happy to see we finally managed to make it into Google, albeit we're buried unless you know to type BetterMost.  Rankings go up based on people linking to the site, so if there is an appropriate site you visit that has links to other BBM resources, ask them to list us!

I'm also happy to see some more message traffic starting.  Keep it up.  I am working behind the scenes to put together Brokeback Mountain Radio, which will let you stream music from the soundtrack and music I am searching for that fits the mood and theme of the film.  To start, I'm going to blend a lot of instrumentals in and see how that goes.  It will definitely be more background than foreground music to start.  If you have any music requests, let me know and I'll see if I can fit it in.

I am assembling music right now, then have to re-encode it, log each song into the rights payment system (this will be a legal service) and get the stream up and running and linked through here.

I'm also working on an interview and some side issues.

I'm not seeing people doing some homework on the Now What forum.  Remember, we don't simply want the site to be about the movie itself.  Talk about the film will eventually die down as time passes.  This site's relevance to people will depend entirely on carrying things forward from the film.  We can talk about BBM, but let's also keep our eye on going forward.
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Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: Phil's MiniBlog/Diary
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2006, 08:01:09 pm »
Problems problems problems with Live 365 since last night.  Their customers are lighting the torches as forming a mob as I write this.  They changed their DNS address last night (the numeric address that ties into live365.com) and it's taking forever for Internet service providers to update their address tables.  Until they do, the site is not reachable.  Road Runner customers, like myself, will likely be among the last to see the update.  Your ability to get to BBM Radio depends on your ISP right now.

I continue to update content on the home page of this site, so I recommend people bookmark http://www.bettermost.net and not just the forum.  Usually content posted there crosses over to the forums, but not always.  The home page is important because that seems to be where we generate the most revenue to help pay for the site.  I try and keep such things an unobtrusive as possible, but I will be tinkering around with them in the days ahead. 
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Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: Phil's MiniBlog/Diary
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2006, 02:01:42 am »
An update - I evidently got the dander up of one of the administrators on another forum in promoting Brokeback Mountain Radio because the person thought it was some giant profit making venture and I was spamming the board.  :-[

I want to bring up a disclaimer here about the whole concept of advertising and whether BetterMost is some future Fortune 500 powerhouse.

First, as to our own site here, this is a labor of love and some therapy as well.  The ads that you see do not even begin to cover the costs of hosting the site itself.  I doubt they ever will.

Second, as to live365 which hosts Brokeback Mountain Radio for me, all of the advertising you may see there when launching the player or listening to the stream is their own.  Not only don't we receive anything from it, we pay a monthly fee out of pocket just to bring the service to you.  I don't have any control over the ads you may see or hear on live365.  That is just part of the cost of having a site there.  In return, the artists and publishers get compensated with royalty payments and we are in full compliance with the law respecting copyrights.

Without contributions, this place will almost certainly never pay for itself, and that's okay right now because this represents one of my goals that I've talked about in other forums on BetterMost.  It's about committing to change and using the emotional energy from the movie to help propel me forward, and that is what BetterMost is helping me do.  It's also therapy for me because I have you folks to help support me and vice-versa.

I have never been a person comfortable with shilling my own projects, especially at the expense of anyone else.  I provided a similar explanation to what I am writing you guys to the forum administrator in hopes of clearing the air, while respecting their decision at the same time - I am a guest there like on any forum I might visit during my day.
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Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: Phil's MiniBlog/Diary
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2006, 09:01:45 pm »
I am going to begin looking for some enhancements to the forum here thanks to some suggestions.

First, I'll be looking at installing a chat module into the system.  I'm not sure whether this will offer instant messages or a full fledged group chat room system yet.  I have to see what is open to the current version of this software.  There seems some interest in it so I'm game.

Second, there will be some look and feel changes to the system going in over the next week.

A reminder that people should bookmark the www.bettermost.net address and not the forum itself because new features, articles, and enhancements will be rolled out on the front page and not always noted in the forums. 

I have been a bit quieter in the forums for the last day or so because I have been dealing with some side effects of a shot I got in my pinkie related to an auto accident I was in last year that broke my wrist.  There are some complications from a treatment I got Friday and I have been a bit out of it.

A lot of people have been asking me about Stephanie Miller since I posted some audio in the Resources forum.  She is a highly entertaining liberal talk show host heard on several radio stations across the country.  Her show is about 1.5 years old now and she has a weekday three hour program.  He co-hosts are Jim Ward who does most of the impressions/voices and Chris Lavoie who is the producer and usually the guy laughing and telling Stephanie she's gone too far.

Her program has three regular segments, one in each hour:

Right wing world - a review of the most outrageous things heard on Fox News Channel and right wing talk radio
Stand up news - a review of news reports from around the world done with a comedic bent
Entertainment news - stories about what's going on in Hollywood, where the show originates

Saturday is the quietest day of the week here on BetterMost because people are actually not sitting in front of their computers.  If you've run out of messages to read in the forums, here is Friday's Stephanie Miller program (all three hours without commercials) provided as an introductory sampler.  Enjoy....

http://www.phillipdampier.net/downloads/stephaniemiller1.mp3
http://www.phillipdampier.net/downloads/stephaniemiller2.mp3
http://www.phillipdampier.net/downloads/stephaniemiller3.mp3
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Offline BBMGrandma

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Re: Phil's MiniBlog/Diary
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2006, 07:46:22 am »
Philip...I just found Stephanie Miller on my local AirAmerica Station....Saturdays 6-9 am!!  YAYYYYYYYYYYYYY....she's GREAT!!  That's my favorite station ANYWAY...just have never caught her show.  Saturdays 6-9 I'm usually Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz'in!!   Thanks for telling us about her!! 

Nancy
"If we never dream....we'll never have a dream come true"   (me...myself...and I)

Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: Phil's MiniBlog/Diary
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2006, 11:08:28 pm »
Philip...I just found Stephanie Miller on my local AirAmerica Station....Saturdays 6-9 am!!  YAYYYYYYYYYYYYY....she's GREAT!!  That's my favorite station ANYWAY...just have never caught her show.  Saturdays 6-9 I'm usually Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz'in!!   Thanks for telling us about her!! 

Nancy

I am a big believer in making sure we don't get too heavy and emotional around here.  Sometimes we need some good laughs.  If you really like her, you can subscribe to her download/podcast service which will deliver every show to you.  Unfortunately, she's a bit pricey, but if you get hooked, it's worth it.  I suspect she'll eventually go daily on your local station.  A lot of Air America Radio affiliates are replacing Jerry Springer or Mark Maron's morning show with Stephanie Miller because her show works better in morning drive.

My other favorite show is Randi Rhodes, who is heard on Air America.  Once you get over her accent (allow seven days), she is a real firebrand and entertaining too.  Now her show can be downloaded for free, but she's been on vacation all this past week so if you want to hear her starting with Monday's show, check out the link below to download the commercial free version.  She does four hours a day!

http://www.randirhodesarchives.com/
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