Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hosting issues for a couple sites, writing marketing, and other things

Last December, I bought two domains through Blogger - and - with the intent of having Blogger-hosted sites akin to But this has not gone well. So I have decided to try other options. I called GoDaddy - since my domains are registered with them even though they were bought through Blogger - and was told the only way I could change hosts was to buy hosting and a domain transfer from them and then get an authorization code for the transfer from Blogger. I went ahead and bought the hosting and transfers just now, since I managed to find Google Inc.'s phone number on their site (though I never found a number specifically for Blogger, but Google owns Blogger, so if I call them I'm sure they can redirect me if need be). It cost about $106, with the savings I got on the transfers combined with the hosting and a 10% discount code from MuggleCast (who I heard about GoDaddy from in the first place). But that's for 1 year of hosting for both sites and domain transfers for both. I mainly just hope there isn't an issue authorizing the transfer, or I might have spent my money uselessly.

Fortunately, I should be able to make my sites look nice thanks to the coding tutorials I'm having to read for my Internet Presence for the Small and Medium Business class, along with our weekly website assignments. I learned today how to use a table to make a website layout. I'd used a table for a layout before, but it didn't work out super well. Plus, the reference I had for it didn't show how to make a navigation menu using table code, which the instructions for this assignment did. I'm surprised I didn't learn that earlier. It is actually not a bad way to make a navigation menu. I also figured out tonight that the same site I've been going to for those tutorials -- W3Schools Online Web Tutorials -- also has tutorials in CSS, which I've been wanting to learn more of, and PHP, which Elly from Miss Dream (with whom I've been carrying on an e-mail correspondence) was saying it would be good for me to learn -- but which I'd been intimidated by trying to work with Enthusiast for my fanlistings. There's also a tutorial on JavaScript, a useful script for webmasters that I never bothered to learn either. I started to go through that one tonight (since the PHP tutorial suggests you know HTML and JavaScript before learning PHP) but got a little tired doing it so I'm going to continue it later.

Speaking of sites, I have been thinking about my writing site lately, since I did my SWOT (Strengths-Weakness-Opportunities-Threats) analysis on it for my Internet Presence class. I don't usually write about my writing on this blog -- to keep my personal and writing personas separate -- but I'm going to make an exception this time. Basically, when I decided to try to create an online platform for myself as a writer, I read articles and such about what to do and tried pretty much everything. But then I got really stressed out about it. But the other day, when I was stressing out about what poem to write for Creative Writing class, I remembered I also had to do a Reading Response and chose to write a poem for that (since we can do a "creative" response if we choose). I ended up writing it about my difficulties marketing myself as a writer online, peppering it with Alice in Wonderland references because I was responding to a poem called "Alice in Wonderland." After writing this poem, I was surprised to discover I didn't feel super stressed about the issue anymore. I felt I could think clearer about it. Now this may be because I got more sleep that night because my French class was furloughed and I got to sleep in. Or it might be that somehow writing the poem was therapeutic -- or even a God-thing. I just know that when I was in history class taking notes on my laptop and surfing the net in between as I tend to do (I know, I'm bad), I actually really looked at the articles I had favorited about writing. That's something, since I'm usually tired every day, particularly by then.

I also gained some insight from comments people made on my SWOT analysis, which I proceeded to reply to. One fellow student said my site gave her the impression of someone trying to sell their writing rather than a product. It is true that my writing site isn't very product-oriented, but mainly that's because I don't have any published books that I could sell, and I don't know if I can sell other stuff - like the customized stuff people sell via Zazzle or Cafepress - without a book to base them on. The other student - a girl named Juliana who I actually was in a high school home Bible study group with but haven't talked to in years - encouraged me to determine a target audience and possibly seek out a service, if it exists, "that studies what type of books are popular with a particular age group and whether it breaks it down into more detail." These are good ideas. I also realized that I need to develop a brand (well, actually, I guess I knew that for a while, because I went to a branding workshop at the SDCWG conference last fall, but we never got fully through the worksheets they gave us), and also work on my MySpace and LiveJournal, my two writing-related social media connections that aren't doing so well (my Twitter, LinkedIn profile, and Scribd profile seem to be doing ok, though I don't have a lot of followers/connections on any of them yet...that will probably take quite a while). I also need to look at the site's WooRank report and investigate their suggestions. (WooRank is a very thorough website analysis tool; I heard about it from TechCrunch, a tech blog, via the NewsDesk app on my iPod touch). Hopefully I can find a organized way to go about this; I've never been good at goal-setting. At any rate, there's still my Internet Presence class, plus the "marketing for writers" forum-based class I registered for that starts in March and is taught by Karina Fabian, one of my connections on LinkedIn. Sooner or later, I want to finish my manuscript so I can take the "How to Revise Your Novel" class Holly Lisle offers, which I've heard about a few times from her Twitter (I follow her).

I'm trying to think of what else I was going to write about. My period just started, so I'm a little sluggish. Well, there is one thing. Gina, the bread clerk at my work, quit. I don't know what that will mean for me. It might mean I could end up as the bread clerk, because I work the bread more than any of the floor GMC's aside from Gina. But I don't know how to do the things Gina did, like order the bread. I know how to work the racks, pull stales, and mark down the stales, but that's it (I don't even know how to record the shrink from the markdown product).

I re-bought Tales of Symphonia for GameCube, along with its Wii sequel, Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, because when I rented Dawn of a New World I was prompted to load game clear data from the GameCube game when I started a new game, because I'd get something special if I did. Unfortunately, none of my GameCube memory cards had game data on them for Tales of Symphonia. But now that I know I can get something cool to start out with in Dawn of a New World if I beat the original game, I want to beat the original game again. I might have to get a new GameCube controller, because the spare used one I bought (which is the only one I have now, because I traded in the other one with my GameCube system) has a really beaten-up C-stick. One nice thing about Dawn of the New World is that even with Wiimote & nunchuk control, it's still a button-masher like the original game, so you don't have to learn how to use your Wiimote as a weapon (like in Dragon Quest Swords, another game I have).

There is also a Sakura Wars game coming out here, the first to be released in the U.S. (It's been around for 10 years in Japan and is a pretty major franchise). I tried to preorder it, because you could get a special artbook if you order it through, but every time I tried, it didn't go through - after going through PayPal I got a page saying my shopping cart was empty, even though the transaction wasn't finished. So I may have to pass on the artbook and get the game when it comes out (it comes out next month). I will get a special Lugia figurine though, because I pre-ordered Pokémon SoulSilver, one half of the remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver that are coming out next month. Yay! I might get the new Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars game too, if only to have a game where I can play as Street Fighter characters (I don't know any of the Tatsunoko characters, except Viewtiful Joe). I traded in Soul Calibur II, so the only fighting game I have is Super Smash Bros. Melee, and I've played that game more times than I can count. (I still haven't unlocked all the secret characters, though).

Ok I'm getting pretty tired, so I'm going to stop here and go to bed. Good night!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Ok, long time no post again. I'm not sure I should even try to recap. Anyone reading this knows I haven't posted every day since the early days of this blog, and even that didn't last long. Really all it's been is work and school, with a few bright spots in the midst, like the fact that I appeared on Miss Dream's podcast this week to advertise my SeraMyu site Myu Corner, in a couple hours of Skype mayhem on Thursday night. The podcast is up now if you want to listen to it, it's #4. I haven't listened to it yet so I don't know what got edited out (we ended up on a lot of distracting tangents, so I'm sure some stuff got edited out). Oh and yesterday I got an e-mail from iTunes saying that because I had somehow gotten charged twice to upgrade a bunch of songs in my library to iTunes Plus format (probably cause I clicked it twice because the "iTunes Plus" thing was still showing up on my menu even though I already authorized it once, so I thought it didn't work the first time), they were sending me a code for a $100 credit as a way to apologize for the inconvenience. Having never had that much money to spend on iTunes without using my debit card, I'm not quite sure what to spend it on. All I've done with it so far is buy a couple songs recommended by Genius, buy a couple iCarly episodes, and rent (500) Days of Summer. I might check out those pricey "Productivity" apps that I never buy because they're like $10-$20.

In other news, it's Valentine's Day today. I didn't get any flowers or chocolates, but my dad did give me this cool 20-cassette set of old radio shows. By "old," I mean like Burns and Allen and Jack Benny sort of old. Both my dad and I love them. I actually have a cassette set already of old radio shows, but it's not as big as this one. Also, tonight I'm going to the 3rd annual Un-Valentine's Day Party put on by the Asperger's group. I bought mini blueberry muffins to take (since we can't take anything red or shaped like hearts). I hope it goes well.

It's also the beginning of Chinese New Year today. To anyone reading this who celebrates it, Xin nian yu kuai. (That's "Happy New Year" in Mandarin). Please enjoy this picture I drew of my character Jalin for Chinese New Year a couple years ago:

Ok I've stalled long enough. On to the reason I'm blogging.

I am overwhelmed. I have 5 classes at school, three at CSUSM and two at MiraCosta for my web design certificate. I have a job which generally requires me to get up really early (due to the bus on days I start at 9am, or just early the days I start at 6am). My spiritual life remains in a rut, or at least it feels that way. I have been trying to keep a weekly book review blog as a reason to give my personal site a raison d'être and not done well at all. Aside from that, I have four regular websites (my personal site; my writing site, my PotterCast Acting Troupe fansite; and my new SeraMyu site) as well as two subdomains (my LAR Productions site and my pretty much inactive Nalyd1996 Sailor Stars Fandub site) to manage. I would like to start a PGSM site, but am not sure how to make it unique from others currently in existence. I am at a loss on how to market my writing site and myself as a writer. My creative writing teacher is an avant-garde lover, though he knows his traditional poetry - he compared my writing on my first assignment to John Donne, which I don't know whether to take as high praise or not - which may spell doom for my writing acceptable poetry or fiction in my creative writing class. He said on my first poem, the only one I've gotten back, that my language was good but I should bring in more contemporary ideas, which makes me feel like now I have to write a contemporary poem, even though my friend Jessica, who's also in the class, has told me repeatedly that I don't have to write contemporary poetry just because the teacher says so. We'll see what he says about my sestina, which was also very traditional. (I also haven't gotten the poem back that I wrote for the in-class writing assignment. I'm pretty sure some people got those back already. It was to rewrite James Schuyler's "Salute." I wrote a fairly long poem about letting go of the past, based around one of Rei's lines from PGSM - "I've become tired of the words 'past life'").

I really don't know how to deal with all that. I wish I could just withdraw from these things, but I can't. The only possible ray of light I've had is while I was in church today I had the idea of putting craft and cooking ideas on my PGSM site, like directions to make a muffler like the girls do in the show or a cake with their favorite senshi's theme color on it in that swirl pattern my coworker Miyuki does on cakes (it's a pattern kind of like starlight mints have on them, except going over the middle as well as the sides). I even had an idea for doing a cake of Luna or Artemis that would be akin to the Cookie Monster and Elmo cakes and cupcakes the bakery at my work makes (another originally Miyuki idea), except that they wouldn't really look like how Luna and Artemis look, and there'd be the problem of how to add the ears (dollops could work, but it would be hard to make them the right shape). I thought of paper dolls too; there used to be some Sailor Moon  sites that had those, I think (not PGSM ones, of course, but Sailor Moon ones). I probably wouldn't add it right away, probably after I'd done the episode guides and culture guide I wanted to do so I have a better feeling for ideas that would relate to the series. But it's a thought.

I thought of some sites I could affiliate with. There is Miss Dream (which also does PGSM translations), The Oracle,,,, Shingetsu if it gets back up, and Tsuki Mubi, a site for PGSM fan-made videos (the name means "Moon Movie" in Japanese) that affiliates with PGSM websites. Then there are the numerous fanlistings.

Well, it's almost 6 and I think I'm going to have some dinner so I don't pig out at the party. Good night!