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!

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