This week I've chattered on about all kinds of things related to Lincolnite's future. Thanks for humoring me! Part of the reason I did this was to generate feedback, which many of you provided here in comments, in emails, or in personal conversations. I also did this to force myself to really think about a number of issues associated with the site. Mission accomplished.
Next, of course, I have to actually put all this stuff into action. It's going to take some time. I haven't finalized all the decisions that need to be made, but I'm well on my way. Here are a couple of the actions I plan to take in the near future.
First up: I'm going to work on content. I need to work on improving how I generate content, getting back to my old ways of a minimum of one post each day and a game or other distraction every week or two. (Would you believe I used to try to post three items each day? Who has time for that!) Getting content quantity back to reasonable levels will help improve reader engagement, not to mention the benefits it will have for my morale. I'm also going to recruit some new bloggers / videographers / podcasters / whatever to help out around here. As I mentioned yesterday, I'll look for both regular contributors (one or more times per week) and guest contributors (one-time or rarely).
Then I will work on the site's design. Tweaking the layout, navigation, and similar features will be an easy enough temporary solution until I'm able to do a larger redesign. Under the hood, I need to make a decision about what system will run the show. Continue with ExpressionEngine? Move to a new system like sexy newcomer Craft? Or perhaps whip up my own system as a fun (but work-intensive) project?
One thing I haven't discussed this week is money. Well, I've mentioned that Lincolnite doesn't bring in any money. Over the years I've spent thousands of dollars on this little hobby of mine. It's time to begin recouping some of that. At some point during the redesign process I'm going to begin showing ads on Lincolnite. But don't freak out! I'm not talking about a JournalStar.com-esque disaster. Presently on the Journal Star's website I count a ridiculous 22 advertisements; sometimes they also have pop-ups and full-page wrappers. Here on Lincolnite on any given page there will be one ad. It won't be a pop-up, it won't be animated, and it will always be in the same spot. In addition, the ads I show will often not be commercial -- some will feature local non-profits and goings-on, for example. The goal is to be unobtrusive and unannoying, while at the same time helping to promote local stuff and help pay some site expenses. I trust you folks to beat the snot out of me if I let things get out of hand.
Thank you so much for joining me as I've worked through this process. Lincolnite is my baby and I want it to be something I'm proud of and you enjoy. Look for changes to begin very soon. Don't fret, though. Lincolnite will still be Lincolnite. Just ... better.