Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Location: McLean, VA, USA
Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:29 am
Fun and Safe Driving celebrated its first anniversary on July 29. With the passing of time maturity comes, and my defensive driving site is in dire need for some improvements.
I'm going to shift focus more to the hot topics. I will concentrate more on creating materials about defensive driving. I will introduce some content about drunk driving / dwi / dui / oui. This will allow me to bring more fresh traffic to the site, and I might be able to rejuvenate the community on the forums.
Well, aside from writing more and more content, filming more and more videos, and doing more and more marketing to increase site visibility, I do have quite a few plans.
English of my writings is not as good as it could be (politely speaking) or crap (frankly speaking). I need to do editing of the whole site to bring it to acceptable English. Considering the volume of work, this is going to be quite an expensive task. My best estimate is close to a thousand dollars. I need some income generated by the site first to be able to spend that much. This will wait.
Graphical design looks amateurish (politely speaking)… I need to revamp it. I need logo, I need icons, I need template. Those things cost money, too. I only hope that this is in the order of just a few hundred dollars rather. Either way, this has to wait a bit, too. I just changed the logo today to something I like better than the previous one. This is probably the best I can come up with myself, and I'm still not completely satisfied with it and the design in whole. I need professional help on this.
I need to upgrade the code - this is pending for half a year already, and this is probably what I will concentrate on in the nearest future. New code works much faster, is more secure, and has quite a few bells and whistles that are commonplace nowadays, but are missing from my current site. Since my code is heavily modified, upgrading is not an easy task, and it requires some serious prep works. This explains why it has not been done yet, even when the new code itself is free. I'm starting prep works today, and my very optimistic date for prep works finish would be the second week of September. This means I'm probably be upgrading around the beginning of October. And this is an optimistic estimate.
I need to improve my driving directions. I plan on adding some functionality for the members - like saving several start and destination addresses for future use - and also mating driving directions with the weather.com API, so you can get the weather forecast for the destination at the same time you get your map. Those changes require some heavy coding, and I'm trying to find somebody to do this for me, cause I'm not that enthusiastic about coding all that stuff myself.
On the content presentation side I'm shifting the focus from the forums to regular content - encyclopedia, videos, and resources. I hoped to get some participation on forums when I started this site, but the decision to post majority of the content on the forums was a big mistake. Looks like people who are interested in the topic just do not like to post. Forum is as dry as African soil, and the only person posting for the last several months is myself. People come and read, I see the counters growing, but nobody wants to post. I might as well turn the forums off - providing I move content somewhere else. I know I have to do this, I just don't know where to move content and how. Big issue is visibility, cause I have quite a few external links pointing to the forum pages, and it is not a trivial task to not lose them. So far I just decided to not use forums any more for any driving related content. I will post more my videos, significantly update and extend encyclopedia, and make more use of the resources section probably.
This pretty much sums up my plans for Fun and Safe Driving.