Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Wednesday WarpedBlogging!

Wednesday means it’s time for the second weekly Wednesday Warped Tour Blogging, where I highlight the best of the Warped Bloggers. In today’s issue we run the range from censorship, relationships, dripping hair color, a near brush with brain damage, and a quick reminder about what's really important in life.

Hoffman’s Hearsay raises the interesting question of, if punk is anti-censorship, why then is a dissenting voice censored?


Avila Place shows us how to effectively use reverse psychology to get a recalictrant significant other  to accompany you to Warped Tour.


Revelry shares memories of a first Warped, along with dripping temporary hair color.


Dustin tempts brain damage with 17 kicks to the back of the head, but is safe from melanoma at least because he wisely remembered to use sunblock.


Handstamp at the Houston Chronicle shows the Parents Guide some love by linking to us, so it's the least we can do to return the favor.

And last but not least, this blog came up in the search results because of the post title. And while it has nothing to do with Warped Tour, I wanted to link to it because it’s beautiful, it made me cry, and made me wish I told my dad just how much I appreciated him when he was still alive. After you read this, call your parents and tell them you love them.


Any other WarpedBlogging you know of?




 

Monday, June 27, 2005

Play that funky music, Game Boy

No time for any updates today, other than posting another fantastic parent's review on the Illinois Warped Tour page. One thing about Illinois moms - they can really write! I give credit to the Illinois school system. Having attended no less than three different high schools in Illinois (we moved a lot), I can vouch for what was going on there back in the day. Out of all the high schools I went to (5 in total. Like I said. We moved. A lot.) the ones in Illinois were my favorites.

Very busy weekend, and I've got to get running this morning. The kids went to a free concert this weekend from the Huntington Arts Festival, and saw an absolutely amazing show put on by BubblyFish and Chiaki Watanabe. You must spare some time and check out their websites.

Only my son was excited to see this show at first. He has been playing rearranged video game music for me for some time, and is quite a fan of this genre. His girlfriend and friend were a little sketchy about the whole thing. They thought it sounded a little shady, but were willing to give it a shot. It was really wonderful to see how pumped they were when I picked them up, and how much they loved it. They all did mention that they would like to see these two in NYC sometime, to see them play in an environment other than a local free arts festival. Although from what they relayed, the senior citizens in front of them were really rocking out.


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Just an edit... after posting this, I noticed that MSNBC wrote a review of 8-bit music using the same title as my post. But I swear, I made it up myself!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Who’s blogging Warped Tour?

Not a whole lot of people who can write properly, that’s for sure.

Now, I’m no English major, and I will certainly post blogs with their fair share of typos when I’m in a hurry, and I am the QUEEN of run-on sentences, as evidenced by this one, but really folks.

I headed over to Technocrati this afternoon during my lunch break to try and get some Warped Tour blogs. I figured those who have been will definitely want to blog about it, and I could get some links to add to the web page. Of course there’s always Captain Dan’s blog, but I wanted to get other, less well known points of view.


Wow, what a waste of time.


99% of bloggers who are posting about Warped Tour had this to say:

OMFG WARPED TOUR ROCKED OMG IT WAS SOOOOOOOOO AWESOME ME AND (FILL IN THE FRIEND) WENT AND SAW (INSERT LIST OF BANDS) AND OMG IT WAS SO GREAT BUT I GOTTA GO NOW WARPED TOUR WAS AMAZING BYE!


However fear not, here are the few gems I was able to find. I’ll hopefully get these links added to the page this weekend, along with a few band and label friend requests I still need to process and add. Things are really busy here over the next few days, and I don’t know how much time I’ll have to update the Parents Guide.



The Skeptics who, much to my dismay, were a band I was not able to find before, posted this horror story about their night before Warped. Here’s holding out a wish for them that someday they are rich and famous, and, while spending the night in a 5-star hotel before playing their sold out stadium tour, can look at each other and say, “Hey, remember that night in the stairwell….?”



The prevailing complaint about Warped Tour this year is that there are “no good bands”. I’ve heard that statement around this house more than once from the boys, and every Warped Tour related message board is filled with posts singing the same tune. Jenn of blogto.com took the time to write out so eloquently what her opinions are on the music of Warped this year. I may not agree with her, but I really admire her taking the time to write it out so well. Wish I could write like that.



WhinyDancer has a short but entertaining blurb about working Warped, proving a blog entry doesn’t need to be long to get the point across…. something I really should keep in mind.


And last but not least, The Gas Rats write about their day with enough enthusiasm and detail that it makes you feel you were there - and regret that you weren't.

In the spirit of Friday Catblogging, I think I’ll make Wednesdays Warped Tour Blogging. Every Wednesday I’ll try to post the best Warped Tour blogs I can find. I know there’s more out there, so if you have one or know of one, feel free to drop me a line or add a comment here.


Here’s to bloggers who entertain and inform!


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Google?

We don't need no stinking Google!

Well, ok, yeah we do need Google, but it's good to see traffic climbing even without them.

What's even better to see is the amount of time people are staying on the page. So while traffic still isn't what is was pre-Google drop, the page loads are increasing. The average visit length to the page is an amazing 20 minutes which I find pretty impressive.


Monday, June 20, 2005

Todo list: Navigation, contest and bulletins

I’m still going through submitting to directories, but this is getting so blasted boring I’m taking a quick break to think over some other ideas for the site.

One thing I’ve noticed about the site is that the navigation is a mess. While I’d like to keep the navigation to one line up top, that’s becoming harder to do as the site gets bigger. Also, I’m staring to think that having the affiliate Amazon links spread out all over the site isn’t the best idea.

So something I want to work on this week is creating a standard template for the navigation heading up top and making sure all the pages are the same. I think the template should be as follows:



Parent’s Tent News & Reviews Pictures & Video Add your Review


Bands Booths Contest Media Related Sites


I’ll create the new media page, and have all the Warped Tour CDs, books and movies on that one page.



Also I’m starting to think about creating a contest for the site. Kind of a “write a parent’s review, win a prize” type thing. I did that once before on another website and got some nice traffic from it. The ideas I need to go over are:



1) When will it start and end?


2.) What will the prize be?


3.) What will the rules be?



As far as when it starts, I’m thinking as soon as I can get the navigation under control. I’ll start to work on that this week a bit as I have some time. Now on to when it ends… Pre-Google traffic to the site slowed down to a crawl just about November… however traffic starts to pick up again once the bands are announced. Right now I’m going back and forth with November, 2005 and April, 2006 as the end dates for the contest.



For the prize, I think the easiest would be just an Amazon.com gift certificate. That way I wouldn’t have to get anyone’s mailing address; I could just buy a gift certificate for them and then send it to their email address. A few “how to run a contest” guides online suggest asking another business to sponsor a gift, but I’m not all keen on that. I think just springing for a $25 Amazon.com gift certificate is good enough. Anyway I wouldn’t really know who to approach or even how to ask for a donation. The blanket gift certificate is good because that way, the winner can choose whatever they want.



For the rules, I’m thinking not too many. US or Canada only obviously, because that’s where Warped Tour runs. It would have to be a parental review, so obviously ages 21 plus. That way I don’t need to worry about any problem gathering information from underage visitors. Also I need to think of what the length of the review should be. From memory on the last contest I ran a few years ago, I had people sending in one or two line reviews. “It was a good show” Those I just trashed.



I was looking over a few of the reviews other parents sent in to get an idea of how long it should be. If I make the length requirement too long, that could be daunting… but I don’t want one or two line reviews either. I don’t want parents to kill themselves writing reviews, but I do want reviews that will be of value to other parents. I’m thinking somewhere along the lines of a minimum of 100 words which is just a paragraph or two.



Picking the winner is easy enough. Last contest I ran, all contest entries went into one folder off my inbox and numbered sequentially. Then I just used a random number generator to pick the winner.



Finally there is so much information in the bulletins and blogs I really need to go through there to get the new stuff added. Especially the DIY Stage



So… there’s my work for this week for when I can find the time. Hopefully I’ll be able to gather some valuable reviews from this contest



Saturday, June 18, 2005

A pal indeed

With the launch of Google sitemaps, there are some webmasters, yours truly included, who were unsure how to create the map to submit to Google.

As with all needs, there's always someone ready, willing and able to fill that void.

This great website, http://www.sitemapspal.com/ will do all the hard work for you.

Thanks sitemapspal!

Google Sitemaps Pal

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Back on target

OK after a slight detour from this blog's original intention, I am back on track with my goals.

I'm not sure if I fit into the sandbox category that I originally thought. All I know is, on the same day that Google dropped me from #3 to #9874, the exact same thing happened to countless other webmasters, all of whom have more experience with SEO than I. I don't feel so alone anymore, but I'm still completely baffled by the whole experience.

In any event, my next task is to increase the number of sites that link to me. Right now I'm winding my way through directories, which has got to be the most mind-numbingly dull and boring part of owning any website. Yet, "they" say it's what I need, so I'm merrily submitting away... zzzzzzzzzzzz

Friday, June 03, 2005

Where oh where are the athletes?

It is next to impossible to find which skateboarders, skaters, rock climbers, and bmx bikers will be at Warped this year.

All the press releases say the same thing:

Prominent athletes joining the tour from the action sports world will be announced soon.

That press release came out in March. "Soon" has come and gone.

One would think that with the release of Lords of Dogtown tonight (which I am going to see but secretly fear will pale in comparison to the wonder that is/was/always will be Dogtown and Z-Boys) that the athletes at Warped Tour would get front and center attention this year.

But no…. Search for them on Google and all you get is the same thing:

Prominent athletes joining the tour from the action sports world will be announced soon.

Please help. WHO WILL BE AT WARPED TOUR THIS YEAR??

Anyway, I'll be going to see Lords of Dogtown tomorrow. :: sigh :: Memories.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Catch-22

Commonly Referenced Tip: To increase Google PR, get other sites with a higher PR to link to you.

Rarely Mentioned Reality: Sites with a higher PR won't link to you, because you have a lower PR.



Commonly Referenced Formula: PR(A) = (1-d) d(PR(t1)/C(t1) ... PR(tn)/C(tn))

Rarely Mentioned Reality: What the hell does that really mean?