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



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