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Posts Tagged ‘site goals 2009’

I Always Wanted to Run a Book Store

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Since I was a child, I was amazed by bookstores–hundreds of shelves, stacked (seemingly) from floor to ceiling, the soft, comfortable chairs where I spent hours pouring over which book to buy, the crackling sound of a binding for a book that had never been opened.

I loved the fact that you could open a book’s cover, and be instantly transported to another world and/or time–one where dragons, goblins, and faeries interacted with humans, or aliens helped humans learn how to overcome their shortcomings.

Even the stories that were closer to home (though still half a world away) were fascinating to me–such as those describing life in a tribe in Africa, or chasing kangaroos through the outback of Australia.

Bookstores were magical places, where I could be transported wherever I wanted–and I’ve always felt that owning/running a bookstore was in my future.  Besides being a writer, and loving to create worlds, I’ve also wanted to help others find the worlds they want to experience.

While I still don’t own a physical store, we now have a virtual store here at WritAnon.  Inside, you will find a section where we feature various books, movies, and other items that are outstanding in their class.  Since the WritAnon Store is powered by Amazon, we also have access to vast libraries of books, music, movies, video games, electronics, and other items, so you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.

Times have changed from when I was a child.  Less time is spent in books, and much more is spent on the Internet.  We have access to the equivalent of thousands of libraries, typically from the safety of our own homes–all that needs to be done is a quick search via Google or some other search engine.  We have more information, but the real magic is still in books–something you can curl up with on a couch in a sunny (or dark and stormy) window.

When you decide to make your next book, music, or movie purchase, consider using the WritAnon Store.  Then, feel free to check the forums to see what other discussion (or magic!) is going on there.

Site Goals Update:

One month after setting some end of year goals for WritAnon, I’ve decided to give you an update on how close we are to accomplishing those goals.

Goal 1a:  WritAnon will be self-sustaining from member postings in the forums

We’re doing fairly well on this front.  I feel very lucky to have several members who are very active in the forums, who are willing and able to answer each other’s questions and give advice/comments on various posted stories.  The flurry of activity in the forum has sometimes been difficult to keep up with, which is an excellent problem to have–I’ve been very grateful to have such talented writers debating topics in the forum.  I’ve also enjoyed the imagination shown by those who have submitted various stories.

We’ve also had a few inspirational stories submitted by forum members.  This is a big benefit for the site–visitors will be able to get several points of view for finding inspiration.

Goal 1b:  WritAnon will be self-sustaining from a financial standpoint

There is still a lot of room to improve on this goal (which is not completely unexpected, since we are only about 6 weeks old).

To this end, we have added Google advertisements to let our users know about related sites/services.  So far, this has been our primary source of income.  However, we have several new features that are now available, such as our Private Forums, Editing Services, and our new WritAnon Store.

The WritAnon Store is a new addition this week.  If you are planning on purchasing books, movies, music, video games/consoles, computer, or other electronic devices, please consider using the WritAnon StoreThe WritAnon Store is powered by Amazon, so you will pay the same price for items at our store as you would at Amazon.  WritAnon gets a small percentage of the purchase price of each item, so this is a great way to support our site.

Goal 2:  The WritAnon forum will have 200 members by January 1, 2010

We’re making progress towards this goal.  We have already increased from 8 to 12 members in the past month (a 50% increase!).

When I set this goal, I knew it was aggressive.  However, if five existing members tell five of their friends, and each friend tells five of their friends, we will already be at 125 potential members.

I’m amazed at how global WritAnon has already become.  So far, we’ve had visitors from 10 countries on 5 continents–if you know someone in Africa or Antarctica, then we can round out all 7 of the traditional continents.  However, I’m thinking that Antarctica may be somewhat unlikely.

Here in the United States, we’ve had visitors from 20 states, which is pretty good coverage for a month.

While we’ve made some good progress, we need your help to get to 200 members by the end of this year.  Please Refer a Friend, post flyers, and mention WritAnon to any friends or family members who like to write.

Goal 3:  The blog will be updated at least once every week

So far, I’ve been hitting this goal every week (with a bonus July 4 posting).  For the most part, I’ve been focused on implementing new features for the site rather than writing blog postings.  As I finish wrapping up a few additional features, I hope to be able to update with additional bonus posts as time goes on.

Site updates this week:

  • New featured inspirational story by Linda Hillman:  Precepts of Writing
  • The WritAnon Store is now open for business
  • Minor changes to page layouts for Google Advertisements

WritAnon Site Goals

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Now that you understand a bit about where the seed for WritAnon came from, the next logical question is what direction WritAnon will go in the near future.

The site goals by the end of this year are fairly straightforward:

  1. The site will be self-sustaining.
  2. The forum will have 200 members by January 1st, 2010.
  3. The blog will be updated at least once every week.

We’ve already made some progress towards reaching these goals, and plan additional changes to help us achieve each goal.

2009 Goal 1.  The site will be self-sustaining.

There are two aspects of this goal–the first is that the site is self-sustaining because users are answering each other’s posts.  Because of this, one near-term focus for WritAnon will be to enhance member’s creativity through inspirational posts (a new feature added this week),  topics on this blog, and posting interesting topics in the forums. We have also added three new forums for users to participate in:  Songwriters & Poets, Children’s Stories, and Scientific & Technical Writers.

The second aspect of this goal is that WritAnon become financially self-sustaining. This aspect is subservient to user’s experiences–in other words, while advertisements are necessary, we will not use advertisments that interfere with your experience such as pop-ups or annoying overlays.

Towards this goal, this week, we added Google advertisements to our site in an attempt to pull in some advertising dollars.  We will also be pursuing other advertising methods, which will be unveiled as the features supporting them are completed.

2009 Goal 2.  The forum will have 200 members by January 1st, 2010.

In a similar vein to the first aspect of Goal 1, in order to be self-sustaining, we need to have enough participating members to have a reasonable number of posts each day.

To this end, we’re in the process of creating an advertising campaign.  In the meantime, we have also created a Refer A Friend page where you can send an invitation to friends so they can take a look at WritAnon.  We have also uploaded a free flyer for users to post at their colleges, libraries, or coffee shops (or anywhere else that you happen to know writers frequent).  Please also invite your friends to join — all writers are welcome.

2009 Goal 3.  The blog will be updated at least once every week.

This goal is a more personal goal.  In order to force myself to write more often, I want to update the blog each week with current WritAnon events as well as making site improvements.   This will help me to become more creative, and hopefully give other writers some interesting topics to think about.

Updates to the site this week:

Continue to watch for additional features as they appear, as well as a special holiday blog post on July 4 (Independence Day in the United States).  See you in the forums!

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