The first column I wrote (January, 2004, "Faith")
started as follows:
It's 3:30 a.m. and I'm writing this so I can finish this web site
and get it up and running by 1/1/04, the date I promised.
I'm not writing this at the last possible second. Actually, it's early
But, my goal to have a revised version of AcousticByLines up by the
first of the year is the same as it was then.
These are the changes I've made to the site:
- Appearance. I wanted the site to have a less "cartoon"
appearance and, as one member put it, a more "acoustic"
look. So, I changed
- the color scheme and format of the page
- the location and appearance of the navigation "buttons"
(Note: I kept the old navigation cartoons for illustrations on
the appropriate pages.)
- the design of the navigation "buttons"
- the heading and logo
- added more photos
- added movement: scrolling photos and text
- Functionality. The old way of allow e-mails started to generate
spam and the "temporary" fix was awkward to non-functional.
Also, once in a while I get e-mails from folks who had trouble clicking
on the pictures to go to the various pages. So, I changed
- the e-mail link to a form-based e-mail
- the pictures to word-based links in boxes that look like buttons
- the words used in the links to be clearer
- removed the mouse-over explanations
- fixed typos as I found them
- Search Engine Placement. The site does very well in search engines,
but it could do better. So, I changed
- the names of the folders that organize the pages
- the names of some of the pages
- the comments, tags and some text inside the pages
- added more links from page to page
- and added redirects from the old pages to the new pages
- Maintainability. I spend a lot of time fixing and maintaining the
freshness of the site. So, I changed
- the common parts of each page into a style sheet and library
- the navigation from one page to another so that it's consistent
from page to page
- the file structure into folders that need to be refreshed and
those that don't
- event lists for the performers into separate pages (this will
be important for changes that are planned but not yet implemented)
- lists of members by genre into
- New Features. I added
Some of the members and visitors have
given me wonderful ideas that I've been able to implement and some that
I plan to implement in the future. I thank them so much. Thanks to Mark
Mortensen who provided the guitar tuners that are used in the navigation
buttons. And big thanks to Bob Dolan, an occassional contributor to
the COLUMNS! He was remarkable:
he provided me with the scripts to do form-based e-mail that I was able
to tailor for this site.
Once again, I want to thank all of the AcousticByLines members
for their faith in me and in the site. After only two years, we're getting
almost 5,000 hits per month. And, our membership
is up 9.4%.
Venues are getting
additional attendance from folks who get their information from AcousticByLines.
gotten additional work from opportunities that came through this site.
Businesses can advertise
to target markets. I hope their business improves due to their membership
here, but I don't think any of us are tracking that.
More changes are planned, and I'm still open to suggestions from members
and visitors to the site. Want to see something that's not here? Found
a problem that I need to fix? Contact Webmaster.
As I wrote in my first column: "Thanks for visiting AcousticByLines.
Thanks for your patience with us as we grow."