Monday, September 25, 2017

Updated About Page and fixing broken links

Maintaining a web directory is time consuming enterprise and has little reward. Anyway, I just updated the about page for Community Color.

I also started fixing some of the broken links to pages in the directory which will hopefully increase traffic.

My last server could only deliver 10,000 pages a day. I believe that the new server will be able to deliver several hundred thousand page views per day. The challenge is figuring out how to create content that is worth that many page views.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

DMOZ Died

I logged into DMOZ.org yesterday and was sad to see that Mozilla's "Open Directory Project" had finally failed.

DMOZ was a really big thing back in 2000.

DMOZ was a human edited directory maintained by volunteers. The directory was arranged in a hierarchical fashion which is a common structure for organizing data.

The DMOZ directory was a primary source for some of the early search engines. For awhile a listing on DMOZ resulted in a big boost in one's position on Google and Yahoo.

Apparently, DMOZ inspired the creation of Wikipedia.

DMOZ was owned by AOL (America Online). AOL was a huge thing back in the 1990s. AOL provided online access before the general public was allowed to connect to the Internet and instantly became the biggest internet service providers when the public was allowed access. AOL was acquired by Verizon in 2015.


My desire to build community portals coincided with the creation of DMOZ. I never found a funding source. I never developed a network of volunteers because I believe strongly that people should be paid for their work.



My idea is to mix affiliate ads with the free listings on the directory. This income stream fails because people don't use directories for shopping. They use directories for browsing.

Anyway, I am staring at the blank page for DMOZ and am left wondering if I should see the fall of the largest Internet directory as an opportunity or if I should see it as yet another sign that the days of my project are numbered.

Friday, August 11, 2017

New Home Computer

I finally faced up to the fact that the last computer I purchased did not have enough power to do complex tasks like edit photos, open spreadsheet files or load ad laden web pages such as Tumblr.

The computer had enough power. IMHO, the real problem was that Windows10 had become so bloated even fast computer is bloated down by bad software.

So, I bought a new computer.  Since I've been using Ubuntu for my web server, I decided to get one built for Linux. It is Meercat from System76.


System76 Meerkat

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Porting to new server

I am finishing the job of porting web sites to the new server. The new site uses PHP7, SQLite and HTML5. Things are different enough that I have to rewrite every single line of code in the program.

Anyway, I would love to receive comments on the site. I've been working on this project since 1999 and have actually received any comment on the idea of creating local directories.

The site currently does not have any interactive features. So, I will use this blogspot blog for comments.

I just moved iMoab.com to the new server. The site seems to respond quickly. The last Utah directory to to will be the Salt Lake Directory.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Martyrdom of Parley Pratt

I was raised in Denver and grew up loving the history of the Old West.

One of my goals in creating the Community Color sites was that sites would justify taking time to explore the colorful history of different regions.

My family moved to Utah some decades ago. The problem I face is that I really do not like the history of Utah.

Utah was settled by Mormons. Mormonism, it turns out, is a culture war religion. The Book of Mormon claims that there was once a great extermination war that took place on this continent between the Nephites (who were white and delightsome) and a variety of other tribes who were dark and loathsome. The Nephites lost the war.

Both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young claim that the proof of the Book of Mormon is the base observation that Europeans have lighter skin that Native Americans.

Mormonism teaches that a group of righteous saints are to be gathered in the "latter days" and that these saints are locked in an unending culture war with everybody who is not a member of their tribe.

Joseph Smith liked the ladies. Smith restored the principle of polygamy and sealed himself to as many women as he could get his hands on. Smith's band of wives included some fourteen year old girls and the wives of his followers.

Polygamy is an interesting device in that it allows powerful men to grab even more wealth and power.

The history of Utah is one in which Brigham Young and the Mormons would form powerful polygamist clans and would then use the clans to grab as much territory as possible.

There were invariably conflicts between the immensely powerful Mormons and everyone else.

The story of Saint Parley Pratt provides the typical settlement story, but with one sensational twist. (Members of the Latter Day Saints consider themselves Saints on earth).

Anyway Parley Pratt was an early convert to Mormonism and was a part of Joseph Smith's twelve Apostles. Pratt saw the potential of polygamy and took to marrying multiple women with a vengeance.

After emigrating with Brigham Young, Pratt helped with the survey of Parley's Canyon and, being an extremely powerful member of the LDS Church, grabbed the choice chunk of land which is now Park City.

While in San Francisco, Parley Pratt seduced a woman named Eleanor who was married and had three children with a man named Mr. Henry McLean. Without gaining a divorce, Eleanor was "sealed" to Parley Pratt in Salt Lake.

I need to point out that Joseph Smith had sealed himself to the wives of several of his followers. So, marrying another person's wife is not considered outlandish among Mormons.

Anyway, Henry McLean was cantankerous. He tried sending his children to their grand parents in New Orleans to keep them from the clutches of Parley Pratt.

Parley and Eleanor went to New Orleans to collect the children. After Pratt took the children, Henry McLean followed and eventually shot Parley Pratt.

So, Parley Pratt, who was an Apostle of Joseph Smith, was pursued, persecuted and martyred by an evil gentile named Henry McClean.

This martyrdom of Apostle Parley Pratt is held by Mormons as one of the great persecutions of their faith.

I guess Mormons hold that a great man like Parley Pratt should be able to marry the wives of non-great mean like Henry McClean without repercussion.

Now, here is the problem I have with Utah history: Mormonism is a culture war religion. The LDS Church teaches that its adherents are the righteous who were gathered in the latter days to engage in an extermination war with the evil gentiles.

Because the area was built by people engaged in culture war, every piece of history in this state gets interpreted as part of the culture war. It is impossible to research the history of the state without getting drug into this mean hateful culture war.

The town of Park City was originally named Parley's Park City after Parley Pratt.

Park City is one of the choicest pieces of real estate in the Mountain West and is now an internationally recognized destination resort.

One cannot talk about the history of Park City without discussing Parley Pratt.

One's opinion of Pratt almost always follows culture war lines.

The righteous hold that Apostle Pratt was a great patriarch of the faith who married 12 women  but was persecuted and martyred by an evil gentile. Non Mormons tend to look at Pratt and see a lecherous lout who broke families apart by seducing married women.

The great culture war that dominates live in Utah means that people in general cannot talk about the history of the area without being drawn into a mean hateful culture war launched by Joseph Smith.

BTW, I do not believe that Native Americans are loathsome. My observation is that people in southern climates tend have darker skin than people in northern climates because they spend more time in the sun than people in cold northern climates.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

New Site and Advertising

I am finalizing the the new site design for Community Color. I have only two sites pointed at the new server.

The new site is much faster than the old site, and I hope it will be able to handle a hundred times the traffic of the old server.

The Community Color project had over 10,000,000 page views last year. The old server would freeze up whenever I exceeded that amount.

Sadly, I made less that $3,000 revenue from the site. Last year I performed three test purchases on the site. I received credit for only one of the three purchases. It makes me livid. I am sending hits to advertisers by the thousands who are not crediting me with the traffic.

I figured my best bet for salvaging the project is to replace the affiliate ads with direct advertising. The problem with direct sells is the collection cost. Spending two hours to collect $10 from an advertiser is a path to insolvency.

So, what I decided to do is to sell the ads in units of 100,000. The price for the unit will be $25.00.

As mentioned, I had 10,000,000 page views last year. I should be able to consume 100 lots of 100,000 ads.

Advertisers can order an ad (I need advertisers in Colorado, Utah, Arizona and Southern Wyoming.).

If I approve the ad; I will place the ad on the site and send a Paypal invoice show the ad placement. If the advertiser is happy; the advertiser can pay the bill. If not; I will delete the ad after a week or so.

Now for the scary part. I am betting the boat on my ability to sell 100 ads for $25 a pop to make $2,500.

The market for local advertising has been so weak for the last few years that I am not sure there's a hundred businesses in the Mountain West that would buy the ads.

Anyway, I have the ad ordering program online. The ad is 738x90 banner that goes above the fold on the page. I have at most one such ad per page. The ad can be text or an image.

I am looking for ads in Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Southern Wyoming. Here is the ad ordering page.  You can order an ad. I will put it online and send a Paypal Invoice. If you like the ad, you can pay the invoice; Otherwise I will remove the ad.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Reviving Utah Color

I have put this project off for too long!

I am in the last stages of moving the Community Color sites to the new server. Due to changes in PHP, I've been forced to rewrite the code from ground up and it is going extremely slow.

I decided to start the migration with the UtahColor.com. The new design will feature a subdirectory for each of the 29 counties in the state. Egads, 29, this is a lot of work.

I am laying in a framework starting with Beaver, Carbon County, etc.

I appreciate any feedback on the site.

Quite frankly, the reason that I've taken so long on the rebuild is that I have not received any feedback and the lack of input has zapped my enthusiasm for the project.