Monday, December 30, 2013

Direct Advertising

It is the end of the year. Would you like to buy some unused ad inventory in the Mountain West (Arizona, Colorado, Utah)?

I admit 2013 was worse for my web business than 2012. While visits to my site increased, ad revenue dropped precipitously.

My original idea was to try and fund a collection of community directories with affiliate ads. At the time affiliate marketing worked out as follows: I would get a click on a ad about every 100 page views. About 1 out of a hundred clicks would result in a sale. The average commission was about $10.00. This year it takes 500 page views to get a click and only about 1 in 500 clicks converts to a sale. The average commission has dropped to $5.00.

I believe that these poor stats result from browser helper objects that sense affiliate ads. The BHOs either block the ads or change the ids on the ads. Fraud in the industry has caused merchants to cut their commission rates.

I would like to experiment with direct advertising.

Direct advertising should have a higher conversion rate for advertisers than affiliate marketing.

To price the ads, I thought I would start a slight discount from the rate I get from a major internet company that starts with a "G". I get about $2.00 CPM from this large advertiser. So, I figure $1.50 CPM would be a good starting point.

I don't want to deal with transactions lower than $30; So, I decided to offer advertising at $30.00 for 20,000 ad views.

I currently am using two types of ads: boxes and leader boards.

I use box ads (either 300x250 or 336x280) on the events in the calendar.

The events in the directory are viewed on average of 120 times. If I accept your ad, I would place it on 100 or so relevant events in the directories of your choice.  If you are in Cedar City, I would put the ads on the Cedar City Utah Calendar. If you are in Durango; the ads would go on events in the Durango calendar.

I use 728x90 ads for leader boards in the upper fold of a variety of pages. These pages are much less predictable. Some pages get more than 20,000 page views a year. I will place the ads on pages that should add up to 20,000 ads a year.

I am testing direct advertising right now. If you would like to buy direct advertising, please contact me. If there is interest, I will create a program to automate the purchase of direct ads ... at which point I will raise the rates to industry standard rates which are substantially higher than a $1.50 CPM

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Was a Total Bust

The Online Christmas Season is coming to an end. Ground shipping can take two weeks, express shipping makes gifts too expensive. It is foolish to buy online after today.

Darn, I didn't have a single sale this year. My idea of building community directories funded by affiliate sales is now a total bust.

My experience in affiliate marketing is that it takes 500 page views to get a click on an affiliate ad. One in 300 clicks results in a sale. The average commission is $5.00. So, it takes 150,000 page views to make $5.00.

The affiliate industry is notoriously crooked. Most affiliate sales are sucked off by parasites or simply not credited by merchants. I did two test purchases this year. Both failed to pay my commission.  If a person with a Browser Helper Object visits my page, clicks on an ad, the Browser Helper Object will change the source of the click to help itself to the commission.

I will take a stab at selling advertising direct to the public. I was getting three dollar for every ten thousand page views from a large advertiser. That fell to a dollar per thousand page views this year.

I want to sell ads in $30 chunks. So, I am thinking of selling blocks of 20,000 ad impressions for $30.00.

My hosting fees average to $100 per month. Selling four blocks of ads a month would pay hosting fees, which is the most a small site can hope to achieve in the current economy.

If you are interested in buying advertising in Utah, Colorado or Arizona, please contact me.

If not, my deals page shows online steals and deals. This is pretty much the last day that you can order online and get economy shipping.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Cyber Week a Lost Cause

Cyber week was a complete bust. I did not get a single sale. Sniff, sniff.

I had wasted a bunch of time uploading coupons to the sites. I loaded about 500 of the silly things. To be truthful, the main reason I did that was because I felt that if I had no sales I would blame the lack of sales on my unwillingness to add coupons.

I actually dislike coupons and most sales gimmicks. Sales gimmicks are designed to coax people into making irrational choices. When people make choices based on coupons rather than on an assessment of the product and their desires, then the person is making a worse choice. The world simply is not as good a place as it could be if people made better choices.

I do like some sales models. For example, the original model was to concentrate on selling overstocked and clearance products. A clearance sale is a sale run for the specific purpose of clearing out unsold merchandise.

The Deal of the Day model is one in which a marketer highlights a product a day. This model allows a store to focus attention on a given product and it provides value to a web site by providing some ever changing content. I like the loss leader concept since it helps people discover new products, but if one gets addicted to steal sites, they will end up with a basement full of garbage and a tapped out credit card.

Deep inside my belief is that people should spend less and spend a lot more time thinking about the full impact of their spending. I am really drawn to the "Local First" model. The business plan was to use the sales from large ecommerce shops to fund the creation of a community portal.

The business model is not working. The sites no longer pay their monthly hosting fee and I am at a loss about what to do.

My current thoughts are to sell direct ads to local merchants. I was thinking of selling ad space in blocks of 20,000 page impressions for $30. If I sold four such blocks a month, I would be able to continue paying my hosting fees.
The problem I have with this idea is that if I am not getting sales through the affiliate channel, I am left wondering if I am selling a product that is valuable to local merchants.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in buying ad blocks on the Community Color sites, feel free to contact me. I am currently running two sizes of ads. I used 728x90 leader board ads on content pages. I use box ads (either 300x250 or 336x280) on the events.

I place the leader boards at the top of relevant pages in the directory and on site reviews. I place the box ads on event pages. The events are viewed an average of 100 times. So, I would put a box ad on about 200 event listings. I am barely making the cost of hosting the site at this ad rate, but in these days of endless recession, what else is one to do?

If you are interested in buying local advertising in the Mountain West. I am selling advertising for cheap.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Cyber Monday

Black Friday was a bust. My take for the day was a whopping 69 cents.

Since the focus of Community Color is small local business, I was psyched for Small Business Saturday. My goal was to engage in a massive link-a-thon during the day, but I lost steam. In the link-a-thon, I just troll local web sites and post interesting links. So many small businesses have failed in these last few years that it's depressing.

But today is Cyber Monday. This year Cyber Monday is not only the start of a new week, it is the start of a new month. So, I am ready to plow ahead.

Cyber Monday is about ecommerce; So, I've infused my web site with Cyber Monday deals. I add the ads to the coupon site A Fountain Of Bargains (Deal of the Day Page). I then press a magic button which copies the ads to relevant areas in the Community Sites. This page breaks out deals by store.

My goal was to use affiliate marketing to fund community web sites. The community web sites provides 20,000 free links to community services, artists, blogs, churches, and small business.

In theory, Cyber Monday is the big day for online sales.

The idea behind Cyber Monday is that workers across America are sitting in their offices shopping online for bargains rather than doing their jobs.

This actually happened in the early days of the Internet when few people had internet access at home. People would see ads for a big sale; but would have to wait until Monday when they had access to the Internet.

Cyber Monday is such a cool name that web sites still try to make a big deal of the event by posting their biggest sales of the year.

This is the best day to do one's Christmas Shopping. Personally, I am hoping to have a good cyber-monday because I need money to pay my hosting fees. That's my problem, not yours.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Park City Directory

My Small Business Saturday Link-A-Thon is going slowly. A sustainable small business community grows organically. Organic growth is slow.

My first goal for the morning was to push my Park City directory over the thousand link threshold. This site has a great four letter domain:  When I go bankrupt, I hope to be able to sell the name.

Park City has developed into a luxury resort town. It is the home of the Sundance Film Festival (formerly the Utah Film Festival). The area houses three world class ski resorts: Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley and The Canyons.

One cool thing about Park City is that it has a huge Vacation Property Market. Investors buy vacation homes then rent them out to skiers for the resorts and starlets for the film festival and apres ski scene.

The Internet has facilitates short term property rentals.

Vacation Rentals only work in locations where rich people want to take a vacation.

The Web Site Corporate Housing By Owner out of Denver helps arrange short term rentals for business people. Real estate investors can buy properties and make a little money on the side renting to business travelers looking for alternatives to extended stay hotels.

List your property with Corporate Housing by Owner (CHBO)

Park City is also home to a large number of sporting goods companies seeking to have a top notch address for their firm. If I had a source of income, I would consider moving to Park City myself.

Anyway, I just pushed my Park City directory past the 1000 link mark. Through the years I've deleted 349 broken links. My guess is that about 5% of the current listings are broken.

Small Business Saturday Link-A-Thon

It is Small Business Saturday. So, I figured I should do something to promote small businesses.

I believe that promoting small independent business is the first step to restoring the promise of America.

If done correctly a network of small businesses can create a resilient self-sustaining structure that draws people in and creates path to prosperity for a large number of people.

The political class (progressives and conservatives alike) prefer top down hierarchical structures. Progressives and Conservatives simply disgree about who should be at the top of the hierachy.

Top down hierachical structures tend to be brittle and rife of systematical faults that can tear communities apart.

Even worse, the political minds that favor big hierarchical structures to freedom have an ugly tendency to kick people down and create massive populations of poverty and dependency.

A political hierarchy, by its very nature has limited opportunity. There's only a few worthwhile slots at the top while the rest of the people are pushed down.

A distributed system of small business has unlimited potential because all of the people in the distributed network are helping each other up.

The great European powers of old (The Monarchy) had formed into a stagnant hierarchical structure.

The great promise of America was that the colonies were developing into the framework of a distributed network. This system created widespread prosperity.

The political class (progressives and conservatives alike) prefer a hierarchical structure with politicians at the very top.

I am fiercely independent and fight this tendency to hierarchies whereever I find them because I know that a distributed network is more resilient and sustainable.

So, Small Business Satrurday is one of these days that I cherish.

I believe that the first step to restoring the promise of America is to promote independent thinking and small business.

Putting my money where my mouth is, I created a collection of community directories under the brand of Community Color. This one man project developes directories for towns in the mountain west. The directories currently have 27,169 active links. I've deleted 11,945 broken links through the years.

The goal is to link to every site I can find. This includes artists, photographers, bloggers, churches, big business and especially small business.

My biggest problem is there is no local interst in this project. In twelve years of developing this program, I have not had a single person in Salt Lake City, where I live, express interest in the project (beyond salesmen who were interested in selling me a service).

Utah is under the foot of an oppressive political hierarchical structure. The Tower of Power is on the corner of Temple and State.

I thought about engaging in a link drive today. But that idea is spammy and is unlikely to result in anything.

Instead I think I will simply engage in a link-a-thon.

Contacting people and asking permission to link is tedious. So, the Link-A-Thon will be just me trolling web pages and linking to every site I can find. While no-one is interested in linking to me, I will link to them.

Here's thes starting gate. To date, I've listed 39,114 links, I've pulled 11,945 dead links leaving 27169 live links. I've made 4,658 link review pages. Here is a break down of links by community ordered by total traffic.

If there are sites you want me to consider or sites you want removed from the directory, please use the contact form.

Link Summary by Community
Community Categories Links Distinct
Page Views
Salt Lake Sites 327 5874 5248 3876777
Provo Utah 141 1861 1558 1243874
Denver Color 242 3736 3309 898799
Grand Junction 84 911 781 675113
Missoula Websites 78 756 642 501299
Park City, Utah 71 940 840 442143
Saint George 71 697 555 345084
Moab 43 431 378 321292
Ogden, Utah 77 784 632 296170
Cedar City 43 326 269 268166
Cheyenne, Wyoming. US 56 416 323 257993
Boulder Color 84 1025 826 244320
Colorado Springs Color 91 959 753 229998
Tooele 34 207 176 214624
Vernal, Utah. US 35 211 182 214900
Logan Utah 46 460 376 186830
Fort Collins Color 68 695 543 165137
Wasatch Color 23 162 138 138759
Durango Colorado 36 395 355 124250
Glenwood Springs Color 33 197 160 112982
Carbon County Color 27 125 101 109293
Pueblo Color 37 209 141 70620
Community Color 9 48 45 50869
Phoenix Color 81 1002 791 49676
Laramie, Wyoming 26 111 92 36121
Pima County 46 419 307 29595
Utah Color 30 329 203 27256
Mohave County 18 92 64 21057
Navajo County 17 61 48 18921
Coconino County 24 143 95 17279
Arizona Color 21 192 154 16006
Yavapai County 21 144 111 15112
Cochise County 18 94 75 14960
Pinal County 22 112 80 14653
Yuma County 19 109 76 13152
Gila County 14 37 32 12397
Apache County 9 22 18 12011
Colorado Color 17 145 92 11307
Graham County 10 29 25 10521
La Paz County 9 25 21 10189
Santa Cruz County 11 34 27 9769
Greenlee County 6 11 8 9315
Steamboat Springs Me 6 10 9 570
Starting figures

      Events  Reviews   Links  Removed Active
Start 16,386    4,658  39,114   11,945 27,169
Links: 39114 27169 11945

Friday, November 29, 2013

Small Business Saturday

I find Black Friday frustrating. I posted a ton of coupons and sales for the event, but I just don't get any Black Friday traffic.

My big hope is a new marketing event called "Small Business Saturday."

Small Business Saturday was coined by American Express in 2010.

The fact that "Small Business Friday" was invented by a huge financial firm is one of those ironies of business.

As a huge financial firm selling merchant services, American Express simply must find ways present itself as friendly to small business.

While the origins of Small Business Saturday is questionable, it is a good idea. Come on. Mothers Day was the creation of Macys.. The fact that an store set on world domination created Mothers' Day does not change the fact that we all love our moms.

Small Business Saturday is a great idea.

During the holiday season there is a great deal of attention on Black Friday Sales held by big box stores and on the Cyber Monday sales held online.

This marketing attention leaves out all of the small Main Street merchants and small businesses which are the bedrock of the community.

Declaring the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday as "Small Business Saturday" focuses some attention on the small merchants.

I realized that the Internet age was harming small business long before the Small Business Saturday. Way back in 2000 I started creating local directories to help focus some on small businesses. The first directories were for towns in Idaho and Montana. I gave away all but Missoula.WS.

I moved back to Salt Lake for the 2002 Winter Games.

I happen to be a third generation native of Colorado, and decided to make directories for my home town of Denver (I grew up in Lakewood) and Boulder County (We lived in Longmont for a bit).

The goal of the Community Color directories is simply to list every web site I can find for select towns in the Mountain West. I don't limit myself to business. I start by listing art sites and include blogs, campaign sites, church web sites, community resources and what not.

The goal of this project is to show how the diversity of small communities is reflected online.

To fund the project, I do the following: If a web site has an affiliate program. I join the affiliate program and post the affiliate links. I also joined the affiliate programs of big stores like Walmart and Target.

Big box stores are still part of the community too. They have employees and the stores support community functions.

The affiliate links go through a redirect program lnk.php which I block in robots.txt. The affiliate links get a worse treatment than straight links for small business.

My hope was that the affiliate links would provide enough income to sustain the community directories. This worked up until two years ago when Google set its eyes on dominating local search traffic. Such is life.

My big hope this holiday is that I might attract some attention this Small Business Saturday.

Essentially, I have two collections of local directories. The Utah Color directories focus on the Beehive State. The Colorado Directories focus on the Mile High State. I recently purchased the domain and I have directories for Cheyenne and Laramie.

The directories contain some 27,000 active links. The links include blogs, restaurants, churches, artists, musicians, dancers, schools and small businesses. Through the years, I've pulled 11,000 broken links. Yes, about a third of the web sites I've listed have gone dark. It is really sad.

My hope for this weekend is that people living in the Mountain West who are interested in supporting the small businesses in their community will visit the web site for their town and might consider linking to the site or tweeting about it.

The web sites are friendly to the local community. I list every site I can find. I list Democrats and Republicans, I list small business and big business. I list artists and athletes. The only sites I avoid are porn sites and hate sites (well if you are a Democrat who hates Republicans or a Republican who hates Democrats, that's okay 'cause that's the just the way partisan politics works).

Some people are really upset at the fact that I list affiliate links. I think this is a good funding source. These programs obviously have a marketing budget. I use that marketing budget to provide free local listings for community services, artists and smaller businesses without such a budget.

Linking to the local directory helps support web sites from the local community. I posted Black Friday and Cyber Monday coupons on a coupon site called This is just a way to fund the local sites.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Halloween Links

It's official, the community directory Boulder Color just passed the 1000 active link mark. Boulder Color is a human edited directory. I looked at each of the sites to make sure they are either from Boulder or have something to do with Boulder County Colorado.

The Internet has huge problems with broken links. I check each once every other year and pull out broken links. So far, I've deleted 236 broken links from the site. That's 23% of the links have gone broken over the years. My guess is that about 5% of the links in the directory are broken. Sorry about that.

I am currently working on updating the Halloween directories. I have Halloween directories for Denver, Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Provo. The Halloween directories list over 100 activities and haunted houses and over 50 local costume shops. These directories are the most complete list of Halloween related links for the selected communities.

I was going to make a Halloween Directory for each town, but I realized that many attractions like haunted houses and corn mazes attract people from a larger region than just a town. So, Boulder Halloween links are in the Denver Directory and Ogden links in the Salt Lake Directory.

Speaking of Boulder, apparently the naked pumpkin run has been cancelled. If you want to run around naked with a pumpkin on your head, it's no skin off my teeth. Just don't come crying to me when you spend the night in the Boulder County jail.

Have a Happy Halloween!

BTW, if you have a link to an event or Halloween attraction not listed in the directories, you can drop me a line on my Contact Form.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Reeling from Anti-Competitive Actions at Google

I maintain a collection of independent directories for the mountain west (Durango, Moab, Salt Lake City, etc). This is a labor intensive activity. The directories contain some 26451 active links. Through the years, I've removed 11,000 broken links.

This is a manually edited directory. I actually looked at every single one of these pages. I manually check each site every two years to see if the site is still up.

Removing broken links is time consuming. I actually look at each site to verify the link is broken. Often I will look at a site twice (a month apart) to see that it wasn't just down temporarily.

The goal of the project is to help people find small local businesses. If you go to the sites, you will see links to blogs, churches, foot races, community services, stores and businesses. I list anything I can find with local information.

My hope to fund the directory was with affiliate links. Unfortunately, this has proven a bust. If you have a parasite on your computer, the parasite will steal any commission that I make from the site. The affiliate links no longer pay the hosting cost of the sites.

I allow people to submit links. I was getting a ton of spam entries (places not relevant to the directory). So, I started asking people with a marketing budget to pay a one time $10.00 listing fee. Asking a listing fee reduced spam and helps pay hosting fees. The sites are hosted on a cloud account from WestHost. The hosting fees are $50 a month. I am paying about $360 a year for domain names and about $26 a month for internet access. My costs are about $100 a month.

For awhile I was getting six listing fees a month which paid half of my web hosting costs.

Last year, Google announced that they would penalize any web site that bought listing services from any company except Google. BTW, Google makes its billions by selling web site listings. You pay for inclusion at the top of the web page. If you have a high resolution monitor, you will notice that there is an almost imperceptible shading around the top listings on a page. This very light shading separates the paid listings from the free listings.

Long ago, Google had about 3 paid listings for every 10 free listings. This meant that they were giving away a great deal of free traffic.

A whole industry called "Search Engine Optimization" formed around getting the free listings.

In recent years, the number of free listings fell to about 5 for 10 links on popular search terms. Googling "Toaster Oven" I see there are 10 free listings and 9 paid listings on the page. There is a big link to Google Shopping. 100% of the links on Google Shopping are paid listings.

For the last two years, Google has been on a major campaign telling companies that buying links from any company other than Google is bad and they admonished "SEO experts" to remove their web sites from any company that accepts payment for listing.

The end result of this action was an immediate 80% drop in paid listings on my site. The thing that really upsets me is that I keep getting emails from small businesses demanding that I remove their listing from my site.

My goal was to provide a large list of local links. Being forced to remove sites because of the anti-competitive actions of Google diminishes the quality of my directories.

Removing links is actually more labor intensive than adding the links because I have to go through the task of verifying that the removal request is real. This can take an unpaid hour per request.

The problem here is with authentication. If I were into black hat SEO, I would research the back-links of my competitors. I would then send out emails to all the back links demanding removal of my competitors' links. If I can reduce the inbound links to my competitors, then my site would rise in the listings. Capiche?

Quite frankly, I hate SEO. SEO says the search engines are more important than the content of pages.

When I contact people to verify removal requests. I am often deluged with a hateful torrent from web site owners who have convinced themselves that my linking to their web site decreased the free traffic that they used to receive from Google.

I am here to tell you the truth: The free traffic you used to receive from Google was manna from heaven. The primary reason that you stopped receiving free traffic from Google is that Google has increased the ratio of paid links to free links on search results. The second reason is that the number of web pages grows exponentially. If your site is not growing exponentially, then your free traffic will diminish.

Personally, I think people were foolish to put so much faith in free traffic from Google. A better approach is to be involved in the community and to support smaller sites engaged in organic linking ... like the Community Color project.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hack Attack

My web host was hacked and infected with an injection script.

The injection script added a snippet of javascript to every file in my account that tried to load a virus.

Yesterday, I had my webhost disable all of my accounts; so that I could repair all of the files. I finished repairing the files some time ago and am hoping to bring the sites back online shortly.

Unfortunately, since my host was infected, the tech support department is inundated with calls.

Since it was the host attacked and not my personal account, I don't know if the vulnerability that allowed the injection script was fixed or not.

I apologize for any inconvenience the site being down may have caused.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Domain Auctions

Hi all. I am auctioning two domains on GoDaddy. The auction will end early next week. The domains are and

When I started developing web sites, I did so with the idea that domain names held some value. But it is foolish to think something has value until you prove that you can sell it.

I began researching the game of domaining. The term domaining refers to the business of buying and selling domain names.

Domain names are not a liquid asset. Yes, people who really want a particular domain name might pay big dollars for the name, but for the most part, selling a domain is a long and tedious process. It takes from months to years to find a buyer for a domain. Most domains sell in the $30 region.

When investigating a new market, I find it best to buy an item before trying to sell one.

Last year, I realized that I had never actually bought or sold any domain names in the domain aftermarket.; So, I visited Bido and followed the auctions for several days. I bid on the domain BaitShop.US because I thought it was a good general name that would be easy to resell.

The domain was given to me a few years back after a conversation I had about the importance of link development. I used it for a general directory; So I decided to sell it.

My two auctions will end next week on April 15 and April 16.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Part Time Business Opportunity

It is beautiful out today.

Wouldn't it be great to own a business that allowed you to engage in recreation on beautiful days like today?

If you enjoy social networking and would like to a free business franchise in the recreation industry that lets you travel; please contact me, because I have a deal for you.

The opportunity is to own a franchise in a new social networking sport. Imagine something that combines the best elements of Zumba Fitness, baseball and Twitter.

The first people who respond to this message will get a free business franchise. You will help define the game and help develop the franchising system.

The start up costs for your franchise are very small. The costs of holding a game would be comparable to hosting a volleyball game. Let's see, you need to own a couple balls that cost a dollar a piece. You might need to pay a fee to use a baseball diamond at a park ... that's it.

There is a potentially lucrative money making opportunity involved.

Starting this business would be a fun summer job that would look great on your resume. If you are under eighteen, you will need consent from your guardian to participate.

The program can be used as a fundraising activity. If you are with a non-profit group or church and wish to run a community based fund raising event, contact me as well.

The Zumba Dance Party is a good comparison to this program. Basically, you would get people together to engage in a recreational activity. The game could take place at a local baseball diamond, dance studio, gym or church.

Like Zuimba, this franchise can be established as part of a larger business. For example, if you owned a gym or dance studio and wanted to bring in extra clients, you could start a franchise and I will feed customers to your business.

If you would like to run a booth at a farmers market, you could contact me and set up a franchise at that farmers market.

If your group is hosting a community festival and would like to bring in more people to your festival and make money, you could add a franchise to that effort.

The franchise is a social networking sport. Participants will have the opportunity to travel to destinations of their choice. Note, if you owned a baseball franchise, you would travel to play games at other franchises.

Unlike Twitter, which consumes a lot of time with little financial benefit, There is an income opportunity associated with this opportunity. The income can be used to raise funds for a charity.

I live in Utah. Every time I mention Utah, I am asked two questions: "Is this another MLM scam?" and "Are you Mormon?" The answers are: "The game involves a social network. There is a hierarchical component to the network. There is not an MLM compensation component of the program."

The answer to the second question is "No, I am not LDS. The game is open to all people regardless of race, gender, marital status, nationality, political or religious affiliations."

Quite frankly, the game would be a really fun activity for a church group. Since this is a social networking sport, the game has the requirement that franchise owners cannot discriminate against people for race, religion, gender or age. If a ward or church group opens a franchise, the group must allow people outside their church to participate in games.

I am interested in finding people who either live in or are planning on traveling to Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho or Nevada in the upcoming months.

For example, if you were planning a trip to Moab and are willing to talk shop, I might travel down to Moab to give you scoop on the business. If you want to start a franchise in California, Texas or Vermont, contact me, but you will need to plan on traveling out west in the next month or two.

The first step to getting your free business franchise is to contact me. I don't bite (hard).

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

ProtoPhoto Maps

I added a mapping feature to The feature uses static maps generated by Open Street Map. If I understand the license correctly, the data in Open Street Maps is controlled by the Open Database License. PNG images generated from the data are considered public domain ... which you can use with attribution.

I only have a few sample maps up. My basic idea is that, if I visit an area, I will record the GPS image of the objects in the photos. I will then create a PNG map of the area and plot the points on the map.

The other big change I made to the site is that I moved the navigation bar from below the picture to a "hidden division" in the navigation bar at the top of the page.

So, if you go to the picture Virtual Office and clicked on the "navigate" link, you will see a box that lets you go the the next photo in the collection. Just below that is a link that brings you to a map of Downtown Holladay. The picture is at point #24. You will notice that when you click on the map, point #24 has a bigger marker than the other points on the map.

I've only created a small number of maps and have added GPS coordinates to a small set of points within the maps. Hopefully the maps will become compelling with time. Right now there are only five maps with sixty points displayed on the maps.

The map titled Salt Lake Valley is a map of the maps I've created in Salt Lake.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

sTumbling Around

Tumblr allows their program to run under the URL given by end users.

So I decided to change the tumblr URL to I changed to tumblr.ArizonaColor.US (the TLD is .US).

You will notice I have quite a few subdomains on is a directory for Maricopa county, is a subdirectory for Tucson and so on.

Developing multiple subdomains for an account makes sense from both a development and organizational perspective.

Tumblr does a great job domain forwarding links from the old name to the new name. The change ended up creating a few hours of downtime during the DNS propagation, but I am quite pleased with the result.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Rounded Image

To help create a well rounded image for my web sites, I started running pictures through a circular filter and uploading them to twitpic. The images will also show up on my Twitter Stream. The twitpic widget shows the items I've uploaded so far:

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Open to Sharing on Tumblr

I've been playing with the photo sharing site Tumblr. I decide to open the pictures on ProtoPhoto to sharing.

Here is how the sharing works. There is a "share" option on each photo. The first box lets you group a small thumbnail URL for the picture.

The second box lets you share on Tumblr. If a photo has already been shared on Tumblr, the page shows a link to the Tumblr post. Click on that link and you can reblog the post.

If it hasn't been shared on tumbr, there is a share button. Press that button. The link will open a new window for a tumblr page. Enter your blog post. When complete, you can go back to the getCode page and enter the URL for your Tumblr post.

This page is open to the public ... and I aggressively delete spam. I will remove this option when I get too much spam (sorry, I've had to remove most of the interactive features from my sites due to spam).

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Google Maps V3

I am busily changing links from to I learned the hard way that you should never let someone else choose the name for your company.

Google had deprecated the maps API I was using; so I couldn't just move the maps page and had to create a new version of the maps for the venues page. The version 3 maps look much better than version 1.

Truthfully, I wish I could just find a place to buy map tiles to create my own map; rather than creating a dependency on a third party.

On the tumblr front, since I am created galleries of Utah and Arizona, I decided to expand and created even more sites:

Friday, February 01, 2013

Moving to Internet Rivers

I confess. I never was fond of the domain name "" The name was chosen for me.

The business plan I wanted to execute was to build Community centered sites. These sites would feed a larger site that had a general purpose theme. I wanted to concentrate on the community sites. The person who was working on the commercial site chose the name.

The goal of my project is to explore the ways in which different communities are connect. After my initial partnership broke up, I bought the domain name I like to call the domain Internet Rivers.

I love the name because we are all connected by rivers.

I am currently in the process of moving all the content from to I will hold a Bido auction for the name There are thousands of links to this site and it currently gets several thousand hits a day. I hope it sells.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Reblogging Photos

The Community Color project suffers from a distinct lack of back links. So, I decided to start blogs on Tumblr.

I will reblog the images from ProtoPhoto along with other interesting photos found on Tumbr. I created three tumblr blogs which are:

I will be happy to follow blogs and reblog images from other blogs relevant to these areas.