Blogs and articles that relate directly to domain development.

What's Next After You Have a Domain

My recent foray into publishing my own novel has been a really educational experience. For those of you that are unaware for the past eighteen months my skunk works project has been writing a science fiction book. I’m still settling on a title but it looks like the series will be known as “The Mind War Saga” (it may change again)….all very auspicious.

I’m right at the end of the final edit, beta-readers have provided their feedback and I’m about to publish. What’s the next thought that goes through my mind? I need a domain!

Escrow.com

I searched Amazon to make sure that there aren’t any other series of books known as “The Mind War Saga” and I seem to have the space all to myself. I didn’t want any other series of books to be confused with my own or vice versa.

I’ve decided to move michaelgilmour.com to represent my authoring and I’ve just registered mindwarsaga.com to point to the same site. You can actually go there right now and see a few blogs on the site as well as a fan community (yes, I’m hopeful), a library (of one book), forum and also some cool stuff about me.

The website looks a little bland at the moment as it’s a work in progress and I’m waiting on the illustrator to complete the book cover. Once I have that in place I’ll be able to enhance the look and feel a LOT more.

So what’s next? Once I’ve finalised the title I need to register that domain and point it at my author blog. Here’s a few other things on the list for me to complete (it’s by no means exhaustive).

1.    Finalise book content (by mid-next week).
2.    Finalise cover design, typography and blurb for the back (end of following week).
3.    Get a photo done for the author’s biography.
4.    Complete the interior book design.
5.    Update website graphics and content.
6.    Publish the ebook and paperback via Createspace (an Amazon company)
7.    Update my author’s profile on Amazon.
8.    Establish a facebook and twitter account that are linked to my website.
9.    Update my website so that I can take sales via Amazon/Createspace
10.    Have a soft launch amongst friends. Encourage them to buy the book and leave comments on Amazon.
11.    Put together a package of material for other websites to review the book. This will need to include a copy of the book, synopsis, sample article, quotes, photos, artwork etc.
12.    Prepare a sequence of press releases to be released over a three month period.
13.    Approach media outlets for interviews – “Self-publishing author….scifi book etc.”
14.    Send out package to science fiction websites and reviewers.
15.    Engage community and detect who are real fans of the novel. Provide them with inside material, sneak previews etc.
16.    Brace myself for the feedback.
17.    Finalise marketing plan proper….including potential buying of advertising space.

I must admit that there are a lot more things that need to get on the list. One of which is finish book two in the saga! I’ll keep you up to date with how things are going.

Not surprisingly, what it all really hinges on is traffic, domain names and real sales. I understand a lot about those three items but it still doesn't necessarily mean that my publishing venture will be successful. Without a good product and plan I'm still sunk.

It’s going to be interesting to see if I can manage to make it as a part-time author. I love writing so I really hope that it’s a distinct possibility. Besides, my wife has been on my back to write a book on the domain industry…..so stay tuned for that one. Hopefully it will be more science fact rather than science fiction.

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Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face.
Click here to arrange time with Michael
Click here to advertising on whizzbangsblog.com

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mgilmour
Thanks for that!
27 November 2014
mgilmour
Whoops! A complete oversight on my part! themindwarsaga.com is not registered ... Read More
27 November 2014
mgilmour
Thanks for that Kassey. :-) It's been an incredible journey....nearly ready to launch!
27 November 2014
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I've Just Seen The Future

Last week I was walking with my wife through our local shopping mall and came across a Virtual Reality (VR) Samsung display. Without any hesitation at all we both donned headsets and headphones to experience what the latest and greatest VR was really like.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with VR it involves putting on some goggles and the images for each eye are slightly misaligned so that you get true 3D vision. The headphones are regular and are typically designed to block out any external noise. A head tracking device completes the kit so that when you move your head the images that you are viewing also move.

Escrow.com

I first experience VR about twenty years ago at the Walt Disney Imagineering labs and it was incredible so I was looking forward to seeing what the latest and greatest was like.

The VR gear that we were testing was built by kickstarter funded Oculus Rift (later purchased by Facebook for a couple of billion) and the headset used a Samsung Galaxy phone for displaying the images. It’s incredible how far the computing power of a phone has come!

What I was really looking for was immersion. That point in time where I actually believed that I was where my eyes and ears were telling me.

The simulation that I was experiencing was an ocean dive where I could swim with fish and eventually encounter a great white shark. It really was incredible to be able to look around and see everything. The actual shark encounter was pretty good although being eventually eaten and inside the stomach was a little macabre.

I found the head tracking and the displaying of the images really good. I’d move my head and the image would instantly follow. In the past this would create a sense of motion sickness as the image would lag behind your movement. The only time I did feel a little off was when the simulation moved me up towards the boat. I was doing anything and yet I was moving….this was a little off-putting.

For a device that will sell for a few hundred dollars it was an amazing experience. It has the potential to bring a whole new level of meaning to tele-computing, gaming and education.

For instance, could you imagine your classroom teacher talking about Neil Armstrong landing on the moon and the whole class was waiting for him as he stepped down the off the Lunar Module! Now, that’s a whole new level of education!

Right now Sony, Oculus and Samsung are the forerunners in VR technology. There are quite a number of smaller startups doing some interesting things as well to facilitate the integration of movement and doing things such as simulating your hand in the virtual environment. All really cool stuff!

If you get a chance, I would highly recommend trying it out. VR is almost there but I’m sure with a bit more time that it will truly be a world changing technology. BTW – Oculus is planning on releasing their commercial headset around mid-next year.

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Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face.
Click here to arrange time with Michael
Click here to advertising on whizzbangsblog.com

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mgilmour
It's going to be really interesting as the line between reality and illusion becomes blurred. I actually believe that this could b... Read More
25 November 2014
mgilmour
I'm in with this Kassey!
25 November 2014
mgilmour
LOL! What more can I say!
25 November 2014
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Writing a novel

Since May last year I've been writing my first science fiction novel and releasing it by episodes on FireFallTribes.com.  When I first started writing I just bashed out the episodes to get the done quickly so that I could get on with business and real life......and then a strange thing happened.

I found myself getting more and more wrapped up in the story, the characters and the various settings. It was engrossing! I wanted to find out what was going to happen next and the only way to do it was to write the next chapter. So just on 80,000 words later I found that I had the first draft of my novel.

What has surprised me is that nearly 2,000 people have been enjoying the journey and providing valuable feedback as they've read each episode. It's been really humbling to get some of the feedback as readers have shared some of their thoughts on the highs and lows as the story unfolded.

So I'm nearly at the end of the first rewrite now. Only about 40 pages to go....which is great! The big test will come when my wife Roselyn reads the manuscript (she really doesn't like scifi) and checks the grammar and continuity of the storyline. From there it will go to a professional editor and then onto getting self-published as an ebook.

It's the first book in a series and I've already mapped out book two....so stay tuned!

It just go to show what you can do when you really put your mind to it. If you have always wanted to write a book then I'd highly recommend the process.....it's a LOT of work but also very fulfilling. Don't expect to make a million dollars, just do it for the joy of creating something you've always wanted to do.

For those of you that are wondering....I'm still finalising the name of the book. Initially it was called "The Chosen Invasion" but his is going to change.

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Write Your Own Content

I've been saying it for many years now. Building a domain is no longer a technological problem....these have largely been solved through applications such as Joomla, Wordpress, Drupal etc. You'd be surprised at the number of plugins that are available for these content management platforms that solve all sorts of problems.

The biggest challenge with developing a website is creating content. This is one of the reasons why I choose to develop sites around topics that I'm interested in. Just recently I've relaunched downwind.com (aviation industry), build fftribes.com (gaming websites for the game FireFall) and now rebuilt and structured whizzbangsblog.com.

Other than the underlying technology there are a number of things in common with each of these sites:

1. I have a long-term vision for each of them.....it's not a short-term plan.

2. They have a LOT of content.

3. Members are empowered to add their own content and contribute to the communities.

Because I'm not in a mad rush for instant success I find that I can give Google what it needs over an extended period of time.....lots and lots of consistent new content. For example for my gaming site I've written a book and I've now just started writing my second science fiction novel. I'm enjoying the experience and the members are really valuing the new content. This then brings in new members and so my traffic continues to rise.

The secret is to fine something that you're really interested in and start building that. Don't worry about the domain that you have no interested in but may be great.....sell that one off for a whole lot of money. Write the content and build the site for the topic that you LOVE!

For me, I love domains, I'm a private pilot and I've been into games and science fiction since I was a kid. So go and do it.....take something that you love a turn it into a business.....the challenge will then be if you're offered a lot of money to part with it. :-)

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Developing Whizzbangsblog

A number of people have asked me about what platform and plugins that I'm using on Whizzbangsblog so I thought that I'd let everyone know.

I have my own personal server running Debian with Apache web server, MySQL database and PHP all running. Let me say that running your own server can be a pain with working out the security etc. I so this so that I keep my technical skills up to date so that I can contribute in a much more informed manner to the ParkLogic development discussions and any issues that clients have.

I'm running Joomla 3.2 for the content management side of the site with the following plugins:

1. Admin Tools - VERY important as it has a built-in firewall.

2. Akeeba Backup - for regularly doing any backups. I also do both hot database backups and file backups every day via a script in CRON (time system for doing stuff in Linux). You can NEVER have too many backs. All the backups go to a completely separate physical drive.....so fingers crossed if anything breaks then there's always a fallback option.

3. EasyBlog - Stackideas have created a great multi-user blogging platform that I'm actually typing this into right now.

4. JBolo! - really simple to use real-time chat system.

5. Komento - for managing comments on blogs and articles.

6. Jomsocial - this is the heart of whizzbangsblog.com and has all of the social aspects of the websites wrapped up into a single package.

7. jNews - I use this program for sending out emails. I must admit that setting up an email template is a PAIN (not because of this program) because all the different email clients interpret the coding in a completely different and sometimes stupid manner. So stick to something REALLY simple.

That's about it. I've done quite a bit of customisation but that's the core application in the site. I would recommend that if you haven't done development before that you get your hands on Joomla (it's free) and have a play. There are a number of hosting companies that have specialised in Joomla hosting (siteground.com) and they will be able to help you out. I should mention that the total cost of all of the plugins etc. is about $250.....so hopefully that won't break the budget.

Cheers!

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