And New Features Too...
SunFyre has a new look. My web design skills are gradually improving, and it's been nearly a year since the last major change.
I moved in April, and haven't really touched SunFyre much since then. For that I apologize. But new house, new business, new support staff and a new life have kept me busy. Now things are settling down, and I'm getting the urge again.
I started SunFyre in August 2001, before the term 'blogging' had been coined. I actually bought the domain name for a friend, an artist and writer, who had the name based on a character in a fantasy fiction story she'd written. When the domain came up for renewal, I decided not to let it go even though she'd never done anything with it.
For the first 18 months or so, I messed around with it, but never knew exactly what to do. I started reading an online web journal from a guy in Toronto, Canada called Ajay. His website, www.ajayonline.com was an early blog, mostly about married life, the Toronto Raptors, web games, his fascination with Britney Spears, and occasionally some p0rn. (It eventually went totally p0rn, and today is a generic flash games website.)
Over four years later, my little blog has grown and grown. My brother-in-law, Vince, gave me the biggest complement. He said "Your website is, like, a real website." His way of saying it doesn't suck.
Let's look at what's new and, hopefully, improved.
The layout was designed in Photoshop. It's the first completely Photoshop layout I've used on SunFyre. I'm far from an expert, but I like the simple look and feel.
You'll see more advertising in the new website. I need to earn a little. I estimate that, when going strong, I spend 15 hours a week, and $500 a year on SunFyre. The Google advertising and web searches have earned me about $50 a month, so it's about break even on my expenses. I like to get a little for my time this year. As always, I'm very picky about my advertisers. I only publish ads from website that sell real products that I will stand behind.
I'm planning on updating the T-Shirt Shop more frequently. About once a month I'll add a new shirt or something fun and original.
I'll be publishing more original content, much more. My goal is to produce one article each week, sandwiched between short, but insightful, journal entries. I'll borrow and steal content occasionally, but only within the context of another original article. Content is King when developing a quality, and profitable, website.
Photography has always been one of my unfulfilled passions. In college I played around, but couldn't use the dark rooms, and big clunky cameras were all we had. With tiny digital cameras (that actually take decent pictures) and Photoshop, I'm starting to get back into it. SunFyre will have more original photography than ever.
Finally, I'm going to swing the doors open, and let the writers come forward. Last January I got the idea that I'd publish articles and stories by other writers. Unfortunately, no one offered much. One woman submitted several very bad stories about being disabled. They were so full of cliche, I questioned whether she was actually disabled.
This year I'm going to spend some time actually recruiting. If you'd like to write for SunFyre, fiction or non, get in touch. Meanwhile, I'll be scouring the net for talent and inviting new writers to submit. I've even created a revenue sharing system so good articles can earn a little cash.
Reader feedback has always been important to me. I read every email, and respond to most. (To the guy who keeps offering me replica rolex watches, I prefer TAG Heuer, and to the woman who is clearly concerned about the size of my manhood, I honestly don't need your pills.) I keep publishing my email, and keep getting more spam, but one or two each day are from readers. Keep them coming.
For those of you who want instant gratification and public acknowledgment, I'm adding a comments link to every new post.
Finally, sharing SunFyre will be easier than ever. I'm adding a feature to "forward this article to a friend" and creating "printer friendly" pages that can be printed or downloaded and emailed.
Thanks for hanging in there during my hiatus. Hopefully by January 1st, this site will be completely updated and on a roll with new writers and content.
Check back frequently, and don't forget to bookmark us.