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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

   Looks Like It's Working...
The absolute biggest annoyance I had with our network was that it would often take FOREVER to load blogs.

I mentioned this to the freelance server guru I hired--he's really good if you haven't noticed--and he took the time to offer a few database querying suggestions.

The end result? Loads like lightning, doesn't it? Just hope I didn't break anything implementing this.

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Otaku Attractions: Yet Another Innovation
It's a well-known fact that each of us have our own weekly "pet" features. Now that Lady Katana is on our news team, she's debuted with her own contribution: Otaku Attractions.

Every week, a new anime-related video. And it will be guaranteed good.

(Sidebar: Today was another traffic record.)

(Sidebar #2: We also received SIX new cosplay galleries.)

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Monday, February 13, 2006

   theOtaku.com: Building a New Golden Age
The word 'fire' is probably too weak to describe all the progress we've made on both the site enhancement and editorial level this month.

We received the highest level of traffic yesterday in our network's history. More than when we were on TV, more than the Holidays...

And this isn't random. This is almost exclusively from two things:

(1) Our renewed focus on editorial greatness, bolstered by our weekly features and by our news team.

(2) Our increased focus on enhancing and upgrading the site.

New visitors to the site are staying longer and existing members are returning much more often than before.

We're building something great here...I think everyone knows that.

Oh, and one thing I forgot to blog about. I made two big changes to the site, bolstering our commitment to absolute ethics.

First, we won't email new myOtaku members with our newsletter unless they opt into our email list (there's a check box now when you register). Second, I've removed those Google ad links on the navigation menu...they were too deceptive.

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

I Knew It (Knock On Wood)
Ever since I implemented the Featured Fandom section on the main page, our cosplay submissions have gone up. We've been getting about 2-3 per day now.

The reason is probably rather simple: Cosplayers now know that posting their photos on the cosplay site will get them more exposure. It reminds me of a famous business story...

Some inspectors visit a factory and want to see how worker productivity changes based on lighting conditions.

They turn the lights really bright and are pleased when the factory workers start working harder. They then turn the lights back to normal and are shocked when the productivity goes up further.

It turns out the workers just liked being watched and noticed; they could care less about the lights.

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Too Nostalgic, Maybe?
It seemed most people predicted the return of Ask Adam...haha, I didn't even REMEMBER that feature until you reminded me. I'll defer anime questions to our expert staff though (Gail, Dagger, Lady Katana).

The feature that's returning is actually the ability to play music in the background of eCards you send. I spent the last two nights programming it in.

Re-read my clue, you'll notice the word 'sounds' and the phrase 'just in time', for Valentine's Day.

Maybe next time you'll get it ;-).

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Friday, February 10, 2006

   Adam, the Riddler...
You'll love how this sounds:

An old feature will return and makes its debut on Valentine's Day, just in time.

The first person to guess the feature right wins a link to their myOtaku page in my next blog post.

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Thursday, February 9, 2006

Heard It Here First...
I spend about 70% of my site time on "core" areas, like theOtaku/myOtaku and 30% on side projects, like Art of Otaku.

Anyway, I have a new side project on my plate. One of our top artists, snow fox, is helping me with it. It'll be something related to web comics...like VGcats.com, penny-arcade.com, etc.

I'll formally recruit a little later, but if you're an amazing artist and can commit to a constant schedule for this project, then I'd like to hear from you. Send me an email.

If you're a terrible artist, but have great wit, maybe you can find a great artist and collaborate with them? Either way, only 3 or 4 people max will get in on this.

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Feeling Good, But Exhausted
I honestly don't know how I keep on top of things. I work a pretty intense day job, come home, usually work out or do something social for 1-2 hours then I work again on this network for another 3 or 4 hours straight.

Anyway, I'm feeling really good about how things are coming. Here's a list:

* I'm pleased to welcome Lady Katana to the news team! She's been a regular member of our community for some time now and has passed her trial period. Check out her stories on the main page! What an awesome group we have.

* We BINGO'd today! Check it out, 8 posts!! Congrats Dagger, Lady Katana, and Gail!

* A server guru is now on the job about fixing our speed issues. Once this is finished, things will be blazing. I'm confident we'll have a very powerful infrastructure soon enough.

* I worked closely with Maximus, our legendary javascript coder to implement an interesting new safety mechanism on the fan art site. When you click "yes" or "no" now, the link disappears. Check it out.

* By utilizing the fact that our servers are connected to each other, we've reduced our bandwidth by 30-40%! This means we have a lot more room for growth.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2006

A Weighty Decision
I had a lot of energy to put into doing productive things around the network tonight. Instead, I had to exhaust it all discovering and investigating some immoral behavior by a few members of our fan art site.

They had discovered a tiny flaw in our system and rather than emailing me about it, tried to use it to boost their rankings, etc.

I have a list of all the people involved; it wasn't difficult. You should never underestimate the safety mechanisms Justin set in place in how we track things.

Now the question is whether or not we should ban all the members involved. I'll sleep on it...

In happier news, we have a great contest up and running on the main page. Additionally I've hired an expert to fix our server speed issues and have reclaimed a massive 10 GB of disk space from the server by deleting some old files.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006

No One Noticed?
I guess it's a sign I was right.

I quietly axed the web links module on our hubs. It's been stagnant for too long and, while I thought it was pretty cool, it doesn't match the 'LIVE' feel I want to build for the network.

What's interesting though is that absolutely no one noticed. I didn't receive a single email asking where the links went.

Be warned though, this is just the beginning. Many parts of this site will face my axe soon enough. To build a new house, you have to bulldoze the old one.

* Evil anime laugh *

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