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Sunday, February 5, 2006

Wow, Really Broken
I never realized how broken our "top-rated fan artist" list was on the fan art site. It was completely messed up, despite the fact that some really great artists appeared on the list.

I've taken it down for now...

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Saturday, February 4, 2006

Love Them Wallpapers
Quick quiz:

Which of our divisions do you think comes closest to our wallpapers site in terms of visitors?

Fan Art, Greetings, Guru, Articles, Reviews, or all of myOtaku?

Ok, have you made your guess? Read below for the answer...

The answer is...none of them! Our wallpapers site gets more traffic than all of the rest combined (yes, even including all 40,000ish myOtaku blogs).

Now isn't that a frightening and surprising statistic?

The wallpaper site receives 150 times more traffic than articles or reviews, about 8 times more than myOtaku, about 4 times more than fan art, 5 times more than greetings, and 5 times more than guru.

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Friday, February 3, 2006

My Next Door Neighbor
This is one reason I love New York City.

I've been invited to attend the the Tokyo International Anime Fair, which takes place this Monday. The venue is the hotel across the street from me! How cool is that?

They have a small reception with free Japanese food. Maybe that'll be my Monday dinner? I'd have to go after work though, so I'm not actually sure if they'd let me in so late in the game.

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A New Goal: BINGO!
In Scrabble, a "Bingo" is when you place all your letters on the board.

In Otaku-speak, from this point on, a "Bingo" will be when we use all eight update boxes on the main page in one day.

I think we'll be there soon. ^_^

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Thursday, February 2, 2006

   The Last Updated Hubs...
While everyone seems to like the 'featured fandom' section as much as I do (thanks!), a few have expressed sadness about the removal of the 'last updated hubs' module.

I just wanted to dedicate a quick blog post to explain my reasoning for cutting this section:

(1) You're one click away from seeing this list anyway. Just click "All Anime" in the left menu, we automatically sort our hubs by when they were last updated.

(2) We can't have both featured fandom and last updated--our main page would stretch too long!

(3) Lack of information. It doesn't really tell you what part of our site the updates came from.

Anyway, as mentioned in reason #1, just click "All Anime" in the left menu and you can see a better, expanded version of this list anyway :-).

BTW, I added a small link to the authors of each featured fandom. Nice touch, eh? I should probably add categories too, hm...

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   Now I Can Sleep...
Sometimes the only way to get something accomplished is to tie yourself to your chair and not leave (even for the bathroom) until that something is done.

From 10 PM to 1 AM, I did such a thing. I rolled up my sleaves and did some development work.

As I said in a previous blog entry, I like to move fast--and it might be a while until we find a new developer. So...

"Featured Fandom" - check it out on the main page. Scroll to the bottom.

I still have to clean it up a little, make the code and layout a little neater, perhaps add category or author links, but I already love it.

Basically, moving forward, I want to make theOtaku.com more of a LIVE destination. Give you a reason to come back daily.

One thing I hated about our "Featured Anime Hubs" section was that it never updated. It was always the same 10 hubs, for years!

Now we have featured fandom. Basically, the script I wrote finds the most popular fan works (fan art wallpapers, greetings) in the last 24 hours and posts them to the main page.

Submitters have a new way to gain a (lot) of exposure and visitors, as they're checking the news, can pop down to see what's "hot."

What do you think?

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Wednesday, February 1, 2006

The Developer Search Continues...
I thought I had the perfect candidate to take on development responsibilities here, but he backed out at the last second...ugh.

I shall keep searching. In the meantime I'm in the process of hiring a freelance server guru to fix our speed issues. For reference, here's a quick run-down of what's wrong:

We have two database servers, one server that reads from our database and one server that writes to that database.

To keep in-synch, our read database automatically replicates the content from our write database. However, for some reason, this replication can be delayed for up to five minutes.

Because of this delay, we've been reading a lot of our pages from our write server instead of our read server. Otherwise, when you'd post a comment, for example, it wouldn't appear instantaneously. And that's unacceptable.

As you can guess, because we're doing both read and write queries on our write server, this is putting it under too much strain, slowing things down dramatically (especially on myOtaku, where we read exclusively from the write server).

Thankfully the fix should be easy: Once we get rid of the replication delay, we can allocate more queries to the read server and voila. Everything is golden.

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Monday, January 30, 2006

A Record Setting Day
We were AWESOME today. Check out the main page -> 7 updates!

Just for reference, we're now running 5 regular features:

(1) Weekly DVD Releases (by Dagger)
(2) Monthly Convention Schedule (by Gail)
(3) Weekly Quiz Roundup (by myself)
(4) Weekly Poll (by myself)
(5) Weekly "Screening Room" (by Gail)

Excellent. And this is all in addition to daily news.

I have about 3 or 4 other "regular feature" ideas inmy head. I'll phase them in slowly. I'm always available to take suggestions though. Just post them here!

And I know, you probably want to see a weekly contest as well, but companies are only so generous in sponsoring them!

(Though I promise, we have a KICK BUTT contest coming very very soon.)

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Second Chances
I signed up for a class a few months ago at my local gym.

After haggling with the manager, he finally offered me 15 classes for a price of $X. I did some quick spreadsheet calculations and was happy: "I could afford this!"

I asked him a number of times, over and over again, 15 classes for $x? He agreed over and over again, restating "15 for $x." I kept forcing him to state the offer just so that there would be no ambiguity or confusion.

You can guess what happened...

Three months later, I've gone through 10 classes. 5 more to go, right? Well...

Now the manager says he never offered 15 classes for $x. Instead, he claims there was some sort of "misunderstanding" and that I only purchased 10 classes. However, being the "nice guy" he is, he's giving me 2 free classes "free."

How lovely.

I'm not the type to yell or argue. Instead I accept the two classes, but despite all his pleading, tell him I will not renew my membership afterward, and then leave.

And it's a huge shame, because I really love the class and would have renewed. And since I'm already a member at this gym, I can't sign up for it somewhere else.

I trust people very, very easily. I always give them the benefit of the doubt when I first meet them. However, if that trust is broken, I've learned the hard way not to give second chances.

Has anyone actually given someone a second chance and been rewarded for it?

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Saturday, January 28, 2006

   My New Favorite Number
JList purchased 100 copies of Art of Otaku to resell. While they got a steep discount on them, this volume boost helps our artists immensely.

(1) Their bragging rights are increased
(2) They will receive their royalty checks a few months earlier than anticipated

Not a bad week...

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