WDWforgrownups.com Site Enhancing–Part II: Interactive Content

August 6th, 2008 · No Comments

We have a lot of our links (i.e. content) uploaded. We have our pictures. But we need traffic, and we need that traffic to stick around on the site long enough to register for and start posting on our forums.

Well, ever since my college Psychology days, I’ve been addicted to personal quizzes and personality tests. All I have to do is answer a few questions and—poof!—a definitive explanation of who I am! It’s brilliant! Me—in a nutshell—in under 5 minutes. And it’s clear that everyone else is wild about these things, too; all you have to do is take a look at the various personality test plug-ins and quizzilla.com-type add-ons all over the social networking websites.

Everyone loves interaction.

Everyone loves interaction.

So, in tune with this thinking, we figure interactive website components are key to driving traffic and getting referrals. We’re currently playing with lots of different ideas for the site, including Disney-fied personality tests for adults (i.e. not teenagers or tweens), but our quick-launch idea was a quiz. The question was—do we create it for our new-to-WDW visitors or do we create it for our experts? Because writing a quiz for experts would simply be more fun (and because our outreach efforts are more targeted at experts at the moment), I got started on putting together a 10-question quiz at the expert level. (Again, knowing content was key here; there’s no way I could have put together a quiz so quickly if I wasn’t an expert at this stuff myself).

While I wrote the quiz, Brad scanned the web for good and useable quiz code that he could build into the style sheet. He couldn’t find any that he loved and figured that it might be useful for the site (and for potential future endeavors) for him to develop his own quiz code, which he did.

To date, we’ve posted the quiz in our experts area as well as on our home page. So far, we’ve not had more than 4 people take the quiz in any given day, but with a daily visitor tally of about 15, that’s not a bad percentage. We’re optimistic.

Questions remaining:

  1. Are quizzes a good idea? Is our quiz driving traffic to the site?
  2. If so, do we need to do several quizzes at all different knowledge levels?should we
    stick with a revolving set of questions that include easy/intermediate/expert levels?
  3. What about a personality test? Do we need one? Is it a good idea?
  4. Should we institute a “tests and quizzes” section of the
    where people can take the tests and get bb code to attach to their myspace/facebook/forum signatures?
  5. To drive traffic to the forums, do we automatically post scores to the forums after
    visitors take the quiz?
    Do we place a category in the forums where people can post and discuss their quiz scores and debate the questions?

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WDWforgrownups.com Site Enhancing–Part I: Adding Pictures

August 5th, 2008 · No Comments

We\'ve got tons of these!

We’ve got tons of these!

Adding pictures is, hands down, one of the easiest activities with one of the largest returns on investment possible for website building. Pictures (and other graphics) make any site look more professional.

After building up the content of the link directory for Walt Disney World For Grownups, it was clear that the site needed something to make it look more interesting. And this is another place where having content knowledge and being a member of our own target market came in handy—I have, literally, hundreds of pictures from my past Walt Disney World trips that are frame-worthy or desktop wallpaper quality. Because I fancy myself an amateur photographer, these are artistic photos and not pictures where people are the centerpiece, which makes them perfect additions to the site. The subjects (rides, major landmarks, attractions, etc.) will be easily recognizable, and I won’t have to worry about the consent forms or privacy issues that go along with human photo subjects.

Upon Brad’s suggestion, I downloaded Gimp 2 image manipulating software (free). After choosing and editing a few photos that complimented our main site areas, I uploaded the edited photos to our ftp folder and then added links to the relevant pages. Voila! The photos make a huge difference, we think, in making the site more palatable. They also actually add content, as many members of our target market are researching a vacation and enjoy access to pictures of their potential destination.

Questions remaining:
  1. We don’t know if the pictures we chose were the right ones for our purposes.
    We believe that many of our “expert” visitors will be impressed by obscure, artistic photography, which is more in line with the “grown up” feel of the site (most WDW sites stick with well-known images and even stock Disney photographs). However, we expect that our opposing “new to WDW” visitors will respond more positively to images they can recognize (e.g. major WDW icons such as Cinderella Castle and Mickey Mouse).
  2. Though we have links to photo galleries from other sites, do we need to also provide a photo gallery of our own photographs?
    As stated, it’s clear that photo galleries are a draw for many visitors who are new to WDW. There’s no planning substitute for seeing your destination—whether it’s a hotel room, a restaurant, or an attraction. We even have pictures of the food at WDW! We’re not sure if it’s worth that much work when we can link to similar photos on other sites.

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Prototype 1: Walt Disney World for Grown-ups

August 4th, 2008 · No Comments

Fun for everyone!
Fun for everyone!
Our Experiment in Internet Business has begun. We’ve officially launched Walt Disney World for Grown-ups at www.wdwforgrownups.com!

What it is:

The site is a combined content site/link directory/and discussion forum targeting adults who vacation in Walt Disney World without children.

Why we chose this set-up:
  1. There are already hundreds of well-written and consistently updated sites about Walt Disney World vacation planning, so a link directory made sense. There’s no need to reinvent the content when all that’s needed is a little bit of organization. Our value as a link directory is the ability to group all of the information already on the web in a way that useful specifically for adults planning a Walt Disney World vacation.
  2. We’re adding content where it’s absolutely necessary and will be writing articles about topics that haven’t already been explored elsewhere on the web and that are specific to our target market.
  3. Discussion forums have been added (and expertly integrated into the link directory by Brad) because they’re a common community-building and communication format for Walt Disney World fan sites; many of our visitors will be familiar with them, and they will (we hope) inspire repeat visitors.
Why we chose this topic:
  1. You’re thinking, “Walt Disney World? For Grown-ups?” In truth, Walt Disney World is one of the top honeymoon destinations worldwide and has quite a few die-hard empty nesters as fans. Top-selling Walt Disney World guidebook line The Unofficial Guides (their website will launch later in 2008) has developed and continues to publish updated versions of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World for Grownups and official Disney guidebook line Birnbaum’s publishes its Walt Disney World Without Kids every year. Clearly there’s a market, but in our research we weren’t able to find a good niche website dedicated to it.
  2. Also, Brad and I happen to be part of this target market. I started visiting Walt Disney World with my parents in the 80′s and decided to try it again as a vacation spot in college. Sure enough, I loved it, became a fan, and began to drag Brad along almost immediately after we met.

    Being familiar with the Disney parks, procedures, restaurants, ticketing system, and attractions makes this website fun for us, but also ensures that the research required is at a minimum. We already know where to find all the best links and are able to quickly identify and organize them into the directory. We also know what articles will be useful to this market–whether they’re experts, new to Walt Disney World, seniors, or college-aged–and can scan the web for or write them as necessary. It’s a win-win.

We look forward to sharing our ups and downs with you. And we welcome your feedback all along the way. Help us to succeed–or at least learn a lot as we go!

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