Stock Photos

September 8th, 2008 · No Comments

Like this, for example

Like this, for example

Stock photos are an Internet entrepreneur’s friend. A surprising number of people are willing to allow you to use their work for free. In a lot of cases site administrators try to capitalize on this and put themselves in as a middle man, but there are still plenty of places on the web where you can get stock photography and graphics for free.

A good starting place is the Wikipedia Page listing a good number of resources on the topic.

If those don’t work for you, here’s an Older List, which has quite a few possibilities as well.

There are of course plenty of ‘scams’ out there, so we have typically found a few that work for us and stuck with them. Some favorites of ours are:

One way you can thank them is by putting a link back to them!

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Muddy Milestones

September 7th, 2008 · No Comments

We’ve had several milestones in our Internet ventures already. As you’re developing and modifying your site, you’re looking forward to your first unsolicited forum user, or your first affiliate sale, or any number of things that will show that you’re making progress.

They're easier to see in the rearview mirror.

They're easier to see in the rearview mirror.

For a long time our primary focus was the Walt Disney World for Grownups forums, and we had several milestones associated with them. You look forward to your first ‘signup’ and your first ‘post’. We also made new friends online and asked them to come post. Each of those had some element of success but there’s always some gray area.

One thing that you always forget when you’re awaiting your milestones is: The Internet is mean.

Because of this, much of the time you’re not sure if you’ve actually passed a milestone when it happens. For example, when our first “unsolicited” post came to the forums we weren’t sure whether it was someone we had solicited, or if it was someone up to some sort of spam shenanigans. So while we were somewhat enthusiastic, we had misgivings. Did this “count” as having met our goal?

Though you plan for the milestones, they’re really things you see in the rearview mirror. While you’re not sure if you’ve actually passed a milestone when it happens, you can definitely look back and know you did at some unclear point in the past. They’re things that have become commonplace now, though you can remember when you wanted them badly. You still get the feeling of progress. You just can’t quite ever get the feeling of euphoria you always imagined.

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The Crucible

September 6th, 2008 · No Comments

We are frustrated. It has been interesting to investigate the cause of our PageRank 0 and attempt to fix it. If we manage to succeed we will have gained valuable knowledge and a skill that we can apply to future sites. This is what we keep telling ourselves, but we are frustrated.
I’m also concerned about the economy. I’m no economist but I’m a fairly astute student and a lot of signs point to a lot of potential for trouble. A bad economy could potentially mean that just as we’re starting to get some traction on our projects that advertising sources dry up and people are reluctant to spend.

Both of these issues cause us to be inclined to give up on our current project, Walt Disney World For Grownups. A part of us wants to either start a new site and “start over” or give up altogether. We hope that a “clean slate” might allow us to circumvent this Pagerank problem and we are honestly doubting our timing. It may be that we got in late enough that it’s difficult to make a name, but too early to catch the economic recovery at the end of the next downturn.

All that being said, we ultimately will persevere for one simple reason:

If you want to become good at something, you have to play against the hardest competition.

We're Feeling Stronger Already!

We're Feeling Stronger Already!

If we started in more fortuitous times, we might meet with initial success, but when hard times hit we wouldn’t know how to handle them. By starting with a lot of cards stacked against us, we will really know how to make a reproducible success story (and incidentally share our progress with you). We’re hoping that our current difficulties are simply part of a crucible that will make us stronger in the end.

That’s what we’re telling ourselves anyway…

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