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musings and changes

Mon Jun 23, 2008 Miss Vicky 

Miss Vicky would have loved to blog about the myriad of festivals and fun taking place in Ottawa this weekend.... from the guitar event in Hintonburg park on Sunday (sorry to have missed the boat on blogging that in advance....) or Saturday' s Movie Night at the HCC or the Aboriginal Arts Festival at Victoria Island or the Jazz Festival downtown or the Dragon Boat racing at Dow's Lake. She missed 'em all. Because she went whitewater rafting instead. Yep. Whitewater rafting. And it was very fun.

In addition to the frenzy of activity that comes along with the beginning of summer and Miss Vicky's ongoing 40th birthday celebrations, here at the Finishing School we have been a tad preoccupied by some big changes that lie ahead.... The Webgeek is heading back to school in the fall, to do a one-year graduate certificate program at Algonquin. He's going to pick up some new skills and get that much-needed piece of paper that says he can do what he has been doing for over a decade. Apparently governments like pieces of paper. Or at least the computer programs that sift through job competition applications do.

Now this transition is going to mean some big changes at home and here on the blog. Since we will be down one income, we're going to have to find some ways to cut our spending (sorry Gastropub, but our visits will have to be less frequent....sniff!). One thing we need to do is make the blog more self-sustaining. Miss Vicky tried to avoid it as long as she could, but it's not cheap to run a website where you're using your own software and not some pre-fab blogging engine. So Google ads will be popping up in the near future. We're not sure how much revenue that will yield but it should help. Miss Vicky has mused about other ways to cover the costs of the blog - taking ads from Kitchissippi businesses, for example, or maybe running a regular e-newsletter out of the blog that could also have sponsors. But she's not sure she wants to go that route. On the one hand, Miss Vicky's Offhand Remarks has given some pretty good coverage for local businesses over the years. On the other hand, Miss Vicky doesn't want the presence of advertising to raise questions about her objectivity. She writes about the businesses she loves because they are an important part of making this neighbourhood the great place it is. And that's all. Miss Vicky would love to hear some thoughts and suggestions from her readers. How would you react if there were advertising somewhere on the site?

In addition to making adjustments to the blog, we'll be making some adjustments at home. The Webgeek will be in classes three nights a week, which means Miss Vicky will be less available for volunteer commitments that involve evening meetings and events. She's still going to stay involved with the two commitments she's already made - to Newswest and Somerset West Community Health Centre, but she will have to confine her community activism to the cyber-world for the time being.

Lots of changes ahead. But good ones.

Some people were moved to reply

accidental altruist Jun 23, 2008 07:57 PM said:

I would have no problem seeing ads on your website!

The Webgeek Jun 23, 2008 08:17 PM said:

Good. because they should be appearing to the right of the main content now :).

I've kept them to text ads only, so they're not super unobtrusive, and their *supposed* to be relevant to the content on the blog (how relevant remains to be seen). Please let us know is anything "untoward" appears over there. According to the terms a agreed to, we get paid for by click-through (these terms specifically stated the *I* couldn't randomly click through on my own though)

adavidso Jun 23, 2008 09:02 PM said:

Best of luck with school in the fall WG. I'm also heading back, although part-time. Google ads are omnipresent, which means they were already, and have always, been on your website.

Richgold Jun 23, 2008 10:12 PM said:

Some blogs offer a paypal donation button. I don't know if that crosses the line of tacky. You did ask for suggestions.

I'm ok with web adverts. I come to your site (and recommend it) because of the pulse on the community and the good job you do.

I've said it before (during installation day), I'll say it again, good luck in school WebGeek! Let me know if you're looking for that after-grad software development job. Seems that my dept is looking on a regular basis.

Miss Vicky Jun 24, 2008 09:45 AM said:

you know, I never thought about paypal. But we may just do that.

PunditsGuide Jun 24, 2008 02:48 PM said:

Why not create and sell a Hintonburg Events calendar service ... "Miss Vicky Suggests" or something? You can add it to the blog, but also purchase display ads in the local papers, and maybe the radio stations as well. Local event-holders would pay you a fee to have their event included, and you would include them in your weekly placement/purchases ... oh and start a "Miss Vicky Suggests" Facebook page that people could subscribe to that distributed all the event notices as well. I'm sure with all that edgukashun, the Web Geek could build you a nice little database to keep track of it all in.

You could build on the fact that *everyone* knows Miss Vicky has her finger on the pulse of the cool part of the West End. Events would include community thingys, club dates and concerts, and particular sales or the arrival of new merchandise in all the trendy local businesses. You could also do it up as a Coffee Sheet distributed in all the chi-chi coffee shops up and down Wellington and area.

Geez, I'm not bad at thinking up ideas for *other* people to make money (not so good when it comes to me, though)...

Anyways, good luck with all the changes and such.

p.s., I didn't know the Web-Geek was interested in working in government IT. Make sure I get his resume to pass around here once he's got that course under his belt.

The Webgeek Jun 24, 2008 04:20 PM said:

No database required for that. Just use a google calendar and their api's (that's integration code for the non-techy). Hooking it into facebook... That'd be a bit of a hack though. (a sellable hack, and one I've been meaning to look into "when I had the time"). It would be a lot more work than the google ads though :).

PunditsGuide Jun 24, 2008 04:52 PM said:

Oooh, google calendar ... didn't think of that. It would be a lot more work than Google Ads, though, 'tis true. I guess time is money (or at least sanity) when you're going back to school. Guess you have to rank your own A-B-C's a bit higher than someone else's A-P-I's for awhile, eh!

Anyways, good luck with it.

Miss Vicky Jun 24, 2008 09:05 PM said:

Excellent ideas, PunditsGuide! Definitely something to chew on...

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