Most people assume that link directories are dead.
They are wrong.
Website directories still exist, attract users, and some even turn a profit. It’s true that the “general” directories can’t keep up with the growth and change of the internet. But topical niche directories, or regional specialist directories are still strong and even growing.
The software scripts that run these directories are definitely more complicated than WordPress, but it’s nothing a few hour of instant coffee can’t overcome.
All this is to say. I’m building a directory of Christian websites. Right now, web development challenges are my recreation. Plus, I think a directory can be relevant again if done well. So, check it out an add links to all your blogs.
One note – I just started this thing over the weekend. Most of my time has been spent in learning the script and tweaking the design. So, it’s still very skinny on links. You can help me out by adding some of your favorite sites.
Update: Nov 27, 2009 – I just shelved this project. The levels of spam were amazing.
After about 3 hours of work, I have the forums up and running at my children’s ministry blog. They are built on bbPress which I installed automatically with Simple Scripts via my Bluehost dashboard.
Overall, it was easier than I imagined. The only hang up was customizing the forum appearance to better match the main website.
A few considerations:
- The success of forums depend on a large group of active readers. This is the main reason I held off until now to add them. But with several thousand unique visitors each day, the website seemed like it was ready to expand.
- Forums can be a great way for readers to contribute to the website. By asking and answering questions, the community created content expands the value of the site rapidly. Plus, bbPress can be set up to be very search engine friendly.
- To get the forums past the tipping point, I’m running a contest to encourage readers to register. Bottom line – if I can ‘t get readers to use the forum then they will not add value. So, giving away $60 in books from Amazon seemed like a good strategy. If it pays off, then the forums will get off to a strong start and have some momentum going forward.
I’ve just added a “meta feed” widget to several Kummeropolis Media websites. I wanted to tell you how I did it and why.
How I Build The Meta Feed
It’s nothing fancy. Just a folder in my Google Reader titled “kummeropolis” that I’ve set to public so I could share a clip.
What’s The Point
Mainly it’s to showcase the latest feed items across several websites. But I’m also hedging a few bets on search engine visibility. Here are a few factors that Google might be tracking, or atleast they should.
- Feedburner “reach” statistics show which items are actually displayed and clicked. So, it might be a good thing to get my feed itmes as much traffic as possible.
Like everything about search rankings, it’s hard to isolate one factor for testing. But this is one example that I would do even with zero bot benefits.
This goes back to my gut level instinct for SEO. If I do my job (building better websites) and Google does their job (building better search) then everything will work out in my favor – eventually.
I’m proud to announce my first joint venture blog, the project is called Christian Book Notes. It will feature the book reviews of Terry Delaney. I began working with Terry when he was writing for Said at Southern. I am excited about the new site and it’s long term potential.
This makes the 6th property managed by Kummeropolis Media. The good news is that Terry will do all the writing, but I’ll be a silent partner to help with administration and promotions.
Later this Summer, Terry will begin some book giveaways. So, be sure to check out the new site and get his RSS feed.
I’ve only just recently re-built this site. So, I have all the important stuff on pages. Check back later for more blog posts.