I sure miss blogging here at JoeDuck, where I used to rant, rave, or just observe the world. That’s what makes blogging so much fun but I’ve let other things get in the way of that too much lately.
What could I be doing that’s more important than personal blogging? We are remodelling a large old house for my son that we bought together and that’s taking a lot of time, plus I have other real estate projects that I can’t seem to keep in good order. A large colony of bees took over a vacant house I had and getting them boxed up has been an interesting adventure – not even sure my bee guy is still paying attention after 3 weeks though the bees seem to be slowly making their way into his box.
The big new online project is RETIRE USA, an excellent site about retirement with a super retirement blog . That project took a long time to launch but I think we are doing something few others have done, which is create a large group of dedicated retirement bloggers who have expertise in many retirement related areas. We recently qualified to be considered for a very substantial grant from Chase / Livingsocial and if we get that I think the site could take off quickly. We are seeing some good traffic growth now as we slowly rise in the ranks for retirement related searches, and I’m hoping my “white hat” SEO skills are up to the task of making that work.
Speaking of SEO, I’ll be reporting LIVE in August from SES San Francisco, one of the world’s top Search Engine Marketing conferences. Most of that coverage will be over at Technology Report where we used to cover SES but have not for several years. It’ll be fun to get back into the Search Engine Optimization scene and see what folks are talking about now. Social media has shaken things up a bit, and in my view Google has become much more conservative ranking websites, assuming (correctly) that almost all new websites are spam and therefore looking for “big signals” to allow new sites to rank well for valuable terms. This adds yet another burden to new websites, especially those that seek valuable niche markets. I think it helps old established sites such as our US History site which has been enjoying substantial traffic for some time. That site was established many years ago and remains one of the top resources for US history information. There’s a US History blog there although I have not been updating it regularly enough, working instead on other blogs like Travel and History and a bit on my QuickAid Airport Directory site and blog. Another project that needs attention is the AirportCityCodes.com website which has an old Airport Codes database. That one’s acting up a bit and not showing Google ads for some reason – perhaps a fluke or perhaps it is too similar to QuickAid Airport Directory.
Another old site I want to restore to former glory (well, just restore to some level of coherence) is Highways.TV. The concept there was really neat – assemble highway camera and road report information all over the world into one “easy to navigate” site. I think that function has in some ways been replaced by mobile applications, Google Traffic, etc, but there’s got to be some room for a site that helps users navigate the many rats nests of state travel sites, few of which are well integrated into other information sources or easy to navigate. State highway departments have enormous access to information and resources and put some of this information online but the bureaucracy prevents the levels of cooperation needed to do the obvious and link all these together so travelers don’t have to switch sites and navigation when they cross state lines.
Some would say I should stop trying to manage my huge online menagerie of growing, dying, and partly developed sites, but for those folks I have this to say:
“I cannot BELIEVE you actually read this post to the end – I owe you a cup of coffee and much shorter blog posts in the future”