I am glad 2011 is over. 2011 was a very long and at the same time very short year. I had a great shift in my development techniques and very happy about that. I also wanted to share some of the other projects that I worked on in 2011.
First, I have to say that 2011 was my WORST year ever in terms of my personal life. Without going into too much details, I had to take a few months off from work, projects and just about anything else.
With that said, I didn’t do much work or anything for that matter in the first few months of 2011.
Here is a list of projects I worked on in 2011:
Although, there was one mini project that put my finishing touches on.
YouChristmas.com – the idea was to create a site with all the Christmas/holiday songs, so you can go anytime and find the Christmas song you like or just pick a random one. I have mentioned a couple of times I think, I do love Christmas songs. In fact, I think they make you happy no matter how miserable you are. So in December, here in LA we have a radio station that plays only Christmas songs and it’s the only station that I listen to. So I thought, why not create a site with these songs so I can go and listen at any time of the year. So the easy way to do this without copyright issues was to embed youtube clips into the site. I outsourced the research and found a youtube video for every major song. While, I am still not happy with overall design/functionality of the site. I think, it could be better, but it’s one of my mini projects and I don’t have the time yet, to go and make it better. I haven’t done any ads on it, but people still find it and I did see a major traffic increase in the last few weeks for the holiday season. So again, it’s a simple idea and can be done in many different niches. However, I think, I overbuilt the site. The backend is very dynamic as I had plans on applying this technique to many other similar sites. But I haven’t found the time for it yet.
LocalClub.com – this was my big idea. It was supposed to be a new location based social network site. But not just that, it has many unique features and I still think that it could have been the next big thing. I spent around 3 months on LocalClub. Got a great deal of it done, mostly on the backend. I just got overwhelmed with how much work it needs, but I’m not scared of the work. After speaking to a few investors, I can’t tell if it’s the economy or what, but they are so cheap these days. I attended the startup conference in LA and it kind of proved my point. Most investors want to hear answers that no one knows, like “how do you know you will be better than competition?” while, I know that they don’t expect the answer to be really what the outcome is going to be. But still, why even ask such stupid questions. So I really gave up on even trying to get any kind of funding for any of my projects. I think, if you have a good enough product/service, investors will come to you. This is my approach from now on, I am not going to seek investors. But if anyone is interested in any of my projects and wants to invest/partner, I’m always open to hear. And because LocalClub is one of those projects that really can’t take off without good deal of funding, I put it on hold for now, until I have the funds myself, or I come across to someone with the money or connections wanting to push it forward. Again, I strongly believe that it could be next big thing.
DomainMichael.com – lol, while it’s not really a development project. I started my blog in 2011 and mostly close to the end of 2011. I have to say that I would never think that I would become a blogger. But I must say that it’s been really rewarding and not in terms of income, but it’s become a hobby. I must say, with amount of time I’m spending on blogging, I could’ve easily built 2-3 projects by now, but still I can’t help it. I’ve always found myself talking to myself on certain topics, never accrued to me that I could do the same with blogging. And again, I do want to thank all my readers. You guys have been great. I do want to point out that my idea of this blog was not to cover only domaining related stores, but also, a lot of domain development topics. It’s been a little hard for me to shift from coding into writing mode. I’ll be honest, I never liked writing stuff, even essays in college, I hated it, lol. But it’s different when you write about stuff you care about. My only hope is that I’ll be able to share and help every single domainer out there. Again, I don’t have the best writing skills or grammar for that matter, please ignore those errors , but what I do have is 10 years of hard core coding / web architect experience and still have a full time job in the field. I am not at the point where I can hire a bunch of coders and let them do the work, I still do most of it myself. However, I have stopped taking any side projects for others, no matter how well they pay, I must say my rates have never been low, in fact my last client project paid $xxx/h. But again, I don’t want to take any more client projects and want to solely focus on this blog and my projects for all the free time I have after work. It’s been great, and really looking forward to do a lot of projects in 2012.
ValueDrops.com – yes, you are already familiar with this site. In 2011/late 2010 I added simple Newsletter subscription and am happy to announce that it’s been great. I have hundreds of users signed up. But with phase 2, the registration is going to be mandatory and so there wouldn’t’ be a need for separate newsletter subscription. I also did some basic work on the site in 2011, added some new filters. But overall, the site upkeep has been a challenge with increased traffic and how much processing power the site is using.
DomainParser.com – this has been an interesting little project. While the functionality is not so simple, it parses out domain words. Since I had already done the work for ValueDrops, this site only took me a few hours to put together. I have had a number interested people interested in more advanced or unlimited version and it’s in my upcoming project list as well. As of now it has a limit of 100 per request. I actually purchased the domain for a few hundred, and it fits nicely with my idea. I plan on enhancing this idea and adding more features, maybe bulk logo creator ?
TopDrops.com – I’ve mentioned this as well. I started the project in mid December, although a lot of the backend work had already been done. I gave myself a 1 month deadline for this, I think I have until the 9th to launch the beta just to give you an update, the site functionality is done. What’s remaining is that registration process that I wanted to do even though it’ll be free for the beta period.
OnlineTradingServices.com – this was one of my other mini projects. I had the domain for awhile, in fact I bought it on ebay for like $35. It may not have great deal of searches, I still like it. So I outsourced the research, but spent a few days putting the new site together and integrating the data.
PingNotify.com – this is a website monitoring tool, I needed one for my sites. While, there are other free ones, I think you should register with as many as you can find. I had the domain for sometime and decided to build it, spent a few days on it, but then never spent the time to finish it up. Hopefully, in 2012 I can finish this up. I haven’t even submitted it to search engines, but somehow some people found and registered.
TinyToDoList.com – lol, this is my crazy project. It’s been hard to organize my task list, most of the time I use notepad, as I don’t want to yet manage another application. But notepad was getting out of hand, so I started looking and see if I could find a simple to list task manager. I was surprised that there wasn’t any. I found one or two, but I either didn’t like how they functioned or they were buggy or too many unnecessary features. I also had a special feature that I wanted, something like “do it later”. So it won’t be in your priority list or even the list you look at on daily bases, but just in the background. It would be great for my long list of projects and some of them I don’t even know when I’ll be able to get to. So I went a bit crazy with this one, instead of just using one that had most of my needed features, I just decided to build one. Especially, for that “Do Later” feature. Also, wanted it to be real tiny, not get on the way, real simple to manage, be able to minimize it to the tray etc. I thought it would only take a few hours. I put everything else aside and started to work on it. It did take a few days as I ended up complicating it a little, so it’d save to XML etc. I also did it in Adobe Air, so it’s cross platform. See the screenshot. I still have one feature to complete, but it’s been a great little app. So I registered the domain and am probably going to package it up and put it on the site. I haven’t decided yet if it’s going to be free or I might just charge like $10 for it. So let me know if anyone of you would be interested in such a program.
There were a lot of other projects that I can’t discuss yet. So a lot is coming in 2012.
So good bye 2011, I am glad it’s over.
Again, Happy New Year everyone, I have a feeling that it’s going to be a great year for development. I want to complete at least 10 projects this year, you think it can be done?