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New Homepage Layout


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http://aalbc.org/ I think I'm getting closer to a new homepage design.  I've completely reworked the menu structure and am playing around with elements on the page.

I still have not settled on colors yet, I kind of like the mustard background (more relaxing), but I also like the blue menu which is more energetic, but the too colors are not exactly complementary. 

I think I'm going to sell the sliding banner at the top of the page as ad space.

As always I'm looking for suggestions, ideas and comments.

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I think the slider is obnoxious. It's moving too fast and it's too big. I think a static ad or a traditional banner sizes ad in the header would be better. Leave the body for all of the good content or recent blog posts, so people can access the content quicker and stay on the site. I would say make the blog the home page and use the sidebars for ads, but I really like the center of the page the way it is. Some of the alignment is off, but that's to be expected when coding. The slogan at the bottom of the page is very good: Reading is Social! I like that a lot. The mustard in the background isn't bad. Hard work, but it's looking very clean.

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Thanks man.  I was not a big fan of it either, but from a technical perspective, but they are very popular and used on a lot of sites.  Using a standard banner would also be much easier for me to implement too.  

Considering your books were one of the images and you still don't like it means you really don't like it. 

Yeah I'm aware of the alignment issue, and will work those out.  I'm experimenting with a bunch of elements on the page which visually looks simply but is a a pain on the backend.  Once I settle on what elements i'm using then I make everything line up.  Even changing the menus on the content pages will probably take me the better part of a day or two.

When you say you like the center of the page, do you mean the round author's images or the larger images with the large text.

So you like reading is social huh?  I came with that I as I placed the image, but a quick google search shows it is not a unique slogan at 31K results it is basically a cliche.  I guess there is really nothing new under the sun.

I registered http://chrisdburns.com and pointed it to your web page.  There a typo in the original forwarding entry, I corrected it, but it may take a couple of hours for the change to propagate across the net.  I also set the masking so that your domain name will persist in the browser, even though you are on my site.  

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Be warned that a search for Christopher D Burns leads to a gay porn star, lol. It's why I never registered the domain and left it out there. I just stuck with CBP. That's interesting that it was still available. Maybe one day when I become prominent enough, I will buy it from you. Yeah I like the circles and the content in the center of the page, although the words may be a bit too big. I don't envy you at all. I used to have to do this with the basketball site and I'm glad I don't have to do it anymore. Keep pushing forward. I think it looks good, but even with my info at the top, I don't like how that slider looks. A traditional banner is definitely the way to go and just as efficient I think. Those big sliders on other sites are just too big, lol.

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Man you won't have to buy the banner back from me, I'll give it to you whenever you want it. Since so many people are using Facebook as their main site I figured I could do a better job providing a web presence for them on AALBC.com.  Plus I'll let them forward domains to their AALBC.com pages.  In fact, since it is a bit technical for most people to do, I'll do it for them.  Eventually I do need to figure out a way to transfer domain ownership (and those annual payments) to the authors.

I'm also going to create pages for Book clubs.  Clubs very willing to collaborate.  One book club, the Me Time Book Club from Tuscaloosa AL, even put my logo on their website, which was very nice of them to do.  They probably took the Chris Burns class for, on "web development and consciousness."

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That book club has a nice looking little site and they are using Amazon Associates. Book clubs have to do a better job of connecting the dots. All they are missing is Adsense, but I'm sure you'll remind them of that or maybe they are reading this and will push forward turning their site into a hub for dialogue.

That's why I offered to pay for that domain. I know doggone well, if you do that for multiple authors that will be a serious expense. It's definitely a good idea though.. I have to do the same as you. I have a number of sites I started for people who just couldn't get it started and I don't want to pay for those either. There should be an option in the hosting service to bill another person after signing up. 

I can't wait for you to read my latest book. I have a chapter titled "Get Your Ass Off of Social Media Like That" . You can tell what that will deal with. This new book is my I'm fed up with it all book. Here is the page: http://www.cbpublish.com/cbp-online-shop/f-k-speeches-inspiration-where-do-i-get-the-money-to-start/

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This is a short one right here. It's only 80 pages, but it's good. Here is the ISBN:  978-1518679209

There is more than enough time to do a lot of things. I wake up really early and go to sleep at midnight. My life is pretty simple. I have a routine with my sneaker biz now so I actually have more time than I used to have, so I'm focusing on putting myself in a position where I can't be ignored anymore. I have a speech for an event called Ignite Memphis on the 23rd. I'm hoping to parlay that into more speeches and book sales. You and I are doers, but unfortunately people buy books by people who simply know the right people and they pay those same people to speak when they have no real experience at anything other than being a star which is not business experience at all. I think our time is coming though. There is going to be shift. I think people are getting tired of being used.

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I agree about people being tired of getting used.  

Man I have to say while I do make time for family, and my teaching, right about now that is about all I have made time for lately.  The website redesign had pretty much consumed me over that last month.  I rarely go to the gym.  I get up early too, but I really try to spend at least 6 hours in bed (I probably need at least 7).  

I probably spend about 12 hours a day behind the P.C.--fully engaged and interested in what I'm doing.  So the 12 hours feels like 12 minutes.  The downside is that sitting in front a PC can't be good for you from a health perspective, so I'm looking forward to returning to a more normal life style.  After the site redesign I'm going to finally write a book too--I just have to think about what people might want to read about...

BTW Chris your domain christopherdburns.com now points to your page on the new website.

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That page looks great! Thanks for doing that. When it comes up for renewal remind me and I'll forward the payment. I understand about sitting at the PC. It's not good for you, but it's necessary as everything we both do is through the computer. I keep looking at opening an art gallery, but I get cold feet because the shoe biz has kept me afloat for so long that I can't see selling enough books or art to dive into it, so I'm stuck behind the PC. 

In regard to the book, write the book you know unless you're thinking about fiction. You have leverage that I don't have so a book on the failure of social media and the destruction of the black internet is your calling. With your reach, your blurbs will be amazing and you should be able to get someone to publish it based on your resume alone. that's just an idea.

I am really hoping that the site comes together for you, but I know the reality of that which is why I pretty much stick with CMS now and stopped coding. The time of investment for me just didn't pay off without the ad revenue rolling in.

I'm going to collect my business books into one large paperback once I release the 3rd book. The work never stops.

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I definitely agree about the topic of the book.  Perhaps I'll write a proposal and pitch the idea to a couple of agents, otherwise I'll sell publish.

I agree about a CMS--that is what I'm building, the canned one from Wordpress, is too limiting for what I want to do. So I'm building my own database, cms and html pages.  Sure this is much harder, but it is FAR more powerful, as I hope is demonstrated when I'm done.

The cool thing is I really enjoy the challenge of doing it--even the bit about making is a viable business.  I just hope to make as much money selling books (promoting the beauty and diversity of our culture through books and film) as you do sell sneakers. ;)

Thanks for your support @CDBurns (btw how are you alerted when I tag you with the "@" symbol before your name?, this is a new feature from the recent upgrade).

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I understand completely and I really hope that it takes off and can bring in even more money than shoes. I'm willing to bet if you can say that you have blurbs from X authors that you can get a deal based on the query and the first chapter. It's all about who you know.

In regard to the tag I don't have any notifications turned on so I wasn't notified. I hate getting notifications all day so I don't get any. I simply give AALBC the same amount of time I give Facebook. If I give Facebook 10 minutes I spend an equal amount of time here. As of late I've taken to logging in looking through huria/blogs as a balance as well. I tell you what, if I new I could sell books, I would open a bookstore here in Memphis. I just don't think it would be a viable business and I'm afraid to try it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey, I'm looking at the new page and I'm wondering if the Youtube channel shouldn't be higher on the page especially with video dominating search now. I'm looking for a script to load different videos each pageload through Wordpress. I'm sure you can write one.

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I actually have not done anything with the homepage since I ripped out the slider.  

When I load different videos on each page load I actually use my adserver to do this (just as if I have banner ads in rotation).  I would not write a script from scratch to do this, but find something online and modify it if necessary.  If I were using wordpress, I would just search for a plugin to do it.

The traction on my subscription request dropped to zero today. 

I'm going to start a newsletter which I can hopefully email tomorrow and make an appeal for subscribers in it.  That should help over the next week or so.

Thanks for add the Ta-Nehisi video to your website.

 

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Good points! I can find a plugin for the video. I'm trying to cut back on changing themes so much and stay consistent. I will keep looking at your site and making any suggestions I see. Keep pushing. Yeah, it's hard to get people to subscribe consistently. Social media has ruined our ability to do something long term and follow through. If people would just make visiting the sites a part of their routine: breakfast, lunch and dinner, then we could all do well. The mustard/gold color is growing on me.

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Yeah the mustard gold color is growing on me too.  I definitely prefer it to the gray I'm currently using.  I just updated my Blog (wordpress) to fit the color scheme too.  I actually had to write custom css to do change the menu colors.  Fortunately the background color as an option for the theme.

I'm also seeing that "sharing" on Facebook is actually helpful.  Sharing leads to more clickthroughs than likes or even comments.  If people actually like your content they really should "share" it.  Liking it does nothing. 

I'll take 10 "shares" over 50 "likes" anytime.  

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The benefit of the shares is that they expand your reach beyond what Facebook provides organically and the leads generated by those shares are MUCH higher quality that anything Facebook can provide with an advertisement.  I'd rather have 10 shares than 10,000 Facebook ad provided impressions (no exaggeration).

Of course you are still left with the problem of people leaving the platform.  But If I can get 10 clicks or my own I can get 50 through 10 people who share.  Which is better than what I'd get with 10,000 paid impressions.

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