You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2007.

I spent all day Sunday (about 11 hours) working on my solo project. I made excellent progress the site is coming together and I’m excited about.

I still need to work on some SEO stuff, product store, my marketing plan and seed content gathering. I’ll be happy with bringing in 500-600 per month with the site, plus I love the subject matter so any money would be bonus.

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On Thursday night I got a call from Lee. He doesn’t want to do the project right now, but maybe when he gets more stable. Since his biggest investor backed out of a deal with his film company, he feels forced to find a full-time job. Thus he doesn’t have time to devote to this project.

I understand, but I’m disappointed. I’m now thinking, what if he just doesn’t want to do this project with me. What if he found a geek to do all of the technical work and think thats all he needs. He is sadly mistaken if thats what he’s thinking. Naw..thats not it, it couldn’t be. But what if it is? I guess it doesn’t matter. I don’t want to work with someone who would do that anyway. But I guess I gotta take the guy at his word. He hasn’t given me a reason not to. I wished him good luck before I hung up..

So now what? I want to go on, but I don’t have any expertise in what was his area of responsibility for this project. Do I learn, do I find someone to take his place?

I do know this, I’m going to quickly switch my focus to my solo project. I can have that up site up and running within a couple of weeks, by then, I’ll decided what to do about reddot. Sombody should be wishing me luck.

I spent some more time on Monday and Tuesday night working with the site. It looks pretty good now, I have the basic structure up and running and ready to show more content.

Tuesday I got a late start so I didn’t do much with the site, just tied up a few lose ends with few of the pages. Integrated a custom google search feature. But what I thought was most productive is that I created a list of items that need to be done. Looking at the list was encouraging because its not that big. We should be able to take all of the items within a mater of 2 weeks if we work hard. But you know how that goes.

I guess I’ll carve out some time on Friday and this weekend to work on my solo project. But I do plan to talk to a few potential customers tomorrow about project idea #3. I’ll write a post about how it went..

I spent at least 10 hours on the laptop yesterday testing and playing with the technical infrastructure options for the Reddot relaunch. I tinkered with bright cove and adbrite. 

 Brightcove.com is an internet TV platform that provides all of the tools needed to set-up a media website with pay per play and advertisers.  Adbrite is more of an ad platform, they focus much more on the advertising end and provide the tools to help present and manage your advertising campaigns.  

I want to try NBCC.com as well but I’m already sold on brightcove. They meet all of our needs and including hosting of the files. With adbrite, you have to host the files someplace else. That means another system to use and manage. NBCC.com is more of a broker so we can use them as an additional source of ad revenue.I spent the most time on brightcove. I created a channel, 2 players and put 2 test pages on the Reddot website. The brightcove console is a bit slow, but overall, it’s a simple system to use.

This flurry of activity stemmed from a conference call I had with the 2 partners on this project. I agreed to have a proof of concept up by Wednesday. The call went ok, but I’m not too sure about the guys. AT is working on his MBA and getting his career on track so he doesn’t have a lot of time to comment. Lee is looking for a full-time job since his biggest investor of Corner Boy films backed out.  I’m concerned completeing the work that needs to get done. But I guess we’ll see how it goes. 

Let me take some time to clarifying what I’m doing and the projects that I’m working on. I’m employed, so I go to work Mon-Fri. After work, I work on my own projects.

1- I’m planning on relaunching reddotnetwork.com, a niche social networking site that never took off. The plan is to relaunch it as a destination for unique content about entertainers. Revenue will come form subscriptions, sponsors and advertising. I have 2 partners on this project.

2 – My 2nd project which I fly solo involves creating a portfolio of very niche social media properties. This is more of a long shot, but it’s not going to take much investment and the goal is to generate a small but steady cash flow from each via advertising and affiliate income.  

3? – Is something that I thought about while in the shower today. It’s not a project yet, but it’s an idea that I’m kicking around. Selling end to end software platform to instructors that allows them to provide instructional video online via paid subscriptions. I would play more of a system integrator role here. Its easy from the technical side, the biggest challenge I see is in the sales area. This project would be all about salesmanship. Getting people like personal trainers and dance instructors to buy-in to the fact that they can grow their client base and increase income by simply filming what their already doing, putting it online and marketing it. 

I found an interesting post today by Eric Hill . It peeked my interest, so I also read a sample of his Personal Leadership Plan. It reminded me of chapter 10 of Monday Morning Mentoring, an excellent foundation book about leadership. I don’t have a leadership plan, but I do maintain a spreadsheet of yearly goals going back to 2004, a separate tab for each year allows me to look back and take note of my progress. In it I have 3 goal categories; Business/Career, Financial and Personal Growth/Relationships. 

After reading Eric’s post, I’m considering setting a goal of creating a personal leadership plan for myself as improving in that area is my #1 personal development goal at work. As for the reason why I titled this post as I did, in the short time of 6 days of bloging, I’ve come across at least 3 posts that have inspired me; and that is way cool. 

Its late Friday, well actually its 12:43am Saturday. I haven’t posted in a couple of days, Wednesday was V Day and Thursdays I have 3 hours of Krav Maga,  from this  school and when I’m done, I feel like I got hit by a mack truck (but I love it). I do it for the cardio workouy and the skills learned is a bounus. My dad has a couple of black belts, so my brother and I have always been intrested in martial arts.  I’ve been in many dust-ups over the years, some from just hangin’ out but most were the result of a security job I had while in college. I’m 6’6″ and 235 so most people won’t want to fight me anyway, but if I do get into it with somebody, I want to win, even if the other person has a weapon. 

Tonight I went to the movies to see Norbit, so I got home late. That movie was crazy, it was funny, but I don’t think I like all of the sterotypes of black folks that can be found in the film. Anyway…I have a lot to write about, I just don’t feel like writing now. I’ll post some stuff over the weekend.

Tonight I spent a few hours trolling the web to find potential advertisers for the site as well as sites that I can become an affiliate of. I was thinking today that I need the site to be more than just a social networking site. I want people to be there for a particular purpose and maybe the networking part is a bonus.

So what do I do, do I have a motorcycle accessory store, with social networking features. I had thought about this before, but after reading an article titled A Taxonomy of Social Networks? on GIGOM.com by Liz Gannes it hit home to me that i need to crank it up a notch. I still don’t know what that looks like yet, but I’ll come up with something.

I also spent some time getting the hosting stuff worked out. It’s getting late so I don’t think I’m going to do anything else tonight. Over the next couple of days I need to keep working on laying out the site while I finalize what I’m going to do with it…lol 

So I talked about the Reddot project I’m working on, now let me describe some other things that I’m doing. On Sept 23 2006 I wrote out a plan to start a collection of internet properties. I compare it to the real estate investor that has portfolio of properties.  The investor goes out and buys properties or build them, sell them or rents them out or some combination there off.

Well I’m doing the same thing with internet sites. I’ll start up some sites focusing on very niche markets, start with 1, build up users and start another one using the lessons learned from the previous one and repeat until I have enough sites to generate the type of cash flow that I’m looking for. The cash flow will come from advertising and maybe some merchandise or affiliate income.

So this week, I’ve been starting to implement that plan. I started designing the site, laying it out like I want. I did a little bit of research on how to market it. I also set up the hosting account. I already own the domain name, in fact last sept and Oct I registered about 8 domain names thinking about the types of sites I wanted to run.I plan on doing some more work tonight on it. I’ll keep you guess updated. 

So let me start catching you guys up. I’m not going to spend too much time talking about my past businesses, but understand that things that I learned in all of my preceding ventures has prepared me for what I’m trying to do now. I’ve learned from the many mistakes I’ve made as well as from some of the stuff I did well.

So last spring(06′) I called a couple of my frat brothers and said there is no reason why we can’t pool some of our mental and financial resources and start something great. So after a series of phone calls and meetings, we settled on a social networking business. Yada Yada Yada we got the site up and running did a little guerilla marketing and we were off.  There was a bit of conflict, one of the 3 partners really wasn’t feeling the direction we were taking, myself and the other guy were in agreements as the direction was what we had planed from the beginning. So long story short the tired guy kinda’ faded away, that left me and AT to handle things. So after about 8 months of works and me thinking about this. I told AT we need to go in a different direction. The site wasn’t growing, we hadn’t had a new member in months, the site content had gotten stale, and the level of effort we put in dropped of dramatically.I told AT that we need to focus on a much more narrow niche for the site. Come up with something that the big guys are not doing and that smaller rivals hadn’t tapped into yet either.

It is during this mental process time that I started having discussions with an Attorney turned film maker. We 1st talked during the Christmas season of 06′. But is a conversation in mid January that we came up with the idea for a new project for reddotnetwork.com. The concept was awesome in its simplicity and potentail.

So that’s where I find myself today. Working with AT and Lee on reluanching the site not as a social networking site, but as a destination for users to watch compelling content featuring entertainers. Its a destination site with very targeted content but with appeal to a pretty wide audience. My main concern about this venture is that I don’t know Lee, I know people that know him, which is how we started talking. I heard about things that he was doing just as he heard of things that I was doing.  A mutual friend let me know that he was interested in discussing business opportunities and it went from there. Any way, I don’t know him, so I can’t say that I trust him. I don’t have a reason not too, but business partnerships can go real bad real fast, so I’m a little weary.

I guess that enough for tonight. Nect time I’ll talk about some other projects that I’m working on…