Entry #9 (2010-06-02)
I greatly appreciate your early visits to the new Poker1 site.
Frankly, we weren’t anticipating that so many of you would drop by to watch P1 being built. Although we’re now about 55 percent functional (a rough estimate), most of the key pages and features remain to be implemented.
It’s time to deliver a progress report to you. As you might have noticed, I’m sharing our actual development documents (a change log and a daily to-do list) through links on the home page. Two long-time developers have already told me that this is a bad idea, because people don’t want to be reminded of glitches and problems being worked out behind the scenes. But I believe this helps build our family.
You see, this isn’t a typical web site. Ever since I became a hermit in the Ozarks, I’ve wanted to be able to share my life, my thoughts, and my teachings without leaving this serenity and isolation. Thus the new Poker1. So, why shouldn’t you know exactly what’s happening? How does it hurt? It might seem unprofessional by common web development standards, but so what? This is my only link to you, and I don’t want it to seem mysterious.
So, here’s where we stand as of today.
I’ve personally been adding content. Diane McHaffie, Mike Caro University of Poker’s director of operation, also adds content daily. Additionally, I’ve taken over the task of development, including all PHP programming, XHTML and CSS creation, and more. That’s because the old Poker1 site was left to the hands of a professional development team who accidentally added code that broke the functionality. I wasn’t able to administer my own site or add content for five years. I’m never going to let that happen again.
So, here I am, deep in the forest, doing it all myself — with the assistance of Diane and visitors who have generously pointed out glitches, such as Thomas Foster, Michael Hand, and others. Paint me stubborn, but this is my design (not popular with web designers) and my vision. You’ve always known I was weird, right?
We’re planning to announce a grand opening on September 1. It’s possible that date might get pushed back, but I’m still hopeful. You’ll always be kept informed of changing plans.
Meanwhile, our only announcements (other than mentions that I’m rebuilding the site in columns) have been: (1) Daily tweets pointing to selected entries from Twitter; (2) daily messages about the same content from Facebook; (3) a limited test of Google Adwords. Since I haven’t yet got around to developing pages on Twitter or Facebook, we’re not getting full “value” there.
Poker1 traffic during development
Anyway, here’s a report on current traffic.
March, 2010 (16th and after)
— Average daily site visits: 714
— Average daily page visits: 2,830
We opened up the site without fanfare on March 16, so anyone wishing to witness our progress and mistakes could do so.
We had 716 visits that same day, probably generated through word-of-mouth curiosity. (There were 13 visits the previous day. Most likely those were associated with development efforts.) On March 30, we had 859 visits (the highest for the month — low for post-public opening was 595 two days earlier). We had anticipated an average of 200 visits per day during the development phase.
Total site visits (16 days): 22,132 prorated (11,423 actual)
High day: 859 (March 30)
Low day: 593 (March 22 — except for 15th and earlier)
Total page visits (16 days): 87,716 prorated (45,273 actual)
— Average daily site visits: 1,016
— Average daily page visits: 3,249
Total site visits: 30,486
High day: 1,895 (April 12)
Low day: 799 (April 2)
Total page visits: 97,489
— Average daily visits: 1,359
— Average page visits 5,651
In May, we began with 847 visits on the 1st and haven’t been under 1,000 in the 31 days since (including June 1).
Total site visits: 42,153
High day: 3,461 (May 25)
Low day: 847 (May 1)
Total page visits: 175,206
June began with 1,406 site visits yesterday (5,601 page visits)
Remaining tasks before grand opening
Here is our in-house, unedited to-do list of what still needs to happen before we can announce our grand opening…
Open forum and seed with at least three posts from me to stimulate early discussion
Add at least three one-minute audios to begin the series
Add at least three one-minute videos to begin the series
Add at least 200 more archived entries
Format and add poker statistics from existing MCU tables (only five are complete so far)
Put into place a plan for grand opening announcements and other ways to drive traffic to Poker1
Contact other poker, gambling, and general-topic sites about link exchanges and offer syndicated columns or audios to generate traffic
Plan Yahoo!, Bing, AdWords opening day blitz
Add all three Mike Caro vs. Doyle Brunson heads-up videos
Make all indexes work
MCU Gym – add explanation of what it is with possibly one or more training exercises in place
Add links to next entry at the bottom of all lectures and tests that are in a series
MCU library in main menu – complete links and indexes for articles and audios
Put up free online books, possibly including large portions of the original Book of Tells
Finish making Wiesenberg/MCU poker dictionary fully functional
Add rule books from casinos and other entities with permission to use
Create a pending section for MCU official poker rules that will be completed one-by-one with public discussion invited
Poker history articles – add entries and links to other recommended on-topic sites
Poker history museum – add pictures of ORAC (my artificially intelligent poker player, circa 1984) with accompanying explanatory entry
Poker history timeline — create and publish
Poker people / MCU Monuments of Poker — Add first three entries
Poker people / Poker profiles – begin with a dozen in-depth ones at grand opening
Yet More MCU – add something to get this started
Shop – fill in “about” and add all current products in categories with credit card processing functionality
Write and publish page or entry for Brain Trust methods section
Call experts into session to create first new Brain Trust odds
Announce and publish first group of current Brain Trust odds
Add to older Brain Trust Odds section – legacy articles and audios for historical purposes
Write and publish “About” for Zone 2
Complete for Zone 2 (starting content): Current events, Press Releases, links to happenings
Complete for Zone 2 (starting content): Current News (updated daily with links and short descriptions of stories)
Complete for Zone 2: Gallery – Photos submitted by others, subdivide. Include MCU campus photos
Create for Zone 2: In Gambling – basic dictionary and say that it’s “going to grow”
Create for Zone 2: Gambling encyclopedia – say that it’s pending, but add two entries to begin
Complete for Zone 2: Gambling games and rules — descriptions and rules all major forms of gambling need to be added before launch
Create for Zone 2: Gambling history – brief overview; link to entries from sites
Complete for Zone 2: Gambling odds – create and link, also, to poker odds
Create for Zone 2: Gamblers and gambling-related people – capsule bios with possible links
Create for Zone 2: Gambling strategy – begin with at least 10 entries and provide links to other sites
Create for Zone 2: Inside Mike’s Mind — thoughts from essays, articles, and columns (include “Shadows in the Tent,” not actual title, plus selections from old “Caro on Gambling” book), two new commentaries on life
Create for Zone 2: Articles — two new entries
Create for Zone 2: Audios — two new entries
Create for Zone 2: Videos — two new entries
Create for Zone 2: Links — choose ones to add from still-operating sites on the old Poker1 list and new recommendations
Complete for Zone 2: MCU Press Package – add questions most frequently asked, link to bio, opinions, quotes (with links to entries discussing what I mean), contact information, artwork (including photos) for download, endorsements of me, MCU, and Poker1, and interview aids (topics I’m ready to discuss, with my likely answers to common questions)
Create for Zone 2: Yet More Zone 2 – add various things, including Table Rock Lake description and why I moved to the Ozarks
Select and add content or special widgets for right sidebar to make it approximately equal in length with left sidebar
Fill in all pages, entries, or other gaps in main menu, so structure is complete and some starting content is in place for each selection
So, now you’re up to date. — MC