Thursday, April 8th, 2010
Another week gone, and the site has started to see some traffic. Having browsed the numbers, I’m impressed at how effective the project is looking, specifically with regard to Link Tiles.
As of noon today, there were three Tiles on the Entertainment Sphere, which had together recorded 39 clicks from 77 unique visitors. That’s really good, because it indicates visitors’ willingness to follow the links (about half of visitors click a Tile), which translates into a real traffic increase for Tile owners.
At the moment my goal is to connect the project with people, and currently the facebook application I built is the best bet. The app allows you to vote for a Sphere, and see which Spheres your friends voted for, and those votes are displayed next to the live Spheres.
Not surprisingly, the Entertainment Sphere is leading the Spheres out of the gate in Tiles, visits, clicks and votes; A lot of people entertain themselves online. Me, I voted for the Information Sphere.
Tuesday, March 30th, 2010
Still keeping feverishly busy. It’s just like me to want everything to be perfect before release, but I think it’s time to send out an email soon, maybe end of the week.
I dialogued with Room to Read (the charity themed with the Information Sphere) a bunch this month, who seemed pretty interested in my project. We were working on a Cause Marketing Agreement, but they emailed me last week with their decision to drop me out the bottom of their corporate lattice.
The drawback is that I can’t directly say, “A portion of each purchase goes to charity,” but on the plus side, I can work freely without a partnership to stress about. There are benefits to being small-time, which I’m proud to admit to. That said, I’m still dedicated to donating $50,000 if the project is a success.
On another note, I had an idea Friday morning about building a quick Spheres app for Facebook. Turns out I worked straight through the weekend, but the app seems to be working well, and I’m happy to have pounded it out in just a few days.
That’s all for now, catch you on the flip side.
Saturday, March 20th, 2010
…you’re having fun, and I am. But yeah, sometimes I get lost in code, and a month goes by pretty quick that way.
The Statistics page is now complete with live charts, and the Home and About pages have been edited (thanks to Emily: Master Editor). I’ve also added some depth to the website with a star-field backdrop, and tested the Spheres in various web browsers.
My sister also decided she wanted to put her website onto a Sphere, which I was pretty happy about.
Next up, an email, a facebook group, and a press release.
Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
Well I finally paired the Spheres up with charities (the Charity page has the details). At first it seemed like it would take forever to read over the mission statements for all the charities, but after a while I started to enjoy it. It inspires me to see so many charities at work in the world.
I tried my best to find charities that inhabitants of the Spheres would appreciate and support. Certainly the most difficult Spheres to find charities for were the Entertainment and Shopping Spheres, but once I did, they felt exactly right. See the Charity page
Browsing these charities also changed my mind about how I wanted to distribute the donation money. Instead of donating $50,000 to the charity represented by the winning Sphere, $25,000 will go to the winning charity, and $5,000 to each other charity as their respective Spheres complete. I think it makes sense to donate to each of them.
Sunday, January 31st, 2010
After giving a synopsis of this whole idea to a good friend of mine, he pointed out to me that it would be nice if the Spheres could be manually rotated by visitors – like in Google Earth. This isn’t the first time someone has mentioned this to me. As far as the programming goes, it’s actually pretty easy to implement mouse-controlled rotation, but I’m concerned it wouldn’t look great.
I thought I’d try a different approach. I know as soon as someone uploads a Tile, s/he is going to want to see it active on the Sphere. So I threw together a “Find Tile by ID” routine this past week, where entering any Tile’s ID will highlight it on the Sphere. Go ahead, test it out (Tile IDs start at 00001).
Tuesday, January 26th, 2010
The story up until now is pretty simple: I had an idea, and then I turned it into this website. My office has become a familiar place — most days I don’t really leave it — and rice has taken a central role in my diet, since I’ve been unemployed for the duration of the project.
Motivating myself has been tricky at times, but I’ve managed to stay on course. I think the key has been to keep the vision, and to listen to my mind and body when they tell me something is up. I must admit, it seems a little crazy to build six Spheres and then expect people to be interested, but hey, nothing ventured nothing gained, right?
I decided to offer a good friend of mine, Ethan Collister, the first Link Tile to promote his music and website. (Shortly after this he tried his hand at making a viral video – you can see me operating the boom mic just after the four minute mark.)
I’m currently in the process of finding suitable charities for each of the Spheres. It’s actually pretty tough to find the right ones, but I’m working on it. After that, I’ll be all set to work out some press releases!
Well, wish the Spheres luck!