Friday, June 1, 2012

June: The Month of Change

So June is finally here.  This is the month when I started Alternate History Weekly Update last year.  I will leave the sentimental reminiscing post for the actual anniversary.  I want to focus on the past on June 19th, but today I want to focus on the future.

I have marked June as the month of change.  Over the next 30 days I will be giving a hard to look at every aspect of this blog.  Things that work I will keep and things that don't work I will throw away.  I am making it my goal to turn Weekly Update into the most professional looking and aesthetically pleasing blog that I can.  Thankfully I am getting help from my family and friends to make this dream a reality.

Now I do not want to concern you.  Weekly Update will continue to provide top-notch news, reviews, interviews and essays on alternate history.  What I am trying to accomplish is to make the way we deliver said content in the most effective and entertaining way as possible.  So with that being said...

Why are there ads?

So you might have noticed that there are now ads on the site thanks to Google Adsense.  By clicking on an ad I receive a small commission.  Now I can't ask you to click on ads for the sake of making the blog money, but if you do see something you like, I highly recommend you check out what the advertiser has to offer.  Why?  I have made vague promises in the past to use any funds raised by ads or subscriptions through Amazon to help promote the blog.  Well now I have two specific goals I hope to use the money for.

First, I am considering the possibility of moving AH Weekly Update to Wordpress.  More than one person has recommended the service, but to do it right it will cost me something.  I plan to be hosted through Netfirms, which will cost $5 a month, but they throw in a free domain name.  I also want to get a theme template, especially one that will adjust to tablets and smart phones.  Themeforest looks good, but that could cost me around $35.

As I mull over moving Weekly Update, I will be creating a new blog using Wordpress for my own writings.  I hope to use the place to showcase some of my original fiction and commentary on non-AH issues.  Keep an eye out for the newest acquisition of the Mitro media empire.

While the Wordpress move is still in the air, I am psyched about my other goal: creating a podcast.  Podcasts are great ways to communicate information and boost traffic to your site.  I want to start doing an episode once a month just to get familiar and then produce one every week if possible.  I hope that they will eventually replace the Weekly Update post I do every Monday as the primary way people receive news on the genre, but I would also love to have guests on to discuss various what ifs.  Nevertheless, if you are going to do anything, you should do it right.  I will need a good mic, like the Rode Podcaster, which costs $229.  I will need someone to record an opening theme to podcast as well, which could run from $5 to $250.

Including enough cash to pay for 6 months of hosting and other miscellaneous expenses, I am looking at a total of $600 to accomplish my two goals.  It does not look like much, but for someone on a budget like myself, throwing $600 away on a website is a difficult burden to bear.  If I can raise the money, however, through ads and perhaps a Kickstarter campaign, then perhaps you will have the chance of seeing a brand new blog and a podcast in the near future.

So why should I support Weekly Update?

Because we are the best place on the Internet to keep up to date on what is happening in the world of alternate history.  To prove it, this month I will continue to provide great content on topics and issues important to the genre.  We have articles coming down the pipeline from some of your old favorites like Sean, Chris, Tyler, Jordan and Seb; plus some new faces.  I will be interviewing people who work in the genre like author Geoffrey Wilson and Doc Quincy E. Quartermain, founder of The Artifice Club and head of the Alternate History Fan Track at Drago Con.

I am making it a point this month to post at least twice a day this week, so you are getting a lot more content than usual.  Plus there are a lot of good things to look forward to this month, such as the announcement of the Sidewise Awards for Alternate History and, of course, Weekly Update's one year anniversary.

What can I do to help?

We are always looking for new guest posts.  Submit your reviews or articles to me at ahwupdate at gmail dot com.  Those of you who are artistically inclined can send in alternate history photos and maps, or submit your design for our new banner.

There are a lot of little things you can do as well, such as liking us on Facebook, joining our Facebook group or following us on Twitter.  If you like our posts, please share them with your friends.  Also if you know someone who would like to advertise on our site, please tell them to contact me.

And as always, thank you for following us.

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Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a volunteer editor for the Alt Hist magazine and a contributor to Just Below the Law. One of his short stories will be published in the upcoming Echelon Press anthology, Once Upon a Clockwork Tale (2013).  When not writing he works as an attorney in the state of Illinois and enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana.

4 comments:

  1. You should try kickstarter - if the pebble watch can look for $200k and end up with $10.5m, then $600 should be a reasonable target :-)

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    1. I might end up doing that if the advertisements do not generate enough money quick enough, however, I do not have much to offer in the way of perks. Perhaps I can list people as supporters or offer them a guest spot on the podcast. We shall see.

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  2. I'd keep it on blogger personally. That said, can't wait for the changes to come!

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  3. I've had people give me reasons why Wordpress is superior, but rarely about Blogger. Why do you think Blogger is better Sean?

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