The Making of

One of our biggest initiatives moving into 2010 is to really evaluate all of our sites and all of the functions within those sites and decide what is worth the time and what isn’t moving forward. Clearly, one of the things that did not work was the Tastefully Driven forum.

Except one thread that did work.

My partners and I are all fans of the sports show Around the Horn. One of the best parts of ATH is that the eccentric panelist Woody Paige always has a blackboard behind him with a random quote on it (see below). My favorite is probably “Stable relationships are for horses”, although they are almost all great. He changes it every segment (2-3 times per show depending on when he is “eliminated”). He’s been a regular on the show since it began in 2002 and has had more than 500 appearances. That’s a lot of quotes!

Woody Paige Around the Horn example

So we started a thread to track them back in early 2008. We stopped contributing a while back, but other people kept it going. Not every day, but here and there people would contribute new quotes.

Fast forward to last Tuesday. Tastefully Driven had a 20% off sale that did pretty good during the holidays because it made it’s way across a few forums. I decided to check the stats. Which was when I realized just how popular our thread was. It was the most viewed page on the site in December, 2x more than the home page. We ranked top 5 in Google for many Woody Paige related terms, including #1 for “Woody Paige Blackboard Quotes” – ahead of Wikipedia, Woody’s official site, and IMDB:

Google Woody Paige Blackboard Quotes

Given that interesting bit of information, we decided to create a site dedicated to Woody Paige’s blackboard quotes. We don’t expect too much to come of it, but we figured that it would be way better than an old thread on an inactive forum.  My guess was that many people browsed the forum thread, read all of the quotes (average time on page is just over 3 minutes), and then never came back because it wasn’t updated and we require you to be a TD registered user to post on the forum.

The benefits of a dedicated site:

  • Better design and organization of the content.
  • An easy form for people to submit quotes.  The show is on every weekday so we hope that submissions will be pretty regular.
  • Easy for people to subscribe to updates via email, Twitter, and RSS.
  • Each quote will get indexed and hopefully suck in some more traffic.
  • Maybe we’ll make a few bucks with AdSense (I’m talking like $100/month at most).

And if we get lucky it could be one of those viral blog sites that catches on, sort of like Autocompleteme or People of Walmart.

So on Tuesday Mike and I came up with a list of what we needed to do to get the site launched.  Over the past few days we split up the work and spent a few hours here and there to get the site launched. 

Here’s our to-do list for this mini-project:

  • Pick out a domain
  • Set up hosting on our server
  • Install WordPress
  • Install plugin to allow users to submit posts (pending our approval)
  • Design template
  • Write site copy
  • SEO
    • Enable rewritten URLs
    • Put canonical redirect in place
    • Install sitemaps plugin and submit to Google Sitemaps
  • Configure AdSense
  • Set up Google Analytics
  • Create Twitter account
  • Feedburner
    • Burn Feed
    • Enable email subscriptions
    • Auto-post to Twitter
  • Copy all posts from thread into system
  • Test on all browsers
  • 301 redirect old thread on Tastefully Driven (both pages)
  • Adam & Mike – blog posts, Twitter, Facebook
  • Add to Pure Adapt site
  • Submit to StumbleUpon
  • Test Analytics and AdSense to ensure tracking correctly

Friday night while I was watching college football was born:

Woody Paige Blackboard Quotes Site

All in all, a pretty quick, fun project that will be fun to keep going (I certainly plan on adding new quotes whenever I watch).

4 comments on The Making of

  1. […] was a quick and fun project. Adam posted details on the our to do list on his blog. Woody Paige’s Chalkboard always gives me a laugh which made making this site all […]

  2. Rob says:

    Oh my god, that’s certainly the ugliest site in your portfolio! I LOVE it!

  3. Dale Ting says:

    Adam, one reason why I read your blog is you show how to connect idea to execution. This was a great example! Don’t know how many times I’ve seen a quote and never thought anything to do with it…

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