I’m just after noticing my feedburner subscription count has double from the last time i checked (which was yesterday!). It now stands at 283 subscribers… my feedburner graph confirms the numbers have doubled over 24 hours…
The reason for the massive increase? From what i gather feedburner now supports / accepts friendfeed subscriptions so because i’m fairly active there (i have 172 subscribers), i’m guessing they’ve been added to my ‘regular’ rss subscribers.
Friendfeed is basiclaly a catch-all solution. Kinda like my lifestream on this blog. It gathers all the stuff i’m doing online and churns it out in real time. It can be very handy, just like twitter, if you’re trying to follow the latest trends and breaking news, or you just want to see what your online pals are doing…
Anyway, it’s great to see that feedburner count rise. It’s been hovering around the 130 mark for about 6 months now! As a blogger, stats like these are like a ‘pay day’ or ‘pat on the back day’ – it’s a reward for hard work and loyal service to the blogging world
As a reward for my hard work of late, i’ve ordered myself a wacom bamboo graphics tablet.
Apparently, these are the best in the business (for starting out) and my particular model comes highly recommended from just about every review site and any user reviews i’ve read…
I could have opted for the cheaper, smaller bamboo one but after reading reviews i decided my money would be better spent on the regular bamboo. It has set me back €68.04 in total (including delivery) and that’s through elara.ie which were the cheapest i could find. I probably won’t get it this week (unless it’s sent out tomorrow and arrives Friday which is unlikely!) but i should have it early next week.
I’ve always wanted one and now that i’m really getting stuck in to design and photoshop in particular, the time is right. Although i have a glass mousepad and razor sharp logitech laser mouse, there are things it just can’t do when it comes to fine detail and precision.
I’ve always been pretty handy with pencil and paper art offline (in school), so you can expect plenty of custom made icons and designs coming soon
I’ve just bought a shared hosting account with Blacknight which means it’s the first time i’ll have ever hosted any of my sites in ireland
Although (on paper), hosts in the US give better bang for the buck, the likes of Blacknight have made great progress over the past few years. Prices are now very competitive and support of course is unrivalled when it’s local – hopefully i wont need to use it!
Why did i chose Blacknight? I like what they do on twitter, i like their site, i like their prices…. most importantly i think they’re the most respected host here (in ireland) especially when it comes to small / shared hosting packages. It was a toss up between digiweb & blacknight and although digiweb were slightly cheaper, i don’t like the way they don’t have a twitter account and their blog is rarely updated and not even mentioned on their homepage – i like to see updates and interaction with customers.
The reason i’ve bought an Irish hosting package is because i now own and host several irish websites, targetting irish users only… some have .ie’s and others (like theleavingcert.com) are aimed specifically at an irish audience. SEO & speed also came in to it.
I won’t be moving this blog anytime soon, but i will eventually (probably) buy a VPS package and shove all of my sites on to it… possibly even a dedicated server when / if i need it. With several big projects on the way and a seemingly endless flow of new partnerships, i will at some stage need to think bigger & better.
I’ve already seen the benefits of what a portfolio can do for you, so i’ve decided to improve this blog even further…
Over the coming days / weeks, i’ll be adding;
- ‘popular posts’ section
- new ‘design’ page – to showcase any design work i do
- more consistency with style links (some are black, some white etc…)
- updated advertise page
- better search facility
So far, things have gone well for me since i added my new portfolio section. I launched that free logo offer and i’ve completed several logos, but i’ve also got several larger, paid jobs out of it.
I’ll keep that offer running, but to give you an indication of how well it’s worked, i started off needing $800 for my charity skydive. By the end of the week i should need $0 I’m killing several birds with the one stone…
Firstly, i’m getting some much needed cash. Without that, no skydive. Secondly, i’m learning and improving all the time when it comes to design and development work. Thirdly, i’m doing work for a really wide range of people and once all is said and done, that will look great on my portfolio.
Come september, i should also be able to add a video/pictures of my skydive to my portfolio too So at the minute i’m working hard and once i start back in college, i want to be in a position where i have a pretty meaty portfolio built up along with experience in design, development, promotion etc..
These past couple of weeks (since i blogged about my skydive offer) i’ve been getting quite a few requests. I’ve lost count of the amount of logos i’ve designed, but that’s not how i earn my money – i had never banked on getting donations from logo designs…
What i had gambled on however was that some people would avail of the ‘cheap sites’ offer. At $99, that’s how i’d make my target of $1000. All going well, i should have taken in around $750 in total by this time next week.
Add it to the $200 gathered for last year’s competition, and it means i’ll not be far away from the $1000 target
So it seems my ‘free logos’ plan has worked. It’s gotten me some publicity, some recommendations and eventually it’s ended up with several fairly large projects. I’m super busy at the minute and will be for the forseeable future.
In fact, looking at the work i’m getting at the minute and the amount of work my own projects need, it’s a good thing i’m not going away on a 2 or 3 week holiday One thing i will be doing this summer though (and it’s virtually guaranteed now) – is going skydiving