First, let me say I'm still in both the Roof Cleaning and Web Services business, I'm just not a forum (or facebook or twitter) kind of person. When Chris no longer needed help with the new forum, It was about cleaning season here and as usual, come spring, I drop off the social radar. Keep in mind that during the warm months, after a long day of cleaning, I come home to a long night of internet work and being a single father of a 9 year old as well, I'm sure you can see how my dance card get's filled.
I had a talk with Chris the other day and thought I'd come here and let everyone know some of the things I've been working on.
First, I'd like to mention the the long overdue second phase of my Roof Cleaner Directory project is under way. The plan, was to populate the site with Roof Cleaners in the first phase. I had hoped for more people but I think there's enough to go forward. The second phase was to actively market the directory to client groups.This began last November and so far I've made two powerpoint presentations to Home Insurance providers. Both were received very well. In fact, I was pretty amazed with the interest in house washing. These Insurance companies are sharing the site link (roofcleaningcontractors.com) with all their adjusters. It wasn't really a hard sell, they were already on-board with the "no-pressure" and the value aspect. If anyone out there has good public speaking skills and would like to help, send me a PM.
I'm trying to put together a HOA powerpoint since there is no possible way I can personally visit every HOA, I'm going to try and work from the top down. I actually began the foundations of this last year. The problem was the map wasn't populated enough to approach the people that provide HOA services (management, websites, etc). I've accumulated 600+ twitter followers with many in the real estate business. Hopefully, these new revelations will grow the directory even more.
I've let the Directory run on the original design but that doesn't mean I've been ignoring it. I've been working on a snazzier look and gobs of tweaks in the backend on the cloned site on a private server. Basically, I took all the plans for roofcleaningseo and rolled them into the directory.
I'm also going to open up some of my blog sites to some pretty nifty automation. Members will be able to auto-post to other sites right from their own website.
Many of these new tweaks are only for Gold members and while I hate to sound like a used car salesman, the price for the Gold is going up. It's only 13.5 cents per day ($50 billed annually) now. The price increase will come when the new updated site rolls out, sometime in mid Jan to late Jan. Anyone that had a Gold account before today get's locked in at the old price for two years.
On the tech side...
Over the last 8 months, I've worked on some pretty interesting web related projects. I'll bullet point them and explain a little.
* Mapping - I had a project that pulled me way outside of my comfort zone and skill-set. At the time I would have gladly paid for a coder to do the work but the costs were prohibitive. Looking back, I'm so glad I hit the books since it opened my eyes to several interesting areas I was admittedly weak on. One of those areas was in databases...the core of every website. Another was Linux. I was so frustrated with myself that I made my PC a dual boot machine so I could run Linux and learn the basics. I can do some pretty amazing things with maps and data.
* Website Speed - Website maps are very resource intensive and to speed them up...I had to hit the books again. If you have a slow loading site it can and does affect your ranking. Speed is also usually a quality issue. Test your site at www.webpagetest.org/ and if you can't get "A" across the board on your grade, send me a PM
* Plugin - I'm still working on this one. I've made some plugins for myself but making an open plugin is risky since it has to withstand conflicts and WP updates. When I'm comfortable, this will become a part of the tweaks that I mentioned for the directory.
* Smartphone App's - Yea, I know this sounds a bit on the over the top but it's not really. There's pretty much an app for everything and there have been some recent developments in technology that would allow even me to hack out a pretty neat app.
Now...imagine for a minute, all of these things rolled together.
You show up a a home and snap a "before" (and later an "after") roof cleaning pic with your smartphone using a roof cleaner app that saves the image and geocodes it to a database that allows you to simply log into your wordpress site and via the roof cleaner plugin, look at a map of all your past jobs, sortable by any DB query. You could even look at the map and see your trucks on the map in real time.
Yea...I think that's pretty cool by itself but there isn't any limit to the features that could be added.
Of course, I self fund all these projects so sometimes they move slow or come to a temporary stop. This is where you can help....
If you need a website, SEO or help optimizing your site for speed or quality? send me a PM. You get a real nerd that you can talk to and not some guy you found on the internet that is really sitting at his computer in his underwear eating Cheetos while sending your work to China or India....and you get to help the industry at the same time.