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5000 HITS?

It may not seem like much of an achievement to certain webmasters out there, but I was amazed just now to see that the homepage of my personal site had reached 5000 hits.  I'd only added the counter just over a year ago on the first full day that I began working on this new site (June 7, 2004).

In contrast, my old site at Angelfire has registered just over 1930 hits since going "live" sometime in 1999 (I kept the same Andale counter when I redesigned "Jochim Web" from the older "Jochimbook" site).

Of course, a fair number of hits come when I refresh the pages to check if everything looks the way it should when adding a new section or page (something I haven't had a chance to do in a month-and-a-half now) — the counter isn't supposed to increase because of multiple page refreshes from the same IP address, but I'm sure it does occasionally.

Other than that, most visitors come because of the music content, I believe — I'm fairly active in the Rainmakers community at times (another branch of my life currently "on-hold") with fans coming to check out the band's archives section (promoted on occasion during live performances by singer Bob Walkenhorst or seeking information on our Remasters Project, linked through the Yahoo Group or Live Music Archive.

I also receive a fair number of Marillion and Bruce Springsteen fans, although those sections are sorely lacking and will require A LOT of work before I get them to the point I'd like.  Other music-related hits come through people I meet in various other Yahoo Groups and message boards where I'm (somewhat) active.  Most of these sites have a field to enter your homepage when you register; I would have thought more people would click on the link in my signatures directing them to my music trading list than on the main site (I don't always include THAT link in my signatures, however).

Apparently, one person stumbled across one of the audio tutorials by accident as I received an e-mail today asking for some advice concerning lossless audio and iPods (I think I'm the last person on earth who doesn't have a portable mp3 player, nor do I have any desire to obtain one).

And, this was just going to be a "friends and family"-only site!  (Which has always been the intention of my blog as well).  I've very rarely even actively promoted the site (other than the homepage listing in forums I belong to; I believe I only once posted a "come visit the Rainmakers Archives" message back in 1999, which I only recently found and updated with the proper URL).

All I wanted to do was compile all the various things I was interested in and put them in one easy-to-locate place.  I felt by scanning much of my extensive collection of music memorabilia and ephemera, I could discard (or sell) the originals and remove some of the clutter in my life.  Well, I haven't done ANY of that.

There's a great deal I want to do with the site and I'm tired of the unfinished state that so much of it is in.  True, there are pieces that SEEM complete — trust me, they are a LONG WAY from that.

While this is a very busy time for me in other (mostly non-computer) endeavors, I plan to compile a plan to complete some of the sections I've already begun and begin work on others.

One section I want to completely redo is the Audio Tutorials & FAQ.  Recently, I participated in a discussion on a very active audio/video collectors' list where it was discussed that there isn't a single really good COMPLETE reference compiling all of the information both "newbies" and longtime collectors need to know about collecting rare & live audio and video.  Some sites have really good tutorials compiling SOME of the information and one of the USENET groups had a fairly good FAQ that is sadly out-of-date.  A couple of us took up the challenge to put together a "one-stop" reference that includes everything in an easy-to-understand format (the FAQ outline format as set out by the HTML Writers Guild).

I've already completed a very rough draft of just the AUDIO part of the FAQ which prints out to a whopping 80 pages!  Obviously, a lot of editing and rewriting needs to be done before we begin work on the VIDEO sections.

In essence, this massive FAQ will take the place of most of the individual pages in my Audio Tutorials & FAQ section of the website — yes, I do intend to host it when it's completed, although there will probably be a couple of mirrors as well.

With the addition of more "public"-intended material rather than targeted towards a few select friends, a redesign/revamping of the entire site will probably be in order as well (the overall feel right now is very disjointed to me).

After all, I need to make it look "pretty" to feel like I deserve another 5000 hits.

Stay tuned...