Mark's blog

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Todd Parker, the promoter and race director for the Tour de Ste. Genevieve Road Race, sent me a nervous-sounding email this morning. Over the weekend he had over 250 competitors, 65 volunteers, 8 officials, and an unknown number of spectators attend the race. An event of this size simply does not happen in a community without the blessing of that community.

Todd therefore thought it would be a good idea to come back to Ste. Genevieve's leadership with a report of how the race went. He basically wanted to show how the race was a good thing for the community. Of course to do that he'd need to collect as much information from the people who'd attended the race as possible.

He was nervous because this wasn't something he'd thought of before today. A race director / promoter has ten thousand details to attend to leading up to a race. The last thing on his mind was anything post-race.

Don't you just hate it when...

This what thousands and thousands of visitors to one particular web site I frequent are seeing today. With less than a week to go in the month, these guys have run through their quota of hosting bandwidth with their service provider.

Imagine running out of electric or water service at the end of the month because your demands ran a little high. It's too bad you can't buy carryover minutes in the internet game.

I can understand how this can happen though. My own sites' bandwidth has doubled and then doubled again in recent months. Fortunately I buy in bulk. I can double a few more times before needing to build in more bandwidth.

Note: The image in this post looks a lot like an error when you view it. Let me assure you, it is not an error. You're seeing what an error looks like.

CHAMP gets a newsletter

One of the things the CHAMP guys really wanted out of their site redesign was a way to get people signed up for their electronic newsletter.

Oh, and they also wanted to start up an electronic newsletter.

I did some looking around and decided to learn PHPlist, an open source mail list manager. PHPlist came highly recommended by a couple of friends who should know these things. My research underscored their recommendation.

So look for the big green "Newsletter Sign Up" button at the top of the column on every page at CHAMPdogs.org. And hey, as long as you're looking, you may as well go ahead and get yourself signed up.

New Site: Le Tour de Sainte Genevieve

I just launched a new site for a friend of mine. Todd's a fellow bike racer. He called me a few weeks ago and said he'd been awarded the state championship race this year. That's a big deal, especially for a race in only it's third year.

I wasn't surprised to hear that news though. Todd had done a great job running Le Tour de Ste. Genevieve Road Race its first two years.

As is many times the case when you get good news, it's accompanied by a new set of problems. Todd was calling me about one of his problems. He needed help with his web site.

I took one look at what he had and nearly fell out of my chair. The site had been hosted on one of those advertiser supported "free" sites where you enter some text into a few fields, pick a layout/theme from a list, and hit the "Publish" button. Todd needed help.

Analytics

Those of you who know me personally know I work in marketing, but that I have an engineering and technical background.

That probably explains why I enjoy putting all these sites together for people and watching them grow - or to see if they grow. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't; and that's where analytics come in.

I use Google's Analytics services to keep track of traffic trends on just about all the sites I operate. The Drupal content engine makes it a rather simple process. Drupal has a ready-built module for Google Analytics. All I have to do is download and install it, and then configure it with the site's Analytics profile code.

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