Saturday, July 31, 2010

Growing the Cigars and Stogies Channel

Added some new sources to the Cigars channel.

We often use a request for addition to this or that channel as a kick-in-the-pants to revisit the channel and spruce it up some (thanks go to Tom at the Tampa Cigar Examiner)

Personally, I am not a cigar smoker - though I actually LOVE the smell, pipe tobacco too. I appear to be in the minority though.

[You know, every 10 or so spaces that I type with this keyboard causes TWO spaces to be generated. Crazy thing is I've had this same keyboard for about 3 years now. Wonder what a therapist would say about THAT? We need a therapy channel QUICK]

Friday, July 30, 2010

Bigger, Better, Bolder... the Rap and Hip Hop Channels

Well, maybe not bolder ... they were already pretty darn bold before. ;-)

The Rap Music and Hip Hop Music channels were one of our first Music channels and are now one of the first of many channels we are revisiting to kind of, well, pump them up ... fill them out ... top them off, ... i.e. add some more news sources to them.

Some of the more general, but still somewhat Hip Hop-centric new sources (magazines and blogs), ended up in the Music News channel, or sometimes the Urban Lifestyle channel, or even the Celebrity Gossip channel.

One thing that does seem apparent, from this kind of informal survey of a few hundred Rap and Hip Hop blogs, is that they like to ally themselves more with Hip Hop than Rap - that Rap is apparently not as popular as a draw to their blogs as Hip Hop is. Perhaps because Hip Hop is transforming into Hip Hop+ and expanding into wider and wider spheres of influence? i.e. Hip Hop+Soul, Hip Hop+R&B, Hip Hop+Pop?

I have no freaking idea - but I also wonder if the entrepreneur channel should be linked to the Hip Hop and Rap channels, as things are really happening in these worlds and they are good examples of people 'doing it for themselves' as opposed to 'working for the man'.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Health Channel

While working on the Health channel we accidentally added a Candy channel and a Fast Food channel and a Grocery Review channel [which is mostly about store-bought snacks]> Just how does something like that HAPPEN? :-)

The Health channel's Fitness and Nutrition channels will help provide balance to any over-indulgence those other channels might trigger. Well, they will HELP, but for goodness sakes, stay away from the Chocolate channel! :-)

[My wife is the real chocoholic in our family, but she doesn't read this blog very often... whew!]

We also added Health Mattters on Twitter. Check it out if you are in the neighborhood.

Be Healthy!

Comic-Con International in San Diego

Coverage of Comic-Con with great breadth and depth can be yours on the Comic Book channel.

Just for the record, I never got to read one issue in the BrandNewDay arc [I got forewarned what it was about and was seriously trepidatious] but no problem - Marvel goes and does crazy stuff to ALL of their characters every so often - but if you just wait long enough, things will be back to normal [the corollary being that everyone who dies will also come back to life. Sometimes a good thing. Sometimes not].

Still expanding the Marketing and Advertising and Social Media channels

Seems obvious now, but never really noticed before how much Marketing and Social Media are overlapping these days. Makes sense since marketing is about reaching people and social communities are where lots of people congregate.

You can also throw in SEO (search Engine Optimization) because what better advertising is there than one's own website [OK, perhaps in a perfect world]. And our own Online Advertising channel is stealing the thunder from the Advertising channel because, well, legacy media advertising is on the wane and I guess just not as exciting to most people anymore [our Media News channel has more on this transition from traditional media to...uh... non traditional media].

As you can see, we have a lot of channels, quite active channels in fact, in this general area. We certainly enjoy thinking about and reading about it as much as everyone else. And as far as writing about it... I'll just say that Apple will have a harder time pulling a Microsoft [in terms of completely dominating the hardware, software and advertising platforms] with both Google and Microsoft on the alert. Yes, we also have channels for all three of these companies but the link density here is already a little un-SEO friendly, so we'll pass [but look for them if you are interested - Google is under Internet and Apple and Microsoft are both under Technology]

Merry Marketing!

Expanded the Vampires channel

Lots of stories on Trueblood and Twilight and other fangy things on the Vampires channel. Vampires are really popular and have come to dominate the Science Fiction and Fantasy bookshelves at the local Barnes & Noble. The juxtaposition of horror and romance (and immortality!) strikes a chord in many of us.

As with all the channels, we will continue to expand this one as we find more awesome blogger or tweeps. For you that spend lots of time on Twitter, we have added a Vampire Mattters channel there with links to the latest and greatest Vampire-ish stories.

Sleep well!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Marketing and Advertising Channels

We are currently expanding the Marketing channel, which covers ground at the intersection between business, PR/communications, and social media. And branding, one of the more wonderfully mysterious aspects of building businesses.

We know, it is a lot of ground - but most of the experts seem to wander freely around it - so far be it from us to try to squeeze them into this or that sub-category. We do, however, break out advertising , following the tradition laid down for many decades, if for no other reason. This advertising channel needs even more work than marketing - but we're working on it!

Both of these, of course, feed into our brand [sic :-)] spanking new Twitter feed: Money Mattters.

Enjoy those interests!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Techno Music including Electronica, Minimal, House, Deep House, Progressive, Trance, Dance, Space, Club, Fidget, Synth, and Live Sets

Electronica has grown up since the days of Jean Michel Jarre, Eno and Klaus Schultz. And it has fractured into many different splinters depending on Beats Per Minute and sampling and a host of other cool and innovative ways to squeeze new music out of the new and old hardware.

Instead of having a separate cahnnel for each of these splinter groups, at least for now, we are going to just have one big Techno Music channel. We have significantly expanded this channel and hopefully you all will approve!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Toys and Diecast Cars (and other Scale Models)

It is finally summer in the Rockies. Whoo Hoo!

Added the Diecast Cars channel. There are some cool toy cars and some cool diecast trucks in there - but it is all Matchbox and HotWheels and others. I used to have a collection - but I guess my Mom thought I was too old for them during one of her 'flea market' phases and so the only ones I have now I collected later in life. I remember getting my wife an scale model Audi TT several years before we could actually afford to get her a real one [which she eventually did].

As for the rest of the channels - this weekend we focused mostly on improving the performance of the underneath - the guts - of the pages - as well as fixing a lot of stupid booboos that seem to pop up faster than weeds in Springtime. Now that we are kind of done with [burnt out on] all that - we can go back to focusing on new channels and beefing up the current ones [except the vegetarian and vegan channels, of course - no 'beefing up' there :-)]

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mattters on Twitter

As some of you know :-) Mattters has been on Twitter (here) for awhile now. In the past people have followed us to let us know that perhaps we may want to add them to a Mattters channel or two.


Now we are expanding our presence on Twitter, with over 12 channels and counting. This allows people to follow us 'up there' as well, to get news stories about their favorite interests in small 140 character or less tidbits. Pretty cool.

Of course, takes some time to make nice looking profile icons for each channel - and forever to make great looking ones [if I am the one doing it :-)]. And they are changing quite rapidly as we go from horrible to bad to "tired of this let's go to the next one". I thought the Green Mattters icon was great until my wife says she couldn't tell that it was planet Earth [she thought the land mass - the U.S.? was the wrong color or something.]

Here is a list:

@art mattters
@cloud mattters
@code mattters
@family mattters
@food mattters
@fun mattters
@gaming mattters
@green mattters
@money mattters
@motor mattters
@music mattters
@sports mattters
@style mattters
@tech mattters

We'll have to add a list to the website too. So people can find these from down here on the web [no, I don't know why I think of the internet as 'down' and Twitter as up and Digg as over to the East ...]

Happy Following!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Expanded the Jazz Channel

We expanded the coverage of the Jazz Music channel - and we will continue to expand it over the next day or so.

Not sure why it was so under-nourished before... Jazz is one of our favorite music genres and it dominates my somewhat too-large-to-be-manageable personal CD collection [my favorites: Miles Davis' electronic psychedelia years, say 67 to 72 and Bill Frisell. Oh yeah and big, slow sax like Gene Ammons]

Hopefully all you other Jazz lovers haven't given up on us :-)

You will that all the channels will get a boost in coverage over time. Well, maybe not the channels that are huge already like the cricket and Sports Cards channels. Which ones get huge depends on how many people like blogging about a particular topic and, seemingly, serendipity. But it will all even out in the end.

Monday, July 12, 2010

SEO - Search Engine Optimization and other fixed channels

Fixed a little glitch in the SEO channel, and a few others, where the volume of tweets overwhelmed the blog stories, making it appear like there were, in fact, no blog stories when, in fact, there actually were.

Given how important our channel on search engine optimization is to attract and reward those all knowing, all seeing early adopters - we have to wonder whether we should just give ourselves a nice kick in the rear, or... whatever.

The Wine channel, the Twitter channel - these also have been suffering. Argh!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Best of Mattters: Music, Lifestyle, Everything

Our new home page, Popular Mattters, has been such a hit - that we have added a 'Best Of' page to each and every channel.

A prime example is the Best of Music page. Another is the Best of Lifestyle page. It shows the top stories of the day, week, month and of all times. This helps people who do not visit Mattters several times per day to still see the best stories - especially those channels where the stories zoom off the page within a few hours - there are so many of them.

We are still tuning these pages, trying to get just the right mix of stories. You can see why if you think about it: if it just showed the best scoring stories, then their scores would get higher and higher, while new stories, that might Be Even Better, would have no chance to make it onto the page.

Anyway, these 'best of' pages allow us to feature historical posts and tweets [still working on displaying the scores of the best tweets]. One of our core beliefs is that just because a post is old doesn't make it bad. You can see how similar this is to the short shrift search engines give to some topics... they just do not know what are the GREAT stories (or, for that matter [hmmmm. can barely spell 'matter' correctly anymore :-)], what are the GREAT blogs and tweeps).

Friday, July 9, 2010

How about moving (consumer) Electronics from the top-level to under Technology? Opinions? Stupid Question?
How about moving Athletics (playing Sports, not watching) to the same level up w/ art and music etc.). Opinions?
Thinking about taking Crafts out of Art, moving it to the top-level (along with sports, technology, etc.) Opinions?
The Lotus Car Channel: .Need a few more bloggers to make it a real channel ( *hint* *hint* ) Elise
The new Sports Cards channel: for your BaseballCard and FootballCard collecting needs.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bringing out the mop, broom and dustpan

Sometimes blogs go a little too far, or a site has users who post things a little too much for our mostly American audience - so we have to bring put the 409 and do some house-cleaning.

Our target for the site is a 'C' rating. 'C' is for 'Cable'. If it is OK for cable TV - which is the only TV available anymore - then it is OK here. Well, we allow a little more dirty language - seems to be a staple of the internet and of certain musical genres (yep, talkin' 'bout our kickass rap and hip-hop channels :-), though they are still not as 'beepable' as your average political website these days).

I, personally, watch a lot of the TCM channel (Turner Classic Movies), TV (what is left of it) as well as DVDs of new movies from several different cultures. These also will be used as a measuring stick to determine what is acceptable - both historically and culturally.

First rule has always been: No hate. This is why our smallish politics channel is populated only by seniors (and only those seniors who approach uncalm events calmly). And when we do finally add religious channels, they will be scholarly religious 'studies' channels.

Other rules are that this is an English site [with some minor exceptions] and PG-rated [Playboy-ish cartoons are OK, as is casual nudity if the context of the article in which the nudity appears is not purely focused on the erotic aka 'has redeeming content' *ugh*].

We are bringing all this up now because we are in the process of removing two or three contributors who, although extremely popular, are just not what we want for the site at this time. In a sense, our focus has always been small bloggers and tweeps talking about what they love, often a topic that is not all that popular - but no less important in spite of its lack of popularity. We are happy to continue to focus on these, the 99% of the interests people have, and leave the 2 most popular: sex and hateful politics, to everyone else.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Home Page

OK. The home page is no longer the index. The index is now the index [which is the old home page and which will receive more improvements forthwith].

The Home Page now presents the top stories of the last week from across all channels on Mattters. We call it the Popular Mattters channel. The old popular channel has been more or less discontinued.

We will be adding a lot more informative and intriguing data about what people are liking, and what are the 'hot hot hot' stories, as the Home Page evolves [aka soon. Very soon].

Took us long enough to figure out that maybe the index/directory wasn't the most important thing on the site, huh? ...although my wife mentioned it to me months and months ago... *sigh*

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Holiday Progress Report

Voting was often very slow last week so we fixed it yesterday. This morning we fixed the fix. HOPEFULLY voting is back and speedier than ever. Whew!

For the last few days we have been focused on the archive pages. We are firm believers that old stories are still good stories. Archive pages had a few 'issues' and we are working to make the pages speedy and reliable. There are several million of them, so this is taking some time. But the end is in sight [Whoo Hoo!].

Working on adding a few more channels as well.... Anyone have any ideas for channels they would like to see?
What's up with Mick Jagger? Twitter is too busy to show me. Rock and or Roll baby:

Friday, July 2, 2010

Waiting for the weekend to show up. Door #1 Justin Bieber or door #2 hiphop
Holidays started yet? No?! Then what is this beer doing here? brewski 4th b4breakfast
The biggest and baddest barbecue day of the year is coming right up. Are you ready? :-) BBQ 4th Yummy