My What-I’ve-Been-Up-To Post

Posted June 3rd, 2008 by Mike Cherim

I haven’t been posting as much, roughly once a week I guess, but not as much as I used to. This post is meant to explain why. To tell you what I’ve been up to — or not up to as the case may be. I have been purposely cutting back. I have family, it’s the nice time of year, and I have a life-long hobby I’m taking to new level, or trying to. I’ll offer more about that at another time. I have been dong fewer web and blog projects, or perhaps you could say I’m allowing more room between projects, making time or all of my other pursuits. Which are varied.

Accessites Stuff

I have my usual duties at Accessites, but it’s a minor workload. It’s been slow there, and that’s fine. Quality instead of quantity is fine with all of us if I may speak for the team. There are a number of articles queued up so expect some great articles from some of my team mates. They have some great stuff to offer. As far as web sites in the grading queue, well, that’s basically empty. The problem is most submissions get turned down by our dedicated checkers at the door (for little stuff half the time, it’s a shame). However, I repeat, quality instead of quantity is fine. We may make some changes at in the near future, and we do have something else planned. Stay tuned.

Green Methods

I’ve been posting quite a bit on two other sites. One is my soon to be sixteen year-old company, The content on that site is awesome, compiled after all these years, half of it derived directly from a book I wrote in 1998 (out of circulation), but I want to keep adding more content, generating interest, providing value to a painfully slow-growing readership. SEO-wise, the site is built to succeed, but it lacks relevant in-bound links. For years my company’s focus has been commercial, but commercial growers don’t seem to spend time interacting online. It used to be a page rank six, then it dropped to a three, and was increased to a four with the last update.

The online shop is indexed well and that does okay, but we aren’t well placed for a lot of relevant searches and it bums me out because the content is rich. People may be missing out. Google likes the site, all is legit and legal, we even have an extended listing. It’s been online since 1995 (tables and frames to start with, baby), and it’s been updated five times with the latest incarnation. Between versions four and five I used an .htaccess file to offer permanent redirection.

In other words the site cannot get much better for what it’s meant to do and I’ve done all the right stuff. Now I’m doing the only thing I can think to do: Keep writing, offer continuous value, be patient, give version five time to work, and basically work my ass off. I have been posting there every fourth or fifth day. Valuable content intermixed with site-type news likes sales. I hope in doing so I will attract in-bound links from garden bloggers and others of that sort, and more universities. In time hopefully we’ll get back up to six… link to us ;)

The second site I’ve been busy with is my hosting company’s site. We offer great service at affordable prices, but we are definitely not for everyone. We cater specifically to the person who just wants to blog and doesn’t want to know about anything outside of that task. The type of person who doesn’t care if they have FTP access (though we can offer it) or a nice server interface. The type of person who’d prefer not to even know about that sort of thing.

Anyway, I digress. Of interest to you, what I have been up to over there is posting articles once or twice a month geared towards people who are not very technically inclined. They are written in plain-speak, best that I could, anyway. I’m not saying these are articles geared towards you, dear reader. Please don’t misunderstand. They may be of interest to you if you happen to know someone who may benefit, a client perhaps. Someone who’s all set with hosting. I’m not out to steal customers. I don’t work that way. Current articles include:

If these articles do offer you some value in the way I suspect they may and hope they do, please share them and subscribe to that site’s RSS feed so you can stay current.

I had a plan at Post one or two experiments every month. Being that I phrased it once or twice a month, I actually managed to keep it up from March of 2006 until April of 2008. I didn’t post an experiment in May. I ran out of stuff to do. It exists, of course, I just haven’t figured out the what to do part. Honestly I didn’t even give it much of an effort in May. It was a busy month without it. Realistically I should have skipped April, too. I mean, really, a plaid maker? Yep, should have skipped April.

Some of the stuff over there is pretty good. Some less so. Some of it is widely used actually. That was never the intention, though. It was meant to be a playground. But then I got a ton of feed subscribers and sort of felt obligated to come up with something. I am learning to feel less obligated. I won’t abandon the site, though I may make some changes. I may move the experiments here (doing so properly so as to not break the web), and use the domain for something else I have in mind, something considerably less demanding. I just don’t know yet.

Other Web Stuff

My Beast-Blog v2 theme could use an update. It works in the latest version of WordPress, 2.5.1, but it could use a few upgrades. I have other things I really should do, but I’m just not in that mode I guess. I suppose I was starting to suffer a little burnout. It’ll get done when I get bored one night. As is it still serves people quite well so it’s not in dire straights or anything so dramatic.

Other things I’m into are ultra-easy so have no real bearing. First there’s GrayBit. I use it as a tool on the web, it’s just one I happen to host. There is also the old GreenBeast CMS, but Jona and I shut that down a while ago. That was a mistake for two part-timers sharing the workload associated with such a large, open-source project.

Personal Side

Two things are on my mind. First of all I have been telling people I want to retire in ten years. Well, it’s now under nine years. Wow. My wife and I have tentative plans to sell the company, sell our home, move to the south to settle down (Virginia or the Carolinas maybe), someplace where the winters aren’t as brutal and long as they are here in New Hampshire. We do love the seasons, but we’re not getting younger. We plan to get a very small cabin on a mountain lake if we can. Low overhead. We have no plans to luxuriate in our retirement, but we hope to survive with comfort. This said, we have to be careful about making plans. Someone told me God sometimes laughs at people and their plans.

My Son is sixteen and will be seventeen this summer. He needs me right now. It’s a long story and one I won’t tell, but happily I have been spending a great amount of positive time with him. We go fishing together — we clobbered the trout this spring (I caught a three-pound Rainbow trout in a the small steam!) — and we go four-wheeling together. I am helping him become a man and I must admit I’m rather enjoying my role as father and friend.

If you did notice that I haven’t been posting as much, now you know why.

10 Responses to: “My What-I’ve-Been-Up-To Post”

  1. Jim Langdon responds:
    Posted: June 3rd, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Well Mike being a father, husband, full-time employee, running a side business, and trying to start another side business, I can certainly relate. I look forward to seeing more articles and projects from you, but I’m sure the guys over @ Accessites will keep me interested. I’m glad to hear that you are making time for the most important obligation, your family.

    Take care,

  2. David Zemens - 1955 Design responds:
    Posted: June 3rd, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    I wondered how May 2008 managed to skip by without at least one more web project being produced!

    Good for you, Mike. Family comes first. A sharp guy like you always recognizes priorities. “Just do it”, as Nike would say!

  3. John Faulds responds:
    Posted: June 3rd, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    We’re due to add another to our family in a couple of weeks so I’m going to have less time to do other projects too (although strangely I seem to have more ideas for blog articles now than I usually do).

  4. Elliott responds:
    Posted: June 5th, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    So, Mike what’s your excuse???

    I can relate completely! I left my part-time job last October to stay home more and work online building sites, blogging, etc. Needless to say, my days and nights are pretty busy with my family, work and life in general.

    Best wishes to you and your family, and I know the Smoky Mountains are really nice! I want to retire there myself…ahhh someday… ;)

  5. John Faulds responds:
    Posted: June 5th, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Yep: Eva Mae. Got a thing for 3-letter names (her brother’s Max). ;)

  6. Jessica responds:
    Posted: June 7th, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Good thing that you are giving time to your family. I remember that I left my JOB and started a home business just because I wanted to spend more time with my family and I got into blogging and website creation and then it took so much time initially was not even close to give it to them anymore.

    Starting an interent business for newbies is not an easy task. if you are going to do it in a hope that you would be able to spend more time with your family . well thats not going to happen if you are in business of blogging . if its something else which doesn’t constantly require researching, writing , editing , visiting then i guess you could have time in your hand , but i doubt it…

    Anyways good luck with your future projects , was the first time on this blog and the post is interesting enough to keep me comin back. :-)



  7. David Zemens - 1955 Design responds:
    Posted: July 4th, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    OK Mike, enough is enough. June of 2008 has now passed into history without a new website being developed under your name. :-)

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