Yeah you might have guessed that I am going to make some big changes to the site. Hopefully these should all be up and running in the near future, but we’ll see how it goes. I’ve got the next couple of days free so lets see how much of this stuff I can get done.

Some (just some mind) of the changes are going to be…

Profile Pictures

If you have a profile on the site, you’ll be able to upload an avatar (photo people) and this will be shown in your profile and next to your books (not sure if profile pics will be on the homepage though, but for sure everywhere else).

Favoured Sections

Soon if you register, you’ll be able (in your profile) to indicate what your favourite section of the site is and we’ll send you a weekly email to let you know the books that have been added to that section that week (excluding your own of course). Of course you can turn this feature on and off if you so wish.

Newsletter

I recently went to an internet marketing meeting and one of the things that came out, was that a lot of web professionals see these as a waste of time. I’m not 100% sure I agree, but I have my doubts about whether or not people read them. Out of 100 people you’re lucky if 15 read it. So, we’ll launch a newsletter that we’ll send when we have things to say but if it’s not working for me or for you, the user, then we’ll scrap it. So, on a trial basis, coming soon the fantastic We Swap Books Newsletter.

Design

There is a new design on the way. Probably won’t be anytime soon, but we’ll see. I may roll it out in stages, depends on several factors to be honest, but one thing I can say is that the eye splitting colours are going. Well, maybe not completely but defintely they’ll be toned down.

Book Swapping

I’m actually going to make this a lot easier. In your profile you have 2 lists, I’m going to combine them into 1 and include filters. We’re also going to remove some sections, add some sections and basically just rejuvinate the whole site.

Promote

I’m also going to try and promote the hell out of this site. At the moment it’s a decent site with no visitors, reason being is because not a lot of people know it’s here. That’s going to change.

Anyway, that is just some of the changes I’m going to be implementing. If you have any ideas or suggestions for the site in general or even the promotion of the site, then please leave a comment.

rob @ weswapbooks.com

The Reason

March 7, 2008

So, We Swap Books has a blog…why?

Well first off lets get some things about We Swap Books straight.

1. Activity on the site is not great. After a lot of searching, analysing, head scratching, bribing, drinking beer, watching porn, eating frosties (they’re great by the way) it was agreed that the site needs an overhaul. So in the coming months there will be a lot of changes to the site, the first being a more richly featured profile for the users and a new design is on the way as well.

As of yet we don’t have a launch date for the new design but I do hope to be getting some of the changes on the site in the coming weeks.

2. On some parts of the site I mention a development team. There isn’t one. It’s just me.

Now a lot of web marketing gurus out there will argue I did the right thing by saying “We” when talking about the site staff and painting a bigger picture than the one that exists right now. Others will call me dumb. I accept both, but I decided honesty was the best policy so here it is, this whole thing is a one man band (except the design).

I have a full time job as well, so unfortunately updates won’t happen as fast I’d hoped but I will bust a gut to get this site to where it should be. Firstpage of Google with over 1000 members.

3. I was in the middle of building a complicated News/Blog feature thing when I suddenly thought, “Why not use WordPress?” so, thats what I’ve went with. Hence the blog here on WordPress (happy to be here by the way). Hope to update this pretty often about updates for the site, maybe try to throw in the odd book event announcement from around the UK, maybe some book reviews now and again. So keep checking back.

4. I really need to throw some promotion behind this site. You can help you know. If you know anyone with even just a passing interest in books, let them know about We Swap Books.

The site can be found at http://www.weswapbooks.com/

5. This one is to the Americans in the auidence. Now….some of you know that I was planning to launch a US version of the site sometime this year. I’m sorry, but that won’t be happening in 2008. Pushed it back to 2009 for now.

Mainly because I think I need to get the UK site on a sure footing. I felt that launching the US site this year would have spread myself too thin and both sites would have failed. Still hoping to get an American site at least under-development this year.

Misc
Any people out there with at least a passing knowledge will notice that my spelling and grammar ain’t good what it should be like. I won’t apologise for that. I’m a web developer trying to make the site I built as a hobby and as an indication of what I could do, into a success so give me a break.

Also we will be sticking with this default theme from WordPress for now. Once I have a better idea of the final design of the site, I will adjust this to be a bit closer to how that looks.

Anyway I hope you got a lot from this first blog posting and I hope you try We Swap Books.

Rob @ We Swap Books.