Lethargy is my worst enemy

May 23, 2006 Posted by Tyler Cruz


Hello. Things could be better…

1. Lethargy
2. Server & Forum Problems
3. PokerForums.org Upgraded
4. Replayer Updates
5. MoVa and PoFo Traffic Updates

1. Lethargy

Lethargy is my worst enemy – it always has been. Competition, lack of funds, low traffic… they are nothing compared to when lethargy kicks in.

I find that when I am properly energized, awake, and organized that I can get an obscene amount of work done. Unfortunately, lately – over the past 2 weeks or so, I’ve been pretty lethargic. In addition, I’ve been weighed down even more due to being very busy with things; server migrations and problems, tons of e-mails and IMs, and a neverending ‘todo’ list.

As a result, even though I’ve been putting in a fair amount of hours lately and getting quite a bit of work done, I could have got a lot more done if I was more energized and focused.

There are a number of ways to fix this.. but the simplest way is to just wait; eventually I’ll get out of this little slumber I’m in. Other ways are to limit the amount of ‘fun’ I allow myself – watch less TV (I actually watch very little TV; by TV I usually mean watching episodes of Prison Break, LOST, or The Ultimate Fighter 3 on my computer), play less XBOX360, don’t do silly things like I did last night (went to the casino with Lisa and blew money on silly slot machines), etc.

I’m not saying I shouldn’t have any fun, but I think I’m too spoiled now. Even when I work it’s fun.. I’m listening to my radio station, sitting in my cool little office area, etc. I just need to focus a bit more on actual work. In addition, I need to start exercising and eating healthier again. This is vital. It’s also funny – I believe the output you get from it is energy and focus and well worth the time. I don’t mean going overboard and working out for 4 hours a day.. I just mean going out and taking some walks, making sure I’m eating more veggies and fruit.. you know. As a result, even if I take that time out of usual work time, I believe it will pay off in the longterm by being more focused and working more efficiently. Funny how taking a walk around a beautiful lake for an hour can actually make you more money than working for an hour!

Anyhow, things have thus been slow lately, but I’ve still got a fair bit done nonetheless…

2. Server & Forum Problems

Oh boy – where to start? Heh.. I actually just took a long sigh. Basically there were a bunch of problems when setting up Trinity and Bertha. Apache, PHP, Perl, and MySQL were all upgraded and then immediately I started receiving hundreds upon hundreds of e-mails. These e-mails were auto-generated from vBulletin indicating MySQL errors.

Originally I had thought it to be a conflict due to 3.0.6; I had 3 forums on 3.0.6 and 3.0.7 with the rest of mine on 3.5.x. I read that 3.0.x weren’t designed for MySQL 4.1 and had problems.

I won’t bore you with all the long technological mumbo-jumbo, but basically I was scrambling for help. I eventually found an emergency server administration company who fixed things up; basically they downgraded MySQL from 5 to 4 and everything was better. Unfortunately, all this took a toll with something around 8 hours of downtime.

When I had thought it was a 3.0.x problem (which it turned out not to be; not exclusively anyway), I was running around asking for him. Ryan Amos came on MSN to help with vB, and even though it turned out not to be the case, he did help. As a gesture of gratitude I offered him a mention of his site on my next blog update, so here it is:

His site is http://www.humorsoftware.com/ so go and check it out 🙂

3. PokerForums.org Upgraded

For a long time, PokerForums.org was left behind, stuck with vB 3.0.6. The reason for not upgrading was simple – updating from 3.0.6 to 3.5.x requires skins to be recoded. I also had a number of hacks installed and at the time they hadn’t been ported to 3.5.

However, having been partly motivated by a recent server scare (the 3.5 forums were fine; it was the 3.0.x forums that had problems), I decided to start upgrading the 3 forums that were still 3.0.x – one at a time starting with PokerForums.

I paid a dude $200 to do this for me – I’ve been quite happy with him actually. I’ve been having horrible experiences with hired help lately and so he was a nice little change. PokerForums now sports the latest version of vB – 3.5.4. It’s skin has been ported properly and in addition, a fair number of past bugs have been fixed by him as well.

Finally, he installed about 5-6 hacks for me, a couple of which he made a few minor adjustments/hacks to as well for me.

So now PFO is sporting a much better workable environment – this should last me for another 2 years or so before I need to do any other major vB changes – I have a number of non-vB changes on the site in the works already.

Finally, I’ll end this section by saying that one of the hacks I installed was a mass PM hack. Basically it sends a private message to all the members of the forum. I will be charging $500 for advertisers to have me send out a message of their choice via mass PM. That’s roughly 10 cents per person – very reasonable for a targeted audience in poker. If only 3 people sign up and deposit, the advertiser has basically succeeded. I’ll be adding this new advertising option to my advertising page soon. We’ll see how well it does.

4. Replayer Updates

Sigh. Progress with Replayer.org has been… slow. It’s very unfortunate. At the start I was very optimistic, but since then things have just went downhill.

The programmer I hired has suffered (or so he says; while I do believe him, sometimes it’s difficult to as I always seem to have horrible luck when hiring people…) many medical problems which has dropped progress on the site down tremendously.

Time is not the only bad thing going on here either. I had given extremely detailed descriptions of what I wanted in terms of the website part of the site; I wanted a web 2.0 type style. What I got was a simply pathetic regurgitated attempt at one. I’m going to let this go as I stated I just wanted something simple and wasn’t expecting anything great, but still, this is disappointing.

The actual Replayer is still quite buggy, although it is kind of neat. Once all the bugs are fixed, it will be quite good. It is still using copyrighted graphics – and while this is probably okay, I’m still waiting on (OMG how long is this going to take?) the custom graphics for it. They are 3D renderings, and so I’m hoping they turn out well.

Finally, when I started this project, I only knew of one other site of it’s kind. Now I’ve found several of them out there. One of them I found is very well done, and is getting even better with constant improvements. The only thing I can think of that we have over them is that we are completely Javascript based – we will work in all browsers new and old, and no plug-ins are needed (unlike their Flash).

So now I’m not sure if I’ll keep the site and try to grow it, or sell it immediately once it’s finished. It’s certainly a complex piece of programming and was (is) a big undertaking, so I feel that it is valuable. That’s for sure. I’m not sure, if I sold it, at what price it would be at. PokerLedger was sold after just a few months of it being launched for 7000, and while that too was a very big undertaking and very complex, Replayer.org is bigger. I’d ask around $20,000 for it. At least. If I didn’t get any offers near that, then no way am I selling it.

Anyhow, wish me luck on the continued development of it.

5. MoVa and PoFo Traffic Updates

I have a little big of good news for Movie Vault and PokerForums. If you remember back in late Februrary, I had written a post about MoVa and PoFo’s traffic. Inktomi (Yahoo), turned out to be around 50% of my actual traffic (again folks, I implore you to find out how much of your traffic is actually search engines). I also posted that my daily average uniques were around 6000 per day for each site.

A bit of an update – taking server logs results from April 1st to May 23rd, Inktomi accounted for only around 40% on each site – a 10% reduction. This is great – although who knows if it is actually getting lower. A server downtime of around 8 hours may have turned away some spiders. However, the reduction could also be due to simply having more ‘real’ traffic.

Movie Vault and PokerForums’s daily averages were 8200 and 7400 respectively. Over a 1000 daily average increase! Combined, the two sites host nearly half a million unique visitors a month! It’s pathetic the miniscule amount I’m making from Movie Vault – I really need to get cracking on that.

Anyhow, let’s keep an eye on these two sites and hope that Search Engines (Inktomi) account for even less of the pie next report update on this, and that daily traffic increase as well!

That’s all for this post.

Good luck and good earnings.

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Posted: May 23rd, 2006 under My Websites  

2 Responses to “Lethargy is my worst enemy”

  1. Tyler says:


    Yeah, I saw that. I don’t have any large forums to implement that in, and even if I did, I’d probably go about another way of monetizing it than using that plug-in/hack.

    It is too obtrusive IMHO and custom integrating ads is better anyhow.

    Useful as a quick-n-dirty solution though.


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