Since there seems to be no real 'promotional' forum, I guess I'll put this here, and the admins can move it as they see fit.
As some of you may already know, I'm the editor/publisher of s1ngularity (http://www.sfsite.com/singularity) , a newish webmagazine devoted to speculative fiction. There's fiction, reviews, interviews and regular columns that can be perused at your leisure.
So I'm looking for some feedback. If you've visited the site, what are your thoughts? Do you like it? Dislike it? Despise it? Adore it? What are we doing wrong, and what are we doing right?
We're very interested in reader response. Please don't hesitate to share your thoughts... and if you prefer to do so in private, just drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org) .
And keep your eyes peeled for a special somethin' somethin' from SFFWorld's own NOM....
Looks like an interesting site. Very professional. I enjoyed reading the "Questions Among Writers" section. It was also rather interesting to browse through your no-holds-barred forum, although I doubt I'd ever join it.
The only thing I think the site needs is some kind of subtitle. I mean, when I see the title "s1ngularity" I don't think speculative fiction. (Is it a reference to something that I just don't get?) There should be something on the homepage indicating "home of the web's coolest speculative fiction" or something to that effect, only not as cheesy sounding.
All in all a cool site. I think it will last. :)
April 13th, 2003, 12:22 PM
Actually, I don't like the design. :(
Don't take it personally, but I feel you've let yourself badly with a good idea.
Although you seem more than competent with the actual technical side of the design, the aesthetics side doesn't speak to me.
For example, if your design is selling a concept, what is the concept it's selling?
By this I mean that it says it is selling the concept of something to do with writing, but it says absolutely nothing about genre.
First thought with the title playing on "singularity" was that the site was maybe to with SF - but a second glance - horror? cowboys? cyberpunk? porn? I honestly can't tell. You emphasis "sin" in the name which is why I thought on the latter.
The general layout is nice, but the colours just don't work for me - and everything is far too dark - little contrast. So I figure you're selling dark literature??
You also seem to have a lot of superfluous graphics - for example, top right of the main box is for...?
Note how your banner is also a completely different style to your actual website.
I think looking at it, what you are actually lacking is an entire marketing ethic. I don't see you as having tried to sell a concept "ie, spec fic writing, horror lit in general, eroticism for housewives, etc). You just aren't selling your project.
Also note that you're not even pointing to your own domain, you're not utilising your <img> tags, you don't have any keywords in your source, no alt text... ...generally all suggesting that you haven't read anything at all about internet marketing (I'm not talking about crap info you pay for, but real info freely available about the internet).
So...let's see what you've got - you've got a good eye for general layout, and you've got good HTML and scripting skills. You've got a promising sense of something. Maybe you've also got a great design ethic that I don't personally appreciate. But I still think you're letting yourself down dreadfully in terms of internet marketing.
Firstly, get your own hosted domain - it won't cost more than about $10 a month (probably less) - I can recommend some respectable companies if you wish, according to the visitor demographics you're looking for.
Secondly, re-appraise your design lay-out and use of colours - are they really making a statement? Really, a site really needs to be making a statement of sorts - it's selling a concept - the concept of the website itself.
Thirdly, re-approach your internet marketing strategy, because you don't seem to have much of one. You're offering freebies and a competition - good! - but you've not even got the standard online marketing dealt with.
Really, those aren't too big issues. You've got a sense of purpose shining through, but you hide the purpose behind the scripting. So we're left with a sense of something purpose.
Btw - this probably sounds like a rotten and horrible appraisal for you, but it isn't meant to be. You're mostly there, but it's the final details of presentation I think you could improve on. Even if you disagree, you haven't realised your internet marketing.
The entire problem is that internet marketing is very difficult - bloody difficult - the internet is utterly swamped - over swamped - with the same concepts used over and over and over and over. That's why it helps to show exactly why you're offering different.
Anyway - just my opinion. Perhaps quite meaningless, but offered with respect. I always address the negative, because that's precisely how I learn best myself.
April 13th, 2003, 12:48 PM
Hm...does that really just look grumpy? Whenever I appraise websites for people I always go into a real hard-assed persona.
Not intended - good luck regardless. If you want any specific tips just ask.
April 22nd, 2003, 01:08 PM
I like s1ngularity quite a bit from what I"ve seen of it so far. I especially like that there will be short stories posted there on a regular basis, though I would prefer a little bit more frequent updates. I went in and read everything on the site when you posted that it was open and have been waiting for more to hit since then. I see that you have two more stories up now. I liked the Vandermeer interview and the Round table. Some of the other editorial stuff I didn't care for mostly because they're discussing things I haven't been exposed to yet.
I would like to weigh in on the other side of the color debate, too. I like the color scheme a lot, especially the grey background, black writing. White backgrounds get very hard for me to take after a while. The grey I can read all day. Erf.