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|The Year 2004|
We Celebrated Our Second Anniversary at Goddess Gift!The week of December 14 marked the end of our second year on the World Wide Web. It's been a busy and productive year with many lessons learned (and many still to come, no doubt). It was a time to celebrate our achievements and to retain humility as new challenges appear with alarming frequency.
We are buoyed by the support and enthusiasm of our coterie of followers and our friends in the goddess and the women's spirituality community. We have been blessed.
New Pages added to Goddess Gift Website
Added the Judeo-Christian goddess Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom, and the Yoruban ocean goddess Yemaya to the Goddess Gift site.
Still Running with the Big Dogs!
Achieved our goal to remain in the top 1% of sites on the web in popularity as ranked by Alexa.
Alexa ranking: ranking of 129,798
(a measure of "popularity") (of over 16.6 million websites),
compared to 426,916 in February 2003
Frustrating . . .
As a result of our decision to change one of our webhosts, Men, Myths, Minds and move it to: www.god-goddess.com, The Goddess Path newsletter had to move to a new mail service at Bravenet. Great havoc ensued. Almost half of the nearly 3,000 subscribers got "lost" in the process, even survivors had problems getting confirmed.
Then to make it worse numerous of the newsletter mailouts were returned, having been mis-identified as spam. Heroic efforts on our part, combined with the incredible persistence of our subscribers, has hopefully "righted" those problems. We were warmed by the many letters we had telling us how much the newsletter meant to the readers.
New Pages added to Goddess Gift Website
The goddess Brigid and Valentine's Day Gifts now have new pages at Goddess Gift.
Have decided that we'll review Alexa rankings quarterly in the future. Next report will occur in March.
Peripatetic Goddess Path Newsletter Moves Again!
Spent enormous amounts of time setting up a new mail service for the Goddess Path newsletter. Good news is that we can now recapture all the subscribers we "lost" during the ill-advised move to Bravenet.
Must Be Doing Something Right
We're soooo pleased with the way our sites fared on MSN following their recent changes in their algorithm which places a priority on providing information. We find lots of our pages listed in the top 10 search results.....WE ROCK!!!
We've contracted with Elite Web Design to improve the experience for those who shop at the site. Programmers are hard at work integrating the cart so that shoppers can add both electronically delivered items and "real goods" to their shopping carts. Not only that, shoppers will be able to select their method of payment when they check out, not before they add an item to the cart as it is now. There will be lots of other improvements as well.
Publication of our paperback book, originally scheduled for December, 2004, was delayed until sometime in 2005 (maybe August). No, it wasn't procrastination on the part of the author. The thing just keeps growing and becoming more complex.
However, it's looking good if I do say so myself and is currently progressing on schedule (the new schedule, that is!)
The Goddess Shop
Work proceeds slowly, fitting it in between everything else...maybe it will make it's appearance later this month. Good news on sales. We've achieved top 10 placement at Google for the keywords "goddess jewelry" and "goddess statues". Sales have increased, which is a good thing since there was a definite slump after Christmas. Now we need to get to work to optimize "goddess shrines".
Our new newsletter service at aweber.com seems to be working well. We managed to recoup about 1/3 of the subscribers who were "lost" during the move to Bravenet (the bad decision of 2004).
Am beginning a trial of sending out only a text version. Seems to help in not getting the letter through spam filters...will have to wait and see how the statistics look in terms of the percentages who actually click on the link to view the page at the website. I suspect that it goes down. I know that I like for the gorgeous border to show up.
Behind Schedule Even More
Great frustration with the development of the new Goddess Shop, but work is advancing, though at a snail's pace. Ironic really, we never even wanted a new store; we just contracted with EliteWeb Designs to "fix" our code at the current shop to provide a more seamless shopping experience for our visitors--making it possible for them to order a quiz or gift certificate and a "physical product" at the same time, not requiring them to select payment method every time they added a product to the cart.
But it was not to be...before long they had decided it would be easier to build a new store than "fix" the code. Now they've almost finished building the store, and are finding it difficult to "fix" their code to accomplish the seamless shopping. But I have to give them credit, they still keep plugging along. Maybe next month??
There 's Always A Silver Lining
Two great things happened this month. There was a splurge in orders of the Goddess Reports, largely thanks to Anita Ryan (the Aussie goddess friend) who opened a goddess chatroom. Word of the Quiz spread like wildfire through the group and we had lots of customers.
Speaking of customers, several wrote to say "Thanks for your help...your customer service is awesome!!" (We work for praise.) And one customer who ordered a goddess pendant and shrine really touched our hearts, writing to tell us of their spiritual impact on his life. Not only that, but he sent us the most wonderful photos showing the marvelous detail work in the glass goddesses.
What a blessing this work bestows on us!
In A Nutshell
There's not much progress to report. Actually there is progress, but I haven't had time to pull it together, what with the preparation for the move, etc.
Lots of entries for the Create-A-Goddess competition. Several of them most outstanding.
Business activity good--several international orders and an inquiry about wholesale purchase of oils received from a spa!
Drum roll .......Goddess Sarah graduated (summa cum laude) this month. The world will never be the same!
Hopefully June will find me better organized, house sold, and lots of other good news. Thanks, dear Reader, for your patience.
So Much to Do, So Little Time
There's just not enough time this month to keep you abreast of all the recent developments. But we will summarize them next month, so....
Time Flies . . .
When you're having fun. And also when you are simply trying to do too much, which has been the case around here for the last two months.
Thanks for being patient about last month's delay. We are catching up.
The Create-A-Goddess Contest
Great fun was had by all as newsletter subscribers developed their own "found goddesses", goddesses invented for our modern times.
Had many fine entries, but only six prizes. Didn't envy the judges their job, but they certainly did it well.
The manuscript for The Goddess Gift has been submitted to the editor. It is to be published (hopefully before the winter solstice) by QuietTime Press.
It was a great deal more work than we had anticipated and we are blessed to be working with Deborah Granger, editor and publisher. I've begun to think of her as "Our Lady of Patience and Endurance", as we've renegotiated deadlines on a frequent basis.
Goddess Path has a new home at 2 S. Foxxborough Lane in Johnson City TN (37601-7716). The move required a monumental effort which assumed gargantuan proportions when our transition to wireless did not go well and we were without computer/email for several days.
Never mind....we survived and are stronger for it. Our new home is a serene place, surrounded by woods and filled with birdsongs. It is a place of spiritual energy, and we look forward to working here.
Took a brief respite from the move and visited friends in Canada, thanking the Goddess profusely for having providing a crisis-free web site during the springtime while we focused on buying property, remodeling it, selling our previous abode, and accomplishing the move. Two weeks did much to restore our energy and we looked forward to taking up the reins again, this time being able to enjoy the stability of the site while we "improve and grow" instead of having to put out fires.
Cart Almost Completed
Elite Web Design has no succeeded in developing the new code to deliver multiple gift certificates in a shopping cart system that will provide an seamless shopping experience for customers, allowing them to order both "real" products for shipping and the electronically delivered items (quiz, certificates) without having to leave and then return to the cart. Now all we need to do is get the actual cart pages set up. Should be a piece of cake. But....
Massive "worm attack" on the internet takes out the "big dogs" like Associated Press, CNN, and . . . our server. We are down, not available on the web. :-((
Lanset spends the first week trying to get our server functioning again and then gives up and moves us and the other sites on our server to a new one. Unfortunately, after one week of being totally off the internet, the new server does not provide a very good environment for our electronically delivered products and we are scrambling to get things working again. They can provide little information/support as are coping with the problems that this has caused for all of us.
Getting Priorities straight
After an additional two weeks, we get the Quiz working again. Gift certificates still do not work. Eventually we discover that the problem is that our new server will no longer will deliver outgoing mail from the site. Spend another two weeks configuring a workaround solution that directs customers in the middle of the process to our god-goddess.com site which will send an email to me from a mail form, then certificates will be prepared by hand.
Disastrous month for us financially. Frantic efforts to restore our electronically delivered products required. And all the while we are thinking how minor all this is as our hearts go out to those on the Gulf Coast who have been so devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
Back to the drawing board
Just discovered a major security flaw in the process developed for delivering the Quiz and Gift Certificates. The new Goddess Shop isn't ready yet.
Off the drawing board
Goddess Gift (the book) is well received by the publisher and a marketing plan is being developed. June 15, 2006 (Summer Solstice) is chosen as the release date. It is supposed to be an auspicious date, with waxing moon, for releasing things into the world.
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