July 9, 2011

Celebrating a Year on Blogger

It's actually been slightly over a year since I first moved my website over to Blogger and so I thought might as well write something about it.

"Dr Blood's Video Vault" has been in existence since 1994 when it was little more than a column in a once internationally famous vampire club's magazine. In 1997, after that magazine no longer existed, I moved everything to the internet using Microsoft Publisher 97 of all things. You can only imagine how bad it used to look but everyone thought it was great.

By around 1999, the website had outgrown the Publisher format and became completely HTML based using Bravenet as the host and FTP as a means to upload everything. I spent thousands of hours coding pages, promoting "Dr Blood's Video Vault" through banner exchanges, and, ultimately, made quite a lot of money selling horror videos through affiliate links.

All that changed once my main affiliate sold their business to someone else and so my site just plodded along with occasional movie reviews for a number of years until, in October 2006, CosmoGIRL decided to feature it as one of their "cool websites".

"In light of the horror season, we thought Dr Blood's Video Vault was another exciting time killer (hehe). This site is designed to pack you full of horror knowledge, including how to survive scary situations based on films. It offers film reviews, interviews and downloads, with a quiz to test how much you really know about scary movies. It also provides an A-Z list of the best-known horrors, so you'll know exactly what to rent for your scary sleepover."

From that moment on, I decided to hit the social networking scene and promote the hell out of "Dr Blood's Video Vault" and I had a lot of fun doing it. The internet paper trail that I left behind is the stuff of legend as I don't think that there is a single social networking site which I don't still have a profile on.

All this was great until Bravenet decided to reduce their free webspace to only 5 MB per person. I got away with it for a year by not uploading anything else but, when I did, the automated capping took effect and I lost most of my site. Thus began the MySpace blog incarnation of "Dr Blood's Video Vault" which would still be going today if the programmers there hadn't killed their site too. I used to have around 87,000 "friends" on MySpace and talked to all kinds of celebrities through it. I really miss MySpace but it's too slow and practically unusable now.

I obviously needed a new host and, after looking around, I realised that Blogger had everything that I needed to continue my mission of "watching the crappy ones so that you don't have to". It's so quick and easy that I wish I'd used Blogger to begin with. Who cares if it doesn't have quite the professional appeal of a "real website"? There's absolutely nothing you can't do on Blogger if you put enough time or creativity into it. My "monetising" now though is simply a token gesture which I only use to provide an image of the DVD sleeves when I write a review.

It's been different. I've met quite a few interesting people online, encountered haters, spammers and trolls like never before, and also made a few new friends in the horror blogging community.

One of the biggest distractions for me has been tweaking all the template settings and rearranging the widgets. To mark my year on Blogger, I've just wiped the blogroll and only added back the people who I know are following this blog. I was originally following around 800 people but now it's less than 250. A lot of the blogs I added to start with are dead now anyway which is a shame but at least my dashboard should load faster.

Anyway, thank you all for reading my blog, following it, and leaving comments. Keep coming back as there's a lot more horror to come.

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