Monday, February 28, 2011

Brand Consolidation

Well, I got into the social networking scene so that I wouldn't have to mess with my own website any longer.  But my brands are getting out of control.

I started another zazzle shop,*, so that I could get better versions of the t-shirts and bumper stickers than what I have on cafepress.  But there are whole lines of merchandise that zazzle just doesn't have.  I don't want to give someone a business card with both addresses, and I can only redirect my url (which I recently acquired) to one or the other.  So I'm going to have to set up a website that can sell products from both stores in a single location.

As for the photography, I've know for quite a while  that HFCSPhotography was a dead-end name.  Even people I know personally can't find it, because there's no easy-to-remember acronym behind the name, the letters don't spell anything you can pronounce, and F and S are two easy to confuse.  I had been trying to come up with some new name and a friend showed me a site called NameStation, which let me build domain names from large lists of words until I found one I liked.  I stuck "photo" in and ended up with two choices I liked; and  I like PhotoUprising better, and either one will work with targeted SEO and such.  But PhotoInterest will bring in more random search engine hits.  So I'm going to start working on rebranding as  If I can also find a way to have the branding change depending on the domain you hit, then I'll have both URL's work, and probably put PhotoUprising on marketing.  But if not, more traffic wins out of a name I like.

Unfortunately, and also one of the reasons I have to do this now, this means that I have to change my main facebook page, probably add another twitter feed, and I should really move my deviantART page.  If I am actively working on the site again, I can probably get away without deviantArt matching, but it's a dilution I could do without.  At the same time, I will lose all of the favorites and watchers I already have on deviantART if I switch, which will suck.

So, over the next few... month's, most likely... I will be changing things around.  This blog will probably remain the same.  I can't see creating a separate blog for BeadPimp, PhotoInterest, and my personal stuff.  I just can't see that I'll ever post that much.  At the same time, blogspot allows export of the blogs, so if I ever do post enough to justify splitting it out, I can.

Of course, one problem I have right now is that I'm not on any Microsoft systems at home any longer, but my old site is still  I've heard Mono handles very well, I just haven't tried it.  I'll probably go that direction with the photography site, simply because I have so much done already.  But I'm going to start out working with Apache and Wordpress for the BeadPimp merchandise.  If it's simple enough, maybe I'll convert the photography site over as well.

What it comes down to is that the social networking is a way for me to start truly working to get a little business going.  I wanted to make my life easier and avoid the hassles of running my own site.  But I'm not going to be able to run the photography site or the BeadPimp merchandise with it scattered all over the inter-world.  So I have to build a front door for both sides.  This time, I'm going to use as many pre-built pieces as I can, but I'm going to have to do some work regardless.  I'll still be posting to the blog and I'll still be posting on deviantART and facebook, so nothing's going to change much yet.  But keep an eye out, and I'll let you know when you should change any links.

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