on Steroids

Dennis Faas's picture

You may have noticed that the Gazette has been a little late in delivery in the past week and a half. Usually I write the newsletter the night before it is scheduled to go out, in order to have it ready for your morning coffee -- at least, for those of you who live in North America.

I mentioned in a previous newsletter that I'm redesigning the site. This week I finished and tested a preliminary layout, but it still didn't quite look right -- so I've decided to scrap it and start over. I'm hoping to have the new design ready by next week (keep your fingers crossed!).

More changes: additions to the Gazette

The "Bob's Software Pick of the Day" section of the Infopackets Gazette now has 2 software freebees instead of 1. Bob normally does 5 reviews per day on his site and agreed that an additional entry in the Gazette newsletter would surely benefit readers. By the way, you're encouraged to visit Bob's Shell City if you want a complete list of Bob's daily reviews.

Delivery and archiving of the Gazette

The newsletter-mailing program I wrote, which delivers the Gazette newsletter to all subscribers at a rate of 10,000 emails per hour, has also had a face lift. I've tweaked a few load-bearing aspects of the program so that it doesn't bog down the web server as the newsletter is being delivered; I'm also trying to implement a scheduler so that I can write the newsletter during the day and have it sent out later at night, automatically. For now, the command to deliver the newsletter is done manually from the command line online the web server -- usually after the newsletter has been written.

There is another program I have written which generates a list of previous newsletters and lists them all on one page. This list has now become very large and the program needs some major revamping. I'll be working on a new algorithm to generate a calendar-like presentation of the newsletter to make archiving visually appealing. I will also implement a "search by keyword title" of the newsletter to make retrieving information easier.

Why the shake-up?

All of this sudden change is in preparation for a new ad-campaign I've started which will grow readership of this newsletter at a rate of approximately 15,000 new entries per month. I spend much of my day answering emails from folks that drop by the infopackets web site; having more subscribers means there will be more emails in my Inbox every day. The new site design will surely streamline this effect.


The new site design is also going to include compliments I've received in the past 2 years from users who enjoy reading this newsletter. I plan on prominently displaying these remarks online the infopackets site, but wish to keep the comments fresh on a weekly basis. Kudos will be kept in a database and I will write a program to randomly paste comments online the site in order to entice visitors to join our newsletter.

Here is a sample comment which was sent from Abba in California:

" I just wanted you to know that I think your newsletter is super! You obviously have put your heart and soul in it and it shows. I find it valuable and extremely informative. " Abba F. ~ San Jose, California

If you'd like to submit a comment / compliment for others to read, feel free to drop me a line! Please include your include your full name and geographic location as this adds personal touch to your testimonial:

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