While my initial plan was to hold off launching JustonWestern.com until I had every area complete, I realized that I'd been paying $9.99 a month since March 2005, and really hadn't done anything with the domain. So after finishing up with my GMAT yesterday, and looking for a new project to undertake instead of studying everyday, I figured I would put the framework of JustonWestern.com on the server.
I spent a little time developing a roll-out schedule for the different areas of the site. I'm hoping by actually marking these down on Google Calendar, it will motivate me to continue with the development. If I stick to the schedule, I'll be rolling out new areas every 2 to 3 weeks. This seems a little more manageable than the daunting project of building the entire site for a grand opening style launch.
Right now the huge content areas consist of my photos on Flickr and my videos on Google Video. Eventually, I'm going to have all the media also hosted on my site, but to start off I've just linked to versions on the third party sites. Flickr & Google Video also make commenting on individual pictures & videos really easy, so there's a benefit of having them there, too.
The jury's still out on the usefulness of having a Forum on my site. Granted, I could just ask people to post feedback about my site either here on Blogger, or over on MySpace, but I've always had a special place in my heart for the traditional style of bulletin boards like vBulletin & phpBB. I'm hopeful the Forum turns out to be another useful way of communicating with friends and family.
As I say on my front page, I envision the site ultimately growing into something of a digital media locker. I plan on having all the websites I've built over the years (like NOLAED, my EAHS school website, & my very first "homepage" back from 1997) eventually hosted on JustonWestern.com. In addition, I'll want to get various papers I've written in school and music I've produced posted to the site. As you can see, it will become fairly comprehensive, and I want to make sure I give each new area the attention it deserves.
So begins a new project. I'll post here each time a new area goes live.