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Thread: Website, or just a Facebook page?

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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Website, or just a Facebook page?

    I have decided to be a bit more open about my display this year. I'm planning to list it in a few places, and need some form of online presence. As cool as it would be to have a website, I already know that I won't keep it as updated as I should. That got me thinking if it's possible to get by with just a facebook page. I know that it limits you with a set number of features and options, but it would allow me to do exactly what I want with my display, and that's get in touch with people.

    I just want to hear from anyone who has had an online presence for their display (sorry Al), and if the hassle of a website is really worth the trouble.

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    Official Lurker dariansdad's Avatar
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    I had a FB page and loaded some videos of last years display. FB removed the videos because of "possible copywrite infringement". I then created a website and have had no problems since.
    2014 Specs: 11,739 Channels of RGB Basic and Intelligent pixels. 5216 Total RGB, LEDs
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    Newbie Extraordinaire... scottmcl's Avatar
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    I've got both. Either way you go, you should probably try to get the fb and domain names you want so that no one else gets them.

    A fb page is easy to update from your smartphone, allows comments, likes, etc. iIt also opens you up bad comments so just make sure you watch the page.

    A site can be as easy or hard as you want. Even with what I thought would be an easy site, I got hacked this year due to a security issue and am still trying to resolve it. Depending on how you set it up, you also have to watch out for spammers and bad comments. But there are lots of options available for email lists to announce your site updates, fb, twitter, foursquare, and other links.

    Really you just need to figure out how much time you want to spend on it and go with that option. Don't make it harder than putting your light show together.

    I hope this helps!!

    - Scott M.
    - Scott M.
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    Space rented from Al SWood's Avatar
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    I agree 100% with Scott.

    You can reach more local people and friends with Facebook. Pump it about a month before your display is ready. It will turn into a feeding frenzy. I even had Kevin make a Facebook VoiceOver for me to run during the show. It's a a great FREE way to spread the word.
    Shannon Wood
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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Website, or just a Facebook page?

    As you already know Facebook limits the amount of data that you can post. You can very easily put a link on a Facebook account to your website where lots of information resides. I have a website and have no plans on incorporating Facebook. Regardless of which you use, you will have a lot of work upfront and the maintenance will be minimal. My website costs approximate $30 per year, and I use it for other stuff that Christmas users can't see. I use Coffeecup software and didn't need to learn HTML or Wordpress to have an acceptable website. Quite a few people that come to my display do not have or want access to Facebook--mainly older people. However, the ones that don't have Facebook access do have access to my website.

    I don't publish very much about the equipment in my yard for a couple really good reason. If you publish what you have then you make your stuff much easier to steal. Also, I don't explain the technology behind the display. If someone is really interested that person will contact me, and I will give them a personal tour and explain everything in detail. Besides, as magicians will tell you, if you know the secrets behind the magic, then you no longer have magic. Webcams that show off your display, if placed incorrectly, will also show when you are not at home.
    Al

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    Professional Net Lurker Jack Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Website, or just a Facebook page?

    If you do a website, support our local admin; Rob has a hosting company.

    I'm horrible about updating my sites - I have a static IP on my DSL connection and use that. My server is currently about 5 feet from me. I use it more to run email applications than anything else.

    Facebook makes it easy for you, but you do run the risk of being told you're doing copyright infringement - which I hope you don't do.

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    Site Admin robb3369's Avatar
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    Whatever you do, you need to keep it up with fresh content. Getting a simple website with a tool like wordpress, you can easily setup an RSS feed to both Facebook and Twitter so you are only adding content in one place and it appears on three. Wordpress also has a mobile client that allows you to update things on the fly. This forum is a perfect example, your post here is actually out on both Facebook and twitter with no action on your part.

    If you have any other questions, please post them.
    Rob

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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Re: Website, or just a Facebook page?

    Quote Originally Posted by dariansdad View Post
    I had a FB page and loaded some videos of last years display. FB removed the videos because of "possible copywrite infringement". I then created a website and have had no problems since.
    I had some issues with youtube last year, and my videos do come and go as their contracts with diffrent music distrubting groups change, but I'm thinking that I would upload my videos their and just link to them from the facebook page. This way facebook cannot be the one to remove them, and youtube is eaiser to deal with.

    Quote Originally Posted by scottmcl View Post
    I've got both. Either way you go, you should probably try to get the fb and domain names you want so that no one else gets them.
    I'm not a fan of domain squatters either, and will register one shortly even if I do not have a website for the forseeable future.

    Quote Originally Posted by scottmcl View Post
    I got hacked this year due to a security issue and am still trying to resolve it.
    This is what i'm worried about. There is a lot of effort a majority of the time with owning a website. With facebook, I will not have to worry about updating anything server-side, or inserting a feature that breaks everything. But then again, I don't have the ability to add things I want if it's not supported.

    Quote Originally Posted by SWood View Post
    You can reach more local people and friends with Facebook. It's a a great FREE way to spread the word.
    I agree. I also want to use the "Check in" feature somehow, still working on the idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Al in Raleigh View Post
    Regardless of which you use, you will have a lot of work upfront and the maintenance will be minimal.

    I use Coffeecup software and didn't need to learn HTML or Wordpress to have an acceptable website. Quite a few people that come to my display do not have or want access to Facebook--mainly older people. However, the ones that don't have Facebook access do have access to my website.

    Webcams that show off your display, if placed incorrectly, will also show when you are not at home.
    It just seems to me that a website is far more work than creating a facebook page, and therefore so would the maintence. I have had a few other sites in the past for various things, and I've never been pleased with the results even after quite a bit of work. Then you have to update your foundation software when they release security updates, and that could break other items on the site. Thanks for the plug of Coffeecup, I will have to look into it. I started a website deign with wordpress, but it didn't go over very well . I know most people won't know this, but you can access a facebook page without being a member of facebook. Then again, the market that won't know this will generally not have a facebook page to begin with . As for webcams, it's a good thing that I do not have the bandwidth required for streaming live video off-site.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Stevens View Post
    If you do a website, support our local admin; Rob has a hosting company.

    I'm horrible about updating my sites - I have a static IP on my DSL connection and use that. My server is currently about 5 feet from me. I use it more to run email applications than anything else.

    Facebook makes it easy for you, but you do run the risk of being told you're doing copyright infringement - which I hope you don't do.
    If I do end up with a website, I will look into having Rob host it as I do not have ties with any other hosting companies yet. I too have a local server, but if I do make a website, it will hopefully be seen by more than 10 people, so getting it off my local network will be a good idea as far as security is concerned. It's the updating of the sites that really bother me about making one. I feel that with facebook, you are interacting with anyone posting comments about your display keeping the content fresh along the way. The websites I have visited regarding Christmas displays cover a wide range of information. Some have some pictures of their display 10 years ago and haven't been updated since, others are always posting new information about what they are up to in the summer months. I have even seen some that host the actual .mp3 files that they use in their show! Talk about copyright infringment.

    Quote Originally Posted by robb3369 View Post
    Whatever you do, you need to keep it up with fresh content.
    What it really comes down to I guess is this. The main reason I'm hesitant on making a website is that I already know I'm going to be lazy. If the traffic is not there, I don't feel as if the work I put into it will be worthwhile. I guess the site doesn't have to be super-elaborate, but is it really necessary? For those of you with sites, how much traffic does it generate?

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    Space rented from Al SWood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Website, or just a Facebook page?

    [QUOTE=Samj435;20041]I agree. I also want to use the "Check in" feature somehow, still working on the idea.
    [QUOTE]

    Yep thats what my voiceover says "Check in while your here and leave comments, pics etc.." I'll send it to you if you want to listen to it.
    Shannon Wood
    XLights 4 User with 40,000 channels and 60,000 lights.
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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Re: Website, or just a Facebook page?

    [QUOTE=SWood;20042][QUOTE=Samj435;20041]I agree. I also want to use the "Check in" feature somehow, still working on the idea.

    Yep thats what my voiceover says "Check in while your here and leave comments, pics etc.." I'll send it to you if you want to listen to it.
    Thanks for the offer, but i'll be ok for now. It was more along the idea of "Want to see your name on our Megatree? Check-in to facebook!". Haha, the pixel software needs to come just a little bit further first...

    I think with everyones comments, my current plan is to snag a domain name that matches my facebook page, and just get the page working for now. I can begin working on the site when i'm sick of sequencing, and if I don't have it ready by Black Friday, then i'll just hang off on it until next year. If I do manage to finish it before then, I won't publish it until I have some good content (like videos!) for it, and it will go live with my display.
    Likes SWood liked this post

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    Newbie Extraordinaire... scottmcl's Avatar
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    I even set up an offer in Facebook - see the lights for free! Or maybe that was foursquare. Either way, it was fun to play with it.

    I'd love to see the script or hear your VoiceOver about checking in. I thought about adding something for the teens to mine last year but never did. Something in a whisper that said "hey you! the bored teenager in the back! Check in here on Facebook." but I figured I'd get nothing but bad comments if I did that so never did it.
    - Scott M.
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    Space rented from Al SWood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Website, or just a Facebook page?

    Here is last years version...
    Last edited by SWood; 06-22-2012 at 09:34 AM.
    Shannon Wood
    XLights 4 User with 40,000 channels and 60,000 lights.
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