Jump to content

Brother Jeff Explodes!


Brother Jeff
 Share

Recommended Posts

Well, okay, so I'm not exactly exploding, but I am going to rant, for whatever it's worth.

 

I put my original "Religion is Bullshit" site online back in early 2002. I worked hard at it. I was a VERY ANGRY ex-Christian at the time, and my intent was to build the largest, most comprehensive atheist, anti-Christian site on the Net. I spent most of my waking hours working on the site, but I experienced little success in terms of visitorship. A friend of mine convinced me that I should turn my site into a blog. That was in early 2003, and RIBS really took off. I experienced great success. People listened. People cared. People responded. Fundies wrote, complained, and condemned me to hell. I loved every minute of it. I loved responding to their letters on my site. I loved debunking their ridiculous religious beliefs publicly. I heard from fundies almost daily - often enough to make responding to their letters a regular feature of my site. Having a successful website is a lot of fun, and I found it to be extremely fulfilling and rewarding. But then my bipolar illness really raised its ugly head, and I made two MAJOR mistakes that I will probably always regret. I was getting burned out on doing my site. After 2-1/2 years of it, burnout was really setting in. I decided that I was going to shut my site down. Several friends strongly urged me to just take a vacation from the site instead, but I didn't listen. I don't always think straight when I'm in the middle of a bipolar crisis, and that was the case then. So, against good advice, in July of 2004 I shut my RIBS site down. That was the first mistake. My next mistake was to let go of the .com. I let Brother Tim of religionisbullshit.net have the religionisbullshit.com domain name, thinking at the time that I would never use it again. O GAWD, how I wish I had it back now!

 

I went back online with RIBS under the religionisbullshit.org domain name in January 2005. For two years now, I have worked hard to make it even nearly as successful as my original site. In spite of my efforts, I have to report dismal failure. My conclusion, due to consistently low traffic and lack of response, is that pretty much nobody gives a damn about me or my site. As I said earlier, I used to hear from fundies almost daily. I now, except for the very occasional letter - NEVER hear from fundies. I think I can count on my two hands the number of times that I have heard from fundies in TWO YEARS. I also almost never get email of any kind from my site, except for spam. I don't get email from fundies, and I don't get encouraging emails from fellow skeptics. What message does this consistently send to me? What does the deafening silence tell me? That nobody gives a damn! It gives me an idea of the kind of impact I am having on the online world (or the world in general, for that matter) - NONE!

 

I almost NEVER get comments on my posts, and the deafening silence makes it hard for me to motivate myself to post to my site. I know in advance that whatever I post will probably not get much of a response, whether it is a serious or a funny post. I used to love, for example, to do Chick tract spoofs. Believe it or not, those spoofs take a lot of work. They used to be very popular on my original site. Now, they get little if any response. What message does this send to me? You guessed it - that nobody gives a damn!

 

On average, my RIBS site gets less than 200 visits per day, which of course accounts for the deafening silence. Most of the hits are not even to my front page! What does THAT tell me? That nobody gives a damn about what I might have to say! The low visitorship to my main page also accounts for the deafening silence - the lack of emails and comments.

 

Well, I guess I have made my point. I am feeling very alone and very much like a failure. My RIBS site is my LIFE. Maybe it shouldn't be, but it is. It's all I have right now, since I have bipolar disorder and I am currently unable to work. For TWO YEARS I have worked hard to build a site that people would appreciate and love, and I have failed, and failed miserably. Just last night a friend of mine told me in all honesty that my work had "no replay value". You know what? He's right, and I know it. You see, I am an amateur when it comes to most web technologies. I don't know how to do Flash very well. CSS is still pretty much a mystery to me. I don't know how to make professional audio or video recordings, and I don't have the equipment to do it or the money to buy it. So, I just limp along doing the best that I can. And it's obviously just not enough.

 

What am I supposed to think after TWO YEARS of hard work and effort yeilds basically NOTHING but a dead site that nobody apparently gives a damn about? How am I supposed to feel? What should I do? I got a rare moment of excitement the other day when one of my pages started getting a LOT of hits from Stumbleupon. I put links on that page to my main site, and I put an email link on there too. What did that get me? NOTHING! How is that supposed to make me feel?

 

I guess I have gone on long enough here. My original site was a source of joy to me. It was successful, and it showed. My current site, after two years, is a continual source of frustration to me, and it is a failure, and it shows. I really am honestly considering just throwing in the towel. After all, why should I bother anymore? Clearly, nobody gives a damn!

 

But, I can't imagine NOT doing my "Religion is Bullshit" site. So, I won't make the mistake of shutting it down again. What I could really use are some suggestions on how to build a successful site. I clearly do not know how to do so. I got lucky with my original RIBS site. Not so with this one.

 

Anyway... now that this rant is out of my system, I'm going to try to figure out what to do to bring some success to my currently dead site. And I really need to know, does my site suck? Is that why it is dead?

 

This is probably the kind of letter that you write and then don't send. But, I am sending it anyway because I would really appreciate a REALITY check. I hope I haven't alienated any of my valued friends. I just really needed to get all of this off of my chest. And, I am extremely depressed right now, and I was last night as well. Last night, I was honestly mildly suicidal, and I had a crying fit. Those thoughts and feelings are just par for the course for bipolar disorder. Living with this illness is a HELL that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy - not even the Talking Snake!

 

Thanks in advance for any and all feedback.

 

Brother Jeff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, Brothah :)

 

Well, I for one appreciate the work you put into your websites. I wish I were around for the original RIBS, but unlike you, I wasn't wise enough yet to just admit that Xianity was crap. My stubborn-ass self had to persist, but that's another story.

 

Either or, and perhaps from a depressive my advice ain't the best, but I say to just hang in there. My site doesn't even have a blog, and I'm not sure I'd want one. To me, it'd be a hassle right now to deal with. However, I still update and add things I feel are relevant. Even if those things have nothing to do with my greater desire to encourage people to leave dangerous religions like Xianity, they still motivate and inspire me.

 

For you, I'd advise just keeping on. Continue to study and avail yourself of new information, either for the Atheist side or against the Xian/Abrahamic side. Remember, even if only a few people listen, you're still fighting the good fight, and your life has only the purpose you give it.

 

Many days, I feel like shit. I still question whether or not I'm good or evil (for reasons not mentioned on this board) and I still struggle with depression, after fifteen long years carrying it around. I only keep on keeping on somedays because I know that life is the one great indulgence, and death the one great abstinence - and I have had enough of abstaining from things I ought to be enjoying.

 

Maybe it's not much, but all I can say is - hang in there, Brothah!

 

Glorah to God; in other words - glorah to yourself!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I must say it has a much better layout than last time I visited it. :) It's a lot easier to navigate now, but it takes a little while load.

 

It's great for that angry phase of deconversion, but maybe it's a little harsh for people who have been there and are looking for more serious treatment of the issues. That's about the only criticism I have for it... and the fact that you only link to similarly harsh and "out-there" sites.

 

I love your site, honestly, I do. It takes guts and balls of steel to publish that stuff openly. Hang in there... Sometimes it just takes patience to get noticed on the web. It doesn't help that you have major competitors out there, like infidels.org, and lots of other sites I can't even remember. You were probably one of the first sites out there like that, and helped get the word out about how religion is bullshit. Today, there are just so many competing and similar sites... I wouldn't be upset about that, it seems to me you played a role in the proliferation of such sites.

 

Another thing I thought of, and I'm not sure how you would accomplish this, but can you make your site show up in a broader range of google or yahoo searches? I bet you could generate a lot of traffic that way. :)

 

Hang in there... your work is appreciated, even if not everyone writes to you about it.

:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice site, i like the layout. It did take a few seconds to load however. If I were you id try switching from tables to frames...one because I despise tables and two because its simpler and usually makes the page load faster.

 

As far as content goes, try toning it down a bit and see what happens. Also see if you can get linked to from some bigger sites.

 

Just noteced the Advanced MP3 player is covering some text after I clicked on a couple links off to the side.

 

You have so much code there my eyes hurt now. lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Brother Jeff,

 

I know how you feel. Me and a bud, both ex-christians, started a site called questioningmyfaith.com almost two years ago. We still don't get much traffic and we even buy Google advertising. There's about six of us that post semi-regularly and we're all originally from another (non religious) website.

 

I've started other sites that should have skyrocketed and never did.

 

I already told Webdude Dave about this project, but something else I've been working on for almost a year is a weekly radio show. I'd like to talk to you about it if you're interested. You seem to have a lot of creative juices flowing and some time to work on things as well...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback, everybody. I am still depressed at the moment, but I am feeling better. Glory! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello, Jeff.

 

I like your site, and I've got a couple of suggestions.

 

In the html at the top of your index page, notice the <title></title>. You should not limit this to simply the name of your site as you have it now, but add more words. This is what your readers will see at the top of your page, and to some extent this is what search engines will index. Add more UNIQUE words separated by | such as religion | debunk | antichrist | whatever - words that you know are unusual buzzwords that others may search for, not words that you yourself use all the time. Nobody is going to search for Kryaast, for instance.

 

Likewise, in your Meta Tags and Description, use many many words, everything you can think of, separated by |. Be sure that as many of these words as possible are somewhat unique. It's OK to repeat meta tags in Description. You are looking to bring searchers to your site, not to the major ones they'll be directed to with common search words like "religion" and so on. Even put Brother Jeff in there - maybe somebody will search for Brother Jeff; who knows? Also put RIBS, etc., anything that your old readers may be searching for.

 

On your humor page, don't use "humor" but maybe "atheist humor" or "anti-Christian humor" or whatever you can think of that is not just "humor." No searcher will be directed to your pages when searching using common words, as your site has a low rank. You can even use words that don't directly reflect your major content, like "Satan" or "Jesus skid marks" or whatever; don't be dishonest and use words that are completely unrelated, like "George Bush," but you can walk a fine line with this.

 

Beg everyone you know to link to your URL. Google will rate a site by how many outside links it has, among other things. Get as many other webmasters to link to you as you can. Be shameless. If you have other sites, link to yourself. Don't spam people, but ask them to link to you. It doesn't matter who or what the other sites are, just the number of links. These are spiderbots doing this kind of work, not people, so they are not concerned with who is linking, just the number of links.

 

Sign people's guestbooks including your URL with your comments, but don't be obvious that you are signing their guestbook only to get your URL indexed. Be cool about it; compliment them is some oblique way, THEN sign with your URL.

 

Web Rings are not popular anymore, but they're still out there. Get your site listed on some of them that have content similar to your own. This takes little effort and may get you a few dozen more readers. Beware of associating with embarrassing amateurs, but find some hip ones and join.

 

Go to Google.com and sign up for their Google Ads. Get this html added to your pages ASAP. This will not only provide you with a small (maybe very small) extra source of revenue, but also it will ensure that Google is indexing your pages. Put Google Ads on every page of your site that has a unique URL, i.e. http://www.religionisbullshit.org , http://www.religionisbullshit.org/rants.html , et cetera.

 

I disagree with the poster who suggested that you tone it down a bit, except for maybe shifting from a lot of outrageous rants to maybe including a few very controversial facts and/or opinions that don't look like rants. In other words, let your readers IN. Ask them questions that they won't be able to resist answering. Make them ask themselves "I wonder what he's on about, today." Alternate between screaming rants and calm outrageousness.

 

Be aware of the demographic of your common readership. Go for the 18 to 40 age group, but don't exclude anyone. On my own major site (presently under repair due to HD crash and major data loss), my own most common reader demographic is "44-year-old female nurse."

 

Finally, get a good counter that allows you to see how many unique hits you are getting, and to which pages. You don't need this to be visible to your readers, but it can be a help to you.

 

Hope this has been some kind of help to you.

 

roman

Don Harthcock, Webmaster

http://www.opinionsoup.com/

mail webmaster at opinionsoup dot com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That was in early 2003, and RIBS really took off.

Do you know why the site took off at that time, and where the traffic was originating from? Was it linked traffic, or search engine traffic, or any ideas? If you knew the source of your traffic then, it might give you clues on how to market your current site. I did not see the original site, but I am assuming your content is the same as it was previously? If you have the same content, then it may just be a matter of time and targeted traffic before your site takes off again. Websites are really strange in some ways.... I had a friend who started a forum, it never took off, he forgot about it, came back about a year later and there were lots of users and people posting. He was totally baffled.... had no idea where the traffic came from but somehow someone ran across it, apparently liked it, so they linked it....go figure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We still don't get much traffic and we even buy Google advertising.

Maybe Brother Jeff could try that too? If you go to google and type in "christianity", there are only 4 sponsored links on the right side, and no sponsored results in the top position. Imagine the reaction of unsuspecting googler's who type in "christianity" and see "Religion is bullshit!" in the top position? :wicked: . I bet the adwords for the keyword "christianity" are pretty cheap, maybe .05 or .10 cents per click. Would it be worth it to invest $10 or so in that, and see what happens?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeff,

 

Roman is right on the shameless self promotion. If you code it, I'm sure we Myspacers will take a tag and hang it. (I sure will!)

 

Thing is buds, from 02 to now in early 07, we've seen the net literally explode with sites and pages of every type and size. Here at ExC is a good example of a sleepy little close community that is now like a freekin' huge suburb, grown like crazy in just a somewhat short time.

 

Thing is, you've got competition from everywhere and everything. I think Roman's ideas have some strong merit for the addition of things to help dangle and then attract reader/visitors.

 

Only thing I can add is a personal note to tell you how much I respect your totally irreverent and fuckin' nut.dawg.krazy attitude towards religion.

 

More so Jeff, a note to let you know that airing publicly your Bi-Polar problems and how they make you work harder to maintain a section of normality is something valued to the Board mean.old.man.

I admire your hard work and respect that even while "being off" according to 'normal society' you remain a confident and cool character. You are a freekin' fine addition to this joint.

 

kevinfuckin'L

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well Jeff, I can say I know pretty much how you feel if that helps. I have an MSN group that is dying, I have in about 3 or 4 years put a lot of work into. It's not about ex-christianity or apostacy or anything though. I think a lot of the reason why is my inconsitancy. I am also bipolar, and I'll get all fire up, and it gets others excited, then I lose the exciment, and others seem to lose interest. Right now I havn't been even able to open it. I've been having a hard time for a couple months now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry to hear that things aren't going so well for you right now, brother Jeff. I know next to nothing about maintaining a website, but I can identify with depression. I'm not bipolar, but I have dealt with depression off and on since I had my first child. I think I had post-partum depression too, even though it wasn't diagnosed. In my case, getting away from the dogma has really helped me, so I guess mine has gone into remission.

I'm curious about something though; is that picture of you really you? It reminds me of someone from MIB or is it MIB II. I have such a bad memory sometimes.

And BTW, I think you have a great way of expressing yourself. It makes me want to giggle whenever I read one of your Glory! or Hallelujahs. Am I getting irreverent then? Oh, well.

 

Sparkyone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brudda Jeff, take heart and keep the ex-faith! Your website was a great help and comfort in my deconversion process. Just as we used to say when we were christians, if you impact one person with the gospel then you potentially impact the whole world. Well, you are still impacting people one at a time. Except this time for logic and reason!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On average, my RIBS site gets less than 200 visits per day, which of course accounts for the deafening silence. Most of the hits are not even to my front page! What does THAT tell me? That nobody gives a damn about what I might have to say! The low visitorship to my main page also accounts for the deafening silence - the lack of emails and comments.

 

Hey Brother Jeff,

 

I've never said hi to you in my short time here so far, so hi! :)

 

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I can relate, but my website is in a different topic area altogether. It's so frustrating I know. I was churning out that many articles and forum posts, it was like a full time effort for me back then. The site though did get successful after like a year, and even now that I've pretty much stopped doing anything with the site, people are still joining as members and the site is showing up on page one of Google for some search terms.

 

So! I was curious to know if you are getting around 200 unique users per day? If that's the case, that's bloody good!

 

I believe you can go far with the site. It's a freakin' good name, that's going to interest loads of people, so chin up. You will get there. You just have to believe in your abilities, and I know you have a lot judging by what your site has on it.

 

Cheers,

Amelia :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.