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Ten months on...
12/07/2014

Friday the thirteenth.

 
That's the day I chose to launch this website.  Not only because it's pretty easy to remember (more so than, say, Wednesday the 22nd) but, well, just because.  I'm not superstitious in any way - I make my own luck - and I suppose that in launching www.YourEventFREE.com on this particular day was my way of thumbing my nose at the Nay-sayers who told me it would bomb purely for this reason.
 

What do they know....

 
It's been near enough ten months to the day since www.YourEventFREE.com was launched.  That's long enough to know if it's been a complete waste of time or not.  Has it?
 
Ten months on, www.YourEventFREE.com receives visits every single day.  Sometimes it's only a couple of hundred.  Sometimes, as has been the case in the recent UK Music Festival season for example, or the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, it can be many thousands.  Every single day.
 

Wow.

 
And they come from all over, too.  Did you know, for instance, that only around one half of visitors to www.YourEventFREE.com are from the UK and the USA?  The rest are from all over - South America, Russia, mainland Europe, the Far East - which means that it's just as well that the website translates into any local language depending upon where the site is being accessed.
 

Social Media.

 
I always thought that it was kinda nice to have some kind of social media representation for www.YourEventFREE.com, but I didn't really place any emphasis or importance on it.  Not until I met an old friend for lunch, who just so happens to be an expert on such matters!  He made it abundantly clear that to ignore the likes of Twitter and Facebook and the rest of it would be a mistake.
 
At the time we spoke, @YourEventFREE had eleven followers, and they were mostly family members and long-time friends of mine.  Right now - let me just check - there are 6,600 people, groups and organisations following @YourEventFREE on Twitter.  There are over 7,200 people who 'like' the Facebook page.
 
That, to be honest with you, feels absolutely amazing.  That is, there are thousands of people who know about www.YourEventFREE.com and use the website.
 
There.  That's all the evidence I need to prove I'm not wasting my time.
 
The site isn't quite THERE yet.  It's come a long way since the launch, but there's still work to do.  I open the newspaper and see people and places that have paid somebody good money to advertise a particular event.  It frustrates me a little, because these Event Organisers could reach a LOT more people, with far better quality ads, right here.  AND, save some money in the process.
 
Not that there's anything wrong with paying to advertise Events - I suppose the name of the game is to reach as many people as possible.  I wonder if the Organisers realise though, they could reach far, far more people at no extra cost whatsoever.  One way or the other, I know I'm going to have to work a lot harder to achieve what I set out to do - to establish ONE central place where ANYBODY can see what's on in their neck of the woods (or further afield) without having to buy every newspaper, watch every news bulletin, or have a dozen Post-It Notes all over every page of their calendar.
 
More about this another time.
 
In closing, I'm going to have to tell you what a thrill it is to, you know, just mention in conversation that I operate a successful website.  Their eyes roll, as everyone seems to have a website these days, and then their eyes widen as I just casually mention the Twitter Followers, the Facebook likes, the number of visitors and where they come from, the Mobile Version of the website that runs parallel to the one you're reading right now...... and they always, only ever ask ONE question.
 

How much money are you making from this website?

 
Which grinds my gears a bit. 
 
They are missing the point.   www.YourEventFREE.com has only ever been about making it easier for folks to share what's going on, and for other folks to see what's going on.  It's not about me making a fortune, it's about filling what I perceive to be a need in society.  It is FREE to use (the clue is in the name...) and nobody ever has to pay anything to use this website.
 
Yes there are Sponsor Ads.  The running costs of this website have to be met somehow.  But the nuts-and-bolts side, where someone can share an Event they're planning (or look to see what's going on this weekend) will always be free.
 
The Ads are excellent, first-class, and they will always be free too.  It doesn't matter if you're showing off a few of your paintings in your garage, planning a Charity Fun-Run; if it's your band blasting out a few numbers down the pub on Friday night, or Kumbh Mela on the banks of the river Ganges. Nobody's going to use it if you have to pay, are they?
 

What of the future?

 
Look forward to some instructional videos on YouTube for setting up a Profile, adding an Event, adding a Venue.  www.YourEventFREE.com?
 
I'm trying to find a way of creating a YourEventFREE App that I'm happy with. 
 
Oh, and how do you feel about buying & selling tickets to Events via
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