iYamagoo grows up...The Geek-Cool Communtiy / Social Site

Ok social sites are sooooo...2 years ago...but wait don't be so hasty.

As we here at Yamagoo started looking around for a new direction we began to realize that our long self confessed geek-hood was no longer unique. I've written about this here at the Yamagoo Blog but it was the 56 Geeks Project from ExtraLife! that finally pushed me over the edge and confirmed what we had been always known.
EVERYONE is a geek of some kind.
Geek is Dead!
Long Live Geek!

We decided to move toward a site that would incorporate this new celebration of our individual geek identities and "clean up" our act. We are implementing new standards for our submissions (i.e. no profanity, no...er...other stuff..etc) and although the process is imperfect (I can't seem to completely clean up my potty mouth) we are indeed striding toward a wider appeal and more user friendly environment. Here are some of the things we're working on.
Site Redesign
Well here it is! What do you think? Pretty sweet huh? I know I know! Now before you think that I am some big headed jerk that is breaking his arm patting himself on the back..I'm not. You see this design was featured in its original format by Mashable! in its 70+ New and Beautiful Blogger Templates post last week (take a look in the footer where we have preserved the credits for the original designer and the genius who converted this template for use in Blogger. Thanks Adii and eBlogger Templates! You ROCK! The template is under Creative Commons License in case you were curious.) I loved the look and downloaded the template and began tweaking the graphics and layout to suit our purposes. There are a few things which are still under development and will debut over the next few weeks. keep dropping by the actual blog (not just reading your feed) and you'll see the evolution complete itself. Now that we have the new look we are upping our game in other ways.
One of the things we've heard from lots of people was that it was not very easy to find what you were looking for here. Asided from the "R" rated content this was the #1 complaint. Now that we're PG-13 we thought it was time to act all grown up and get organized. Over time you will see the navigation structure emerge(So the next time we refer to Get Fuzzy, Ben Towle won't feel like Alice in Wonderland when he stops by. Thanks Ben!) Up to now we have noticed a significant benefit to using a million zillion different tags to enable better organic search results. I know you're skeptical but it has indeed reaped benefits. Now we are satisfied that, although we are ranked low, we are on the radar of the search engines and we are crawled regularly. This has led to the implementation of the search feature at the top of the page. We are in the process of converting all of those labels/tags into a set of categories based around the Geek categories. So for example you will be able to find references to movies labeled "Movie Geek", references to websites as "Internet Geek" and so on. These categories will appear in a neat little sidebar once we're through that will help you to reach your favorite stuff much more quickly.
Subscription Features
You'll also be able to subscribe to just the articles relating to your preferred Geek specialty using each categories RSS feed. We've positioned the subscription link at the top of every page. You used to have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the front page to try and find the subscription button and even if you were looking it was sort of hard to find. You'll notice that we have included a Subscribe to Comments option. A couple of people who write over here were pretty excited when they saw this and began immediately searching for the comments. They're not here yet. We intend to add them, but we want them to be DO FOLLOW and we want to encourage links...Yes I said we want you to responsibly link to your sites. We will not tolerate straight SPAM but we want people with relevant websites or things to point to to post these links. I am reviewing several commenting options looking for the most feature rich, and best protected from Spammers. We want this to be a community. We want to share, and sharing means, well....sharing. Comments will return very soon.
This opened up the possibility of a GeekSpace...or MySpace for Geeks. Where everyone could show off their own interests and connect with others who felt a kinship to their geekery.
I have been messing around with Ning since...well..since the beginning. Back when it was difficult and strange to use, and unlike anything else. When the newest iteration came about I couldn't quite make the connection of what it would add to the iYamagoo blog and website. Now with the new direction it clicked and we are proud to have launched Geek-Cool.com and are working hard to incorporate the social aspects into this blog and to provide a new and interactive community. You can sign up for free and customize your individual Geek Space anyway you like. The site provides forums, and music sharing and all of the things you've come to expect from a social site. The site's design is underway and will mimic this site to a degree. At present it is free and will remain so forever for the early adopters. We are using Nings ad supported version and will make the switch to a custom host when the membership reaches sufficient levels to sustain the expenses. As a special promotion the first 100 people to subscribe will get a FREE "I am Geek-Cool t-shirt "(see picture at right..a $12 retail value) but...yeah there's a but...no one gets their shirt until the 100th person has joined. So invite people you know. Tell them about the free shirt and get them to join. The faster we get there the faster these shirts will get off my desk!
"New" Toolbar

The social site is perfectly complimented by the iYamagoo Toolbar which itself has undergone (and continues to undergo) a transformation. Don't panic if you have the old toolbar it has been updated and you don't need to do anything to see the changes. I won't go into the whole toolbar thing here. I am putting together a video tour of the new toolbar and there will be a whole post when its ready. Just remember the toolbar is 100% Spyware/Malware free GUARANTEED! We don't collect any information from our users. You don't even need to submit so much as an email address just click install and enjoy. One of the new features coming to the toolbar is the ability to fully customize it to your liking. But I digress...

So is that it? NO WAY! There's even more coming and the best part about it is that we don't have it all figured out yet. We want YOU to tell us what you would like to see in a community. What do you want that you're not getting anywhere else? We are working with some great Code Geeks, Music Geeks, Podcast Geeks, Webcast Geeks, and every other kind of Geek you can think of to make this thing Uniquely Geek! Tell us what you want to see and we'll get work making it happen. You know in your heart that the geek in you wants to get out. Get your Geek On! We're waiting.......

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