Just want to go over a few strategical updates today. First up are the portals - the mains ones being the Figure and Japan portals. The portals are designed for folks who are here for a particular subject. The Figure portal for example features past figure articles in the center column and Member News categorized under "Figure" in the left column.
There is a link under the portal title where you can RSS subscribe to only the figure articles too.
Scrolling to the bottom of the Figure portal, you will see product rankings for Good Smile Company, Max Factory, All figures and a figure release schedule for the current month too. These portals increase discoverability of content for new users rather than sending them to a page full of thumbnails. New users will currently see some figure reviews, coverage of the Good Smile Warehouses and coverage of the Figma CM filming.
Users will be able to get to the new portals from the header as shown below. The portals are also a first step to better categorize the Japan articles. I understand that there is a load of articles useful to both the first time visitor to Japan and to those thinking of living/traveling here one day.
The Japan portal will soon feature maps and easy to find categories such as Places to visit, Food, Customs and Culture etc.
Folks who are only here for the Japan stuff may want to bookmark the Japan portal instead and subscribe to the Japan only feed.
I frequently get complaints from users about figures and non Japan related articles popping up in the feed/browser when they visit the site - now they have no excuse to complain ^^;
I also get complaints from users about some of the ecchi content meaning that they cant refer this site to their friends - well now they can by using http://www.dannychoo.com/japan/eng/ - only Japan articles in the center column and Japan categorized member news in the left column.
I'm guessing that most of you are either here for figures, Japan or both - which are you?
Another thing that the portals allow me to do is to make sure folks coming from a Japan related site like JapanProbe (for example) lands on the Japan portal instead of the default index page - I do this by checking the referrer and setting a rule in a settings file. Likewise, referrals from some figure sites will land on the Figure portal. This means that a niche user will be greeted with a page full of their niche subject and the conversion rate to get that new user to stay increases. I obviously only do this for links to the top page only and not for links to direct articles or posts. Apart from the Japan and Figure portals, there is an Anime portal, Stormtrooper portal, Gundam and Idols portal - although the Gundam and Idol portal need more updating ^^;
I have added the Anime category to the header - Search is now under "More" but I will stick a search box in the subnav soon. Below: Apart from the portals, I also rolled out the Figure Release Schedule which displays figure releases for each month. This data is automatically fetched from Amazon using their API and refreshed daily. If there are images missing for a product, it will appear when the catalog team add an image for that product.
The default view of the release schedule displays releases for the current month but you can look through all months. Below: The Figure Rankings show you whats the best selling figures at Amazon right now enabling you to keep in the loop with whats hot and whats not. Below: The Dakimakura rankings for the otaku who is looking for a new GF - updated daily. Below: The Eroge release schedule enables you to keep an eye on whats out and when. There are also a ton of other rankings available including ero books, Ero Anime, Manga, Anime BGM and OST's, Games and a whole lot more waiting for you in the Ranking top page.
The plan is to make the store so that you can embed your associate tag in all products and also add your own header/footer enabling you to monetize.
The first image in this post is just to make it a bit more interesting - feel free to caption ^^;