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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Latest reports are that half of the nation’s corn crop has been planted in the Midwest.  That’s up from an average of 27% at this point in the prior five years.

As the nation’s corn farmers have been busy planting seeds for the future, I have been busy working on the Funtober corn maze directory.  I’ve found corn mazes in 49 out of the 50 states.  If anyone is aware of a corn maze in Alaska, please let me know.

I have discovered a few corn mazes that I haven’t added to the directory yet.  I’ll be gathering the information necessary to put them up over the next few days.  And as always, if you are a farmer that runs a corn maze and don’t see your farm listed, drop a comment on the appropriate directory page and I’ll be happy to post your information.

Corn and Corn

Wow. Time is passing pretty fast now that the weather has warmed up here in Philadelphia. There’s only 4 months until the start of Oktoberfest. While I’ve been enjoying the weather when it isn’t raining, I’ve also been trying to make steady progress on Funtober.

The plan is to add the next directory for Funtober soon. I’ve already started compiling the list of ghost tours across the United States. Although I don’t think that the tours of real haunted houses are as popular as the fake ones setup by the haunted house industry, I do think that they are a fun way to spend an evening and learn about the history of a neighborhood/section of a city. Although I didn’t encounter an apparition or other unusual occurrence on my ghost walk, I still had a great time.

I’ve also been working on gathering a list of blogs and Twitter accounts that I can use to help find news and event information during October to share with visitors here. Because Funtober covers a diverse set of interests during a defined time, it’s going to be a pretty long list. If you have a suggestion for a blog that I’ll find useful, feel free to leave a link in the comments along with a description of your site. It will definitely make my life easier.

Behind the scenes, I’ve also looked in to what it will take to sell Halloween costumes on Funtober. I’m not sure whether I will have the time to add a full catalog of costumes to the site. But I hope to at least feature a few of the more popular ones by Halloween 2012.

Last, but not least, farmers are reporting that their corn is starting to emerge from the ground. It won’t be long before they are cutting the corn so thst the design is visible!

Funtober is now a Delaware limited liability company.

I attended the SEOmoz meetup in Philadelphia a few weeks ago. Wil Reynolds of SEER Interactive spoke about the importance of “do[ing] what real businesses do” in order to rank a website well in the search results. As I started to think about what real businesses do, I decided that I needed to be a real business first! After considering the options, I came to the conclusion that I would register Funtober as a limited liability company in Delaware.

Why an LLC?  It allows me the benefits of a corporation (limited personal liability for business debts) without subjecting the profits to double taxation.  Why Delaware?  It seemed a reasonable choice given that so many businesses are formed there.  The rumor on the street is that it is a very business friendly state.  Plus, I don’t think Delaware is going to be enacting the affiliate nexus tax anytime soon.  It doesn’t even have a state sales tax.  I don’t want to have an online business debating whether our relationship will require them to collect tax from consumers in an additional state.

Registering Funtober LLC in Delaware was actually a pretty painless process. I had looked into hiring someone to do it a few months ago but never pulled the trigger.  I’m a lawyer so it is something that I am capable of doing.  It’s just a matter of whether it is worth the hassle of figuring it out myself or easier to hire someone who handles hundreds of them and won’t screw it up.  With my new determination to create a business, I skimmed through the statute pretty quickly one morning.  Then found Delaware’s guide concerning how to incorporate.  When I learned that Delaware doesn’t require an operating agreement, I made the decision to do it myself.

With the hard decisions out of the way, I did an entity search to ensure that Funtober LLC was available.  Found a registered agent in Delaware through the internet and hired them.  Used the sample Delaware Certificate of Formation plus an example I found online to formally create the business.  Then filled out the Filing Cover Memo.  And mailed it off!

It took about ten calendar days for them to receive and process it.  I wasn’t concerned about speed so I opted for normal processing which they say can take up to three weeks.  On Thursday, I searched for Funtober LLC in the Delaware corporate entity search and found a record.  Very exciting!

Next up is to find an office.  Some time ago, I read Michael Gray’s article about getting a real world address for your website.  It seems like something else that would follow the “do what real businesses do” mantra.  It will probably be a virtual office to start.  But that’s good enough at this point since it’s just me here.

And, the next day, Facebook launched the third largest IPO ever.  I couldn’t help but dream before going back to the day job. :)

My friends fairly frequently ask why there’s no header here on Funtober.  They don’t know that it is called a header.  But they know that it is missing.  I won’t get a chance to defend the design choice to online visitors.  But maybe they will stumble across this blog post, as you have.  And to them, I say:

If content is king, why does (almost) every website push its content down toward or below the fold by adding a header to brand their website?

If consumers abandon slow loading websites, why do (many) websites insist on loading first a header that is of low value to the user?

Smashing Magazine has an article on the principles of minimalist web design with examples.  It indicates that one of the basic principles of minimalism is to subtract until it breaks.  Yet, if you look at the examples, most of them have some form of header (in the form of a text site name) that tells the reader that they are on a particular site.  But doesn’t that merely duplicate the function of the address bar in the browser?

While I am wading through the non-minimalist websites, how much of my life will be lost waiting for images to load and scrolling down past headers, ads and menu navigation to get to the real content?

For the moment, I’ve decided to forgo the traditional header here at Funtober.  Please don’t take that to mean that this website isn’t as professional as those that include a fancy one on the top of every page to greet you.  I’ve built hundreds of websites with headers and I’m capable of adding one here, too.

Visitors who have read Born to Run will understand.  In running, there has been an intense debate about whether modern running shoes help or hurt your performance.  Perhaps they even increase your risk of injury.  I don’t want to get much farther into the scientific merits of these claims, but I do think it is a good reminder that the modern world is capable of grasping for new, shiny objects and ignoring better strategies for success.

Running Shoes

You no doubt learned in kindergarten: Don’t judge a book by its cover.  I appreciate that you have applied that principle here at Funtober.  Thank you.

Last week, I posted about how easy it was to register a Delaware LLC.  But as I went to order a virtual office setup from my registered agent, I learned that I had not investigated the decision to select my registered agent thoroughly enough.  Despite advertising their mail forwarding and business presence address service in multiple places online, I couldn’t find a link to order it from their client dashboard.  So I called and learned that they no longer offered the service.  She said that there were plenty of places around that offer it.  When I asked for a suggestion, she couldn’t offer a single name.  So annoying.  Update your website!

I was pretty upset when I found out that I had ordered their registered agent service based on the expectation of being able to order a second service later, which they would not provide.  I understand that it can be difficult and costly to maintain an up to date website.  But that’s part of the cost of doing business if you are going to advertise yourself online and allow online ordering of your products.  You can’t tell me that I have to be a client to order the service and then tell me you no longer offer the service when I’ve bought a product to become a client.  Sounds like false advertising to me.

I spent some time investigating alternatives and I found a provider that is less expensive (initially – I believe I pay for the postage of forwarded mail rather than receive a set number of items forwarded per year so it may ultimately be at a higher cost.)  I’ll eventually do a post on how I like the virtual office provider.  Hopefully they will not disappoint.

In other news, it was super easy to order phone service for my new virtual office.  I didn’t go with the lowest cost provider this time (they had horrible online reviews).  And I ended up with two phone numbers – a 1-866 toll free vanity number that cost me $30 and a local Delaware number.  I need to learn how to use it and actually setup the system.  But I’m sure it can handle the extensive call volume it is currently receiving.

I bet you are just looking for my mailing address or phone number if you have reached this post.  So I won’t make you wait any longer.  My mailing address is:

Funtober LLC
501 Silverside Rd. Ste 105
Wilmington, DE 19809

You can reach me by calling either 302-298-1000 or my awesome vanity number – 1-866-OKTOBER (658-6237).

I hope you had a Happy Memorial Day!  I took the weekend off and had a relaxing time.  So no work on ghost tours was completed.  This week, I’ve got some other online marketing work to do.  But I’ll have the ghost tour page up and running as soon as possible.

The Incredible Hulk just celebrated his 50th birthday and played a prominent role in The Avengers, the fourth highest grossing movie of all time.  But it was neither one of these two events which caused the Hulk to be in the news today.

The Hulk - Flexing

A Brazilian man running in a Rio de Janeiro race decided to dress up as the Hulk and made worldwide newspaper headlines when he couldn’t wash the green paint off after he got back home.  It turned out that his Hulk Costume was actually industrial paint used to paint ballistic missiles and nuclear submarines green.  Numerous pictures of his mistake are available at Brazilian newspaper O Globo and British newspaper The Sun.  Reportedly, after 25 baths, he was eventually able to scrub the green paint off.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the story, Dr. Bruce Banner becomes The Hulk after he is exposed to what would normally be a lethal dose of gamma radiation.

I wouldn’t recommend that you attempt to transform into the Hulk for Halloween through either method.  Instead, I suggest you try one of the numerous green face and body paints available from costume retailers.  They are generally water-based so that they are non-toxic and wash off relatively easily.  If you are looking for an alternative that won’t wash away in water, try liquid latex.  It is commonly used in special effects makeup and is removed by peeling it off.  Be careful though, as some people are allergic to latex.

The Brazilian man went to the store in order to buy body paint but they were out of the brand that he had used before.  Let this be an early lesson to those of you who attempt to buy your costume at the last minute every year.  You might end up with a costume that isn’t what you want.  Order early and online for the best selection and deals.  I expect there will be a good number of men and boys dressing as The Hulk this year.  Don’t delay!  Hopefully, I’ll be able to start adding Halloween costumes to Funtober soon.  I’ll update this post with links to green body paint when I do.

EDIT: This post has started to get a significant number of people looking for Hulk costumes. So here is a link to the Incredible Hulk costumes that we sell.