Introducing iStore!

After months of preparation and trial operation, our new online shop called iStore is now officially open to the public! We are expanding our e-commerce operations by offering new books, proxy auction bidding and shopping services, ad space, and more.

iStore replaces the old MailOrderZONE. Shop at iStore to help support PhotoGuide Japan.

PhotoGuide Japan in Honolulu Star-Bulletin

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin is one of the mainstream daily newspapers in Hawaii. The Feb. 20, 2005 Sunday edition ran an article in the business section which mentioned me, PhotoGuide Japan, and my online business.

See it here:

Scroll down until you see “Japan offers market for online sales.”

I am especially pleased because Honolulu is my hometown.

2004 recap of PhotoGuide Japan

During 2004, PhotoGuide Japan has seen several major improvements, new pages, and features. I’m quite happy with the progress I was able to make this year with the site.

Ever since I converted almost the entire site to a database-driven system in 2003, maintaining the site has become much easier. It is easy to add, correct, or delete almost anything on the site. It has taken a lot of the grunt work out of the site’s maintenance.

I love working on my Web site. I can spend hours sitting in front of my Macintosh and the time would just fly by.

Here are the major Web site improvements in 2004:

  • Creation of the Photographers Japan online directory of pro photographers in Japan.
  • Completely new home page layout using CSS, with a “billboard look” featuring a large image with transparent sections for text overlays.
  • Incorporation of Google’s site search engine.
  • Incorporation of Google ads. (First time I’m making money from Web site ads.)
  • Creation of PhotoWords, an online glossary of photo terms in English and Japanese.
  • Creation of PhotoSigns, a visual Japanese lesson.

My only regret was I did not have time to write new photo book reviews this year. I have a stack of books that I want to review soon. Hopefully by early next year you will see some new book reviews.

For the new year in 2005, my biggest Web project will be to beef up PhotoGuide Japan’s e-commerce function. Already I’m setting up e-commerce software to make online shopping easier.

Affiliate programs will also be incorporated, starting with and I actually tried Amazon’s associates program way back in 1997 when it was one of the first affliiate programs. But it was still too early and I hardly made any money from it. But now it’s very popular and I’ll try it again.

There are other online money-making ideas I’m toying with, and I look forward to experimenting in 2005.

I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

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