Secrets of a Webmaster
Subject Line: The Write Market Release – Issue #2
CONTENTS IN THIS ISSSUE:
1. Editor’s Remarks
2. What’s new at The Write Market
3. “Secrets of a Webmaster”
4. Sponsor Message
6. Free Monthly Drawing – sign up today!
7. Psst… Pass it on!
Terry and I have been thinking about how people view the internet. Some of the syndicated TV news programs have been portraying web marketing in an unattractive light.
We believe that it is the duty of every webmaster or web business to market professionally and ethically. There are always going to be scam artists or “get-rich-quick-schemes” – even in real time there are many of these types of “businesses”.
However, if we – as a community of professional business people – want to make the web a safe place for consumers – it becomes our duty to find ways to improve our marketing techniques and our guarantees (and to stand behind those guarantees); our businesses can only profit from this.
Can we trust the government to develop and monitor web marketing standards? Do we even want the government to intervene? We encourage you to think about these issues.
Enjoy our debate – until next month….
WHAT’S NEW AT THE WRITE MARKET
Yes – we redesigned again (it seems to be a never ending process!) We’ve included every free thing that we have in the “Webmaster’s Only” section of the site – so be sure to check out that directory – for lots of information on web design, promotion, tools, every little thing you will need for your site – or at least the links on where to get it! Here’s the url: http://www.thewritemarket.com/webmasters.shtml
We have also added a direct news feed. Check it out at: http://www.thewritemarket.com/daily.shtml
“SECRETS OF A WEBMASTER”
“Do you have any secrets that you could tell me, like what programs do you use to maintain and promote your website? If you had an unlimited amount of money at your disposal, what programs would you use?”
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Yes, we have several programs that we use to maintain and promote our website. We’re going to list them here and provide you with links to get to them. We are also providing you with the expensive option and the cheap option.
Website Promotion Tools:
1. Webposition Gold: Analyzes your ranks in AltaVista, Infoseek, Webcrawler, Magellan, Yahoo, Lycos, Excite, and Hotbot. You can analyze as many words as you like for as many engines as you like up to the 200th rank. It costs $149, but we can’t live without it! Here’s the url:
Some cheap solutions:
Rank This: Analyzes your ranks one word at a time in one engine of your choice. Free! Url:
Postion Agent: Analyzes your ranks one word at a time in several engines at a time. Free! Url:
2. Weblog Manager: This is a traffic tracking tool. Tells you exactly where people are coming from (referers) and what queries or keywords they’re using to find your site in the search engines. The reports that this program generates are so easy to use and understand! Cost: $149.
Here’s the Url:
A cheaper solution: If you have a good host, your website will come with statistics, access logs and referer logs. You can usually get them for free or for a minimal fee. However, if all you are getting is an access log (no statistics page) – it’s a struggle to parse out the data and figure out what’s what and who’s who, especially when you start getting a lot of hits. I’m not saying that it’s impossible – but why struggle – if you can afford the less time consuming WebLog Manager? Also, WebLog Manager allows you to generate the reports that you want – for any time period – daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.
Website Development Tools:
CuteFTP (For PC’s): Use this program to upload your new or changed web pages to your host. If you are maintaining a website, I dare you to live without a good FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program (Unless you are using FrontPage). This one is free to download – 30 day trial. Cost $34.95. Url:
WS FTP (For PC’s): This is another excellent FTP program. There are many free versions of this available at: http://www.download.com/ – type WS FTP into the search box. The pro version is available at:
http://www.ipswitch.com/ for $37.50.
Fetch 3.03 (for Macs): This is an easy-to-use program – available from many host sites. The Fetch home page is http://www.dartmouth.edu/pages/softdev/fetch.html A single user license is avaiable for $25.
1. Adobe Photoshop: While not cheap (over $600.00) this standard in the graphics world is among the best for photo manipulation. Check out http://www.adobe.com/ for more information.
A cheaper solution:
Gif Builder: A simple freeware Mac program used to create small animations. The animations in our Graphics Mine: http://www.thewritemarket.com/Gallery/animation.htm were created with Gif Builder. Download a self-extracting copy for yourself at: http://www.thewritemarket.com/gifbuilder If you like it, please send Yves Piguet an email at email@example.com.
2. Imagemapper: This shareware Mac program by Stuart Snaddon lets you easily create image maps of your images. You can check it out at: http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~snaddosg/Creations/
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Recently, we received a request from a webmaster who wanted us to place a link to his website on our free-for-all-links-page. We receive several requests every week. Before we include any site, we look at them and determine if they are “adult content” or if they contain any “questionable content”.
This particular website spawned a little debate between Terry and I that we thought you might want to hear. (Well, maybe you don’t want to hear it – but…)
We are not trying to offend anyone – these are just our meager opinions – so – don’t take it personally. Thanks…
RENEE: Do you think we should include the link?
TERRY: He’s basically saying that those kids in Columbine did it because they were under mind control. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion.
RENEE: I’m not sure I want to link to a strange site like that.
TERRY: But it’s strange by our opinion, probably not to all.
RENEE: OK, I’ll add it if it makes you feel good.
TERRY: I’m just debating with myself. On the other hand, he already is sharing his opinion, he already has a web page, we certainly don’t have to promote it.
RENEE: Right, I don’t want to include a site when they are expressing an opinion that can potentially hurt people or influence people to commit hate crimes. Like the website the kids in Columbine put up. I certainly wouldn’t want to promote that or include a link to it on our website.
TERRY: I heard the site went up AFTER it happened.
RENEE: Oh, that’s nice.
TERRY: Well, I have nothing against “adult content sites.” I do have a lot of caveats, though. Like, I feel that parents should be doing their job of teaching and monitoring and dictating what their children are looking at. There is also a lot of “monitor” software out there, to help them do that. But, I’m completely for freedom of speech.
RENEE: But, do you know – when you go to the GoTo suggestion box (http://inventory.go2.com/inventory/searchInventory.mp – this box will tell you the most used keywords for last month in the GoTo Search Engine) and you are looking for keywords like “children” or “toys”, do you know what comes up? Do you know what thousands of people are searching for? Not “children”. Not “toys”. But – child pornography.
TERRY: I see a lot of things on the web that are taboo in real life or boast strange opinions, like this person’s site.
RENEE: But all of this adult content stuff and the Columbine site and this person’s site – all of them influence how people view the web.
TERRY: Absolutely. It’s the “oddities” that create the overall impression of what the web is.
RENEE: I heard a little report on the ABC Nightly News that slanted the web as being a place where “normal marketing” was not the norm – that people could do anything they wanted, that advertising didn’t have to be ethical. Like it’s ethical in the real world! Maybe we need someone to monitor the web.
TERRY: It doesn’t really have to be ethical on the web, it’s too hard to monitor it. But you’re right, a lot of the web is presented as schemers. I’d say for the small business they’d want as little control or monitoring by the government as possible, because it’s hard enough to make it without being controlled every step of the way. However, I also think it’s important for the “upstanding” businesses to get involved with The Better Business Bureau – to show they’re upstanding.
RENEE: Right, but maybe it would be a good thing for “upstanding” small business if someone interevened – to get rid of the people that are trying to profit off of stupidity.
TERRY: But who dictates what is stupid? Who or what determines what’s acceptable in society – who determines what is the “NORM”? How is the world wide web society different from the real world society? Are the norms different on the web than in the real world?
RENEE: According to the ABC Nightly News they are! The scenario was that a webmaster selling theatre tickets was capitalizing on the “Trench Coat Mafia” (the Columbine website). He had optimized a doorway page to come up in search engines under the query “Trench Coat Mafia”. Now as a web marketer, I do not condone this method of getting hits. What good will it do a business to optimize a page for something that they don’t have anything to do with? There’s no target market here, there’s no telling what types of people will come to the site – just a bunch of unqualified hits.
TERRY: So, there are marketers out there that do scheme to get their sites to come up in search engines?
RENEE: Of course there are. However, what is that spamming going to get you? Has anyone studied the results of all these spamming techniques? I still believe that you have to have marketing scruples on the internet – look at all the “bad publicity” you can get when you spam people’s email boxes.
TERRY: But does the spamming really stop, even if people get bad publicity?
RENEE: No, and it never will until someone or some agency interevenes. Or until the search engines get their act together to effectively stop spamming. (Of course that wouldn’t help email spamming.)
TERRY: I’m not sure how I feel about the government intervening. It may come down to censorship. However, we – as individuals – have the right to censor what we’re linking to. I don’t think we should put this site (the strange opinion one) in our links page, he has a lot of very “questionable content”.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
1. Should the government monitor content on the internet or marketing on the internet? Could they do it effectively and/or appropriately?
2. What are the perceptions from people in the “real world” of what the web is all about? What is the web all about?
3. How can webmasters prevent “bad perceptions” of marketing or content on the internet? Should we bother?
Send your thoughts to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The above was an excerpt – to see the whole debate – go to: http://www.thewritemarket.com/articles/debate.shtml
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