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((((((((((((((((( WEBREFERENCE UPDATE NEWSLETTER ))))))))))))))))) June 1, 2000

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Now with over 98150 subscribers!

http://www.webreference.com http://www.webreference.com/new/ http://www.webreference.com/new/submit.html New this week on WebReference.com and the Web:

1. OPEN PUBLISHING: Submit Your Article! 2. FEATURED ARTICLE: Newbies - Don't Let Anyone Kick Sand in Your Face! 3. NET NEWS: * WebXi Unveils Suite * MP3.com Wades into Wireless * Has Transmeta's chip finally come in? * IBM donates Net communications technology * Get Ready For The Geeks

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. OPEN PUBLISHING: Submit Your Article!

Every Thursday the Update features a new article contributed by our readers through our Open Publishing Initiative. We encourage you to submit your own article ideas. Your words could be here, being read by over 98,000 people!

http://www.webreference.com/new/submit.html

This week, writer Byron Hunte provides information for those just starting out in the e-business world, plus giving helpful tips for already established businesses.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. FEATURED ARTICLE: Newbies - Don't Let Anyone Kick Sand in Your Face!

No, you're right. I am no Charles Atlas but many people are new to the Web and there doesn't seem to be much help out there for you. Most articles and advice columns seem to be aimed at the experienced net user and not much use if you are just starting out with your brand new business Web site.

We all know that site promotion is the key to successfully building up your business on the Internet so here are ten tips for newcomers that don't cost any money and which I wish someone had told me when I started.

>1. Submit your site to search engines Here I have learned to avoid autosubmit software programs and that the best results are obtained by submitting *manually* to the top 10 engines. This way you can accommodate each one's quirks and foibles. Some engines, for instance, will only allow you a certain amount of characters when listing your site description and/or key words. If you had gone over this limit using an autosubmitter, your site would have been rejected out of hand. Even worse, you would not know it had been rejected and may wait in frustration for your listing to appear. Worse still, you might not feel comfortable resubmitting your site as some search engines consider multiple applications to be 'spam' which may lead to your site being permanently rejected from that engine's database. Manual submission is time consuming but definitely worth it.

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>2. Submit your site to Directories These are different than search engines in that they have their own categories within which inquirers can find a listing of the sites that interest them without necessarily using a search button. In my view, this is the way Joe Public will look for his information in the future and, in my opinion, directories will soon outstrip engines in terms of usage. Pay attention to getting your site listed on as many directories as possible, especially the Open Directory Project (www.dmoz.org) as their database is used by many of the top search engines and directories.

>3. Web Rings These are associations of Web sites with a similar focus. If you join one, you will get a Web ring logo at the bottom of your site which will allow your visitor to move on to browse all other sites within the ring. Similarly, this will allow visitors to other sites within the ring to find your site and increase your traffic. Some of these rings are huge and others quite tiny. It depends on what sphere you are operating in but, either way, it is another good way to gain additional traffic for your site.

>4. E-mail discussion lists I started one for people interested in starting their own Web business (which is what my company does) and which can be joined from my site. This is rigorously kept spam free by me (anyone posting ads to it is ejected without trial) and allows venture capitalists, angels, incubators and entrepreneurs to find each other and discuss common experiences and solutions. Sig files are allowed on my list and I have had good hits from my own, especially as the members of the list are, by definition, my target audience. Sig files are signatures that your emailer can automatically add to the bottom of any email you send - this normally consists of your name, business name, one line description of product and Web site address but can be any size you want.

>5. Word of mouth I have told everybody I know what I am doing and there are an enormous number of redundancies occurring in my former industry (and everybody else's). These are all bright people with pockets full of money. They look at my site and like what they see - they tell their friends. Don't feel shy about spreading the word, after all you have something good to offer, right? Lose no opportunity to let others know about it. Take your business cards everywhere and give one to everyone you meet. Leave them everywhere you go - even in the cloakrooms at sports games or bars. Drop some on the counter in public libraries (with permission of course).

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>6. The press I refuse to pay for unfocused advertising which nobody looks at, even in specialist magazines. My advice would be to call the editors up and tell them that you are doing something that nobody else is doing (in their field) and that you have included a free link to their publication as an information service on your site. Would they be interested in doing a small write-up of your site for their next issue? If you can get them to do this, you will get much better traffic generated than a standard advertisement and for free! They won't always do this for you but hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

>7. Reciprocal links I offer a lot of links to other sites on my own pages and I have called them all personally to ask if they would include a link back to me. Normally webmasters are quite good at this and will try to accommodate you. This is especially advantageous if the site you link to has high traffic. Information sources are amongst the best of these - find a high traffic site that covers your area of commerce and link to it/get reciprocal links.

>8. Banners My experience says forget it - when's the last time you clicked on one.

>9. Be Discrete I belong to lots of e-mail lists and, occasionally, someone asks for help on a topic that I think my Web site would be useful for. I don't send a whole sales pitch to those lists but send in a very low key reply addressing their specific question and mentioning my URL as an additional resource. This has paid dividends and has not upset any of the list members.

>10. Write an article for an opt-in list such as this one! All publicity is good publicity and if you can help others by sharing your knowledge with them at the same time, all the better.

Happy marketing!

About the author:

Byron Hunte worked for 25 years in the Reinsurance Industry and became Vice President in the largest insurance Brokers in the world. He needed a change of direction and left the industry completely to set up his own Web business aimed at helping people get started in eCommerce. You can contact him at byron.hunte@dial.pipex.com or visit his website at www.sprant.com.

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3. NET NEWS: WebXi Unveils Suite, MP3.com Wades into Wireless, Has Transmeta's chip finally come in?, IBM donates Net communications technology, Get Ready For The Geeks

>WebXi Unveils Suite

WebXi Inc. unveiled its Symmetry Xchange integration suite today. SymmetryXi is a B2B integration solution that uses an open standards architecture. http://www.internetnews.com/wd-news/article/0,2171,10_384651,00.html InternetNews.com, 000601

>MP3.com Wades into Wireless

MP3.com has plans for wireless, and they're starting with a live events calendar. The application is said to be the first mobile-ready application for finding and purchasing tickets to live entertainment events. http://www.internetnews.com/streaming-news/article/0,2171,8161_383391,00.html InternetNews.com, 000531

>Has Transmeta's chip finally come in?

Transmeta inks a major deal with Gateway and AOL which promises to put its Crusoe chip on the map. And that may be just the beginning. http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2578906,00.html ZDNet.com, 000530

>IBM donates Net communications technology

IBM has donated an Internet communications technology to the Apache Software Foundation, creators of the popular open source Apache Web server. The software, called Simple Object Access Protocol for Java, is based on XML. http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-200-1993071.html CNet.com, 000601

>Get Ready For The Geeks

First there was the Million Man March. Most recently there was the Million Mom March. Now some are getting ready for what might be called the Million Geek March. http://www.techweb.com/wire/story/TWB20000531S0002 TechWeb.com, 000531

That's it for this week, see you next time.

Andrew King Managing Editor, WebReference.com mailto:update@webreference.com

Eric Cook Assistant Editor, WebReference.com mailto:ecook@internet.com

Catherine Levy Assistant Editor, WebReference.com mailto:clevy@internet.com

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