Monday, 20 November 2006

A webmasters' community?

I always start my blog with a picture. I couldn’t decide on one and so I used this logo. I need a new one for my tiny 15 Mb web site. I’m thinking more seriously now about a bigger site. My education is being held back. I need more space so I can try other things and start my community for eccentric webmasters running small websites like me.

Deciding on a domain.

I needed a domain that was short so I could add sub domains; something like 4U. So I could do and lots of other sub domains for people who want to join a community and exchange ideas. But I couldn’t get that one – but I don’t give up easily and so I kept on typing them in until I found a top level domain that may work. Now I need people who are interested and more ideas about communication. My idea will work. Look at Myspace, people do really good pages on there and that is just one page. I hope to give away at least 20 Mb of space for websites and lots of tips and stuff to help people get started. But to begin with they will have to use their own space provided by their ISP or maybe Google pages. Google pages is quite good – they give people with Google mail accounts 100 Mb of space to play with and experiment with and allow you to add adsense and make money from it. But where do you get the traffic? Traffic is people visiting the site. I have a link from my main site and still no one has visited my Google pages. Very few people read my blogs! But more and more people are reading these blogs and I hope you will come back and read more and tell your friends! I got my first click on an advertisement this week! Some kind person actually clicked one of those adverts at the side of one of my blogs – it took me a step nearer my goal of a large website – it will help pay for advertising. Advertising will generate traffic!


Generating traffic for my new website is a problem and I have to generate traffic for all the smaller sites that join the community. But every site will have an advertisement and description on the main site and a link. That is why I started this blog with my logo – that is my link at the moment! I need a better logo for people to click for my new site. Traffic will also include spider bots from the search engines. I don’t just want to make a community – I want people to have their 15 minutes of fame or more! People can choose a unique user name and make it famous or infamous on the internet. The main site will send the spider bots to every one of those small sites and unlike Myspace and Bebo; members of this community will have at least 10 pages to play with, linked with hyperlinks – not just one!


Online communities do well because they help people make friends. So I will encourage people to have a “friends” page and give other members of the community direct links – even though all the sites will be linked through the main site anyway. How about photos, video, music? I know many artists on the Internet want to become famous and don’t get a chance – we can give them publicity with a matrix of websites all linked together and we can still use Google Gadgets and video links to You Tube.


Communication is important. On most online communities members can send messages to all their “friends”. This is easily done – everyone can have a email address that they can access using Outlook Express and set up a group in Outlook Express with the names of all their friends in and a group with the names of everyone in the community in. Instructions on how to do that can be on the main site. They can also communicate with an Instant Messenger – but which one? I am tending to think Skype may be the best – unless I get a better offer. Skype offer text communication, voice over IP, file exchange and web cam – everything you need for one on one communication and even video – audio conferencing.

Why do it?

I continue to learn and have a new challenge. All I will ask of members is they have one page on their website to advertise and link to the main site to make it a community. I will also ask them to dedicate a page to the company that provides the web space – so I get cash in my account to pay for the space for the next year. I don’t expect or want it to be profitable – but I do hope it will grow. But everyone will learn and maybe some people will say – yes – I can do an even better site! Maybe this learning community will produce some professional webmasters and who knows – with smart young people joining they may have even better ideas for this community than I have! I have seen how inventive young people are on Myspace and Bebo and other sites. But I will ask them to be cautious as well as adventurous. I’ll ask them not to give out personal information. Use user names; communicate only through Skype with a user name. Never meet people or give out phone numbers or even their home town. I want a safe community. I also want a community for all ages – but may do a separate community for very young members. I’ve seen websites done by school children and they are good – and should be encouraged – but even greater safeguards would be required. I have seen “community” sites where people get “kudos” and even “bullying” is encouraged on some. Kudos in this community would be simply gained by impressing the rest of the community with your website and maybe having more clicks on your counter than everyone else! It would also be good for students – who want to earn money from advertising on their site – rather than the advertising money go to some multinational company.

Rich country – poor country.

It may be a good idea if people can use this community to help people. I’ve had messages thanking me for answering questions on Yahoo Answers and people get a lot of self esteem from helping others. This is an ideal opportunity for rich kids to help poor kids. The rich kids in the rich countries will, perhaps, help the poor kids in the poor countries. The $100 minimum payout by Google adsense will just about fill the tank on my car with gasoline – but in a poor country will feed a family for a month or even provide the capital to start a business. Could this idea breach the gap between the cultures and beliefs of different countries – be a force to end wars, conflict and cultural diff

Steal my idea?

No, no one will steal my idea because I publicise it in advance. Although, if a large company like Google or even my ISP TalkTalk was interested in doing it instead – I’d talk to them. It obviously has commercial potential. I have been described as a “natural” counsellor and have an obsession with psychology. So, obviously I’ve made notes on how to use psychology to market the idea. I’ve also looked at the creative people who will be interested, students and the obvious computer nerds like me! I know the psyche of the people I want to join this community. If someone tries to steal my idea without doing all the research I have – it will be funny – and I will be laughing! The community obviously has commercial potential, after all Myspace sold for $500,000,000 – but is it worth that now? I admire the creativity of many of the people on Myspace – although some get a little too creative and I can’t read anything on their pages! It also attracts people who want to network – singers, artists and bands. I hope my community will attract the same sort of creative people. But my community I hope will be much smaller and more of a community for being small; because everyone will know everyone else in of community. If I do get an offer from a large company interested in the idea – the community may have to be larger – even very large – but divided into communities. In the same way as the world is a community divided into countries and then smaller communities. I’ve considered every problem that may arise and what will be involved in helping people achieve something creative and worthwhile – while being fulfilling enough to keep them interested. Preparation is very important with any idea and greed can destroy a good idea! I intend it to be non-profit making. It is not necessary for it to be non-profit making. The people will have money to spend and I think they will want web design software, new computers, digital cameras and all the software and stuff I want! So if they are going to spend money – the idea is possibly commercial. I just hope to make it attractive to people from all countries – even those where people don’t have a lot of money. I also want it to give people like students a chance to make money from advertising by signing up with Adsense and Commission junction and other affiliates. Running websites seems to me more appropriate for intelligent students than working in burger joints or waiting on tables. Students, like me will love the idea of people clicking on advertisements while they sleep – making money in your sleep – the students dream! Almost as good as testing beds in your spare time.

Best wishes from England....