Saturday, January 19, 2008

Putting up signs and leaving trails

Shortly after its original inception, the internet became known more commonly as the World Wide Web, with “web” being the operative word. With more and more people being connected and cross connected and cross-cross connected with one another, a metaphoric map of the internet soon looked like an airline route map, and then even more complex, like a spider web.

You know all that, but I remind you that the innate purpose and value of the internet is interconnectivity. The fact that you can visit hundreds of websites and be a voyeur or get otherwise entertained, or the fact that you can quickly access the information you are looking for, is indeed a cool thing. But if you are a person who is merely strolling down the corridors of a huge mall, you are missing ever so much. The whole point is not to just look through the windows, although that can be fun in itself, but to go inside and interact with the other people who are also shoppers and lookers.

Blogging, a relatively recent addition to the web, captures the spirit of what I am talking about perhaps more than any other example. Blogs suck you inside them. Blogs satisfy your desire for new information as well as giving you a nice shot of voyeurism and titilation. Above all, blogs offer the easy opportunity of participation and interaction. In fact, blogs practically BEG for your participation.

Participation means commenting on the posts or other comments. Commenting is certainly a step in the right direction, and certainly a step above simply “windowshopping” from the outside. To be sure. But there is more. Much more.

The very nature of the Web is interconnectivity between people. A big part of that interesting and useful interconnectivity is the referral and other linking that goes on between blogs. When you think of the World Wide Web, you should think “link” or else you are sort of missing the point.

Do you desire more visitors to your own website or blog? There are many ways to increase traffic, but I can think of no BETTER way than going out every day to visit people and make new friends. These comments and links and social networking are the “signs” I spoke of in the last post.

There are many proactive things you should be doing every single day in order to build traffic to your blog or other website. Traffic equals money. If money is not your object with your blog, then traffic equals more people to read your thoughts and more people to have the joy of interacting with.

Of those many proactive things you should be working at every day, probably none are more important, or more effective, than putting up signs on the turf of your fellow bloggers (and returning the love in their direction as well.) Overcome your shyness with the knowledge that they very much WANT you to interact with them. Honest!

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