Jim's Message Board
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Re: The question that most concerns me is...
From Nicholas on 06 July '98
adding to Re: The question that most concerns me is... posted by Max

>It's much easier to get cited on the web than in academia, which
>will give a different outcome to the same inspired idea. for one,
>the cost of publishing is a lot less, and there are no "peer review"
>committes to pass judgement on your pages.

The web is less vicious, admittedly. The cost of publishing is less.
The cost of promoting is going up fast, as bigger players move towards
high-cost tactics like IP delivery, and payola creeps in.

> Unlike academia, they have to make the users of the search engine happy
>to stay in business.

Excite has already decided the users are lumpen proles, hence their
decision to push today's baseball scores higher on a search for "baseball."
As a pure marketing decision I'm not sure I could criticize that decision.
It plays in Peoria, and Peoria is coming to the web.

> Matt's Script Archives? He's a RESOURCE - a high concentration of
>useful information - not just a link list! Any resource will accumulate
>links pointing at it whether they ask for them or not. That's why Jim
>and I both nag about developing content and more content. Content attracts
>links to it, which increases traffic via those links, and those links will
>soon boost relevance ratings too, for more traffic.

Jim's site, like Matt's, lies within the zone of acceptance of those who
link to him. He's interesting, useful, on-topic - and he's not their competitor,
and hasn't offended their sensibilities. This package also means there is no
trouble pitching his site to the media. On the other hand:

Consider getting some links for Louis Pasteur. Where ya gonna go? The dairies
who are producing unsanitary milk? The doctors who consider him a kook? The
nurses who - in that day - did not dare challenge doctors? You'd
probably have to organize a coalition of mothers whose children had fallen
sick, then spread it out to local sites, and get them all to link you.

Achievable, sure, but it has the same problems as link cooperatives; the cost
of links is going to increase for unorthodox sites. Link-o-mania has plummeted
in the short time I've been on the web, and the free links will increasingly
go to sites which meet the criteria of the mainstream media:

Important
Connected to important
Winners
Hot
Cute
Useful (last on the conventional media's list)
...plus the web virtue of Cool

Having said all that: tightly-niched sites should continue to do well through
niche links, even without the blessing of the search engines.


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