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Note: Background images in February 2003 are selected from the analyticalQ photo gallery.
Photo: St John's Wood, London

Bon Journal

Benefits of having your own Web site

I never imagined that I would receive so much feedback and get so much satisfaction from building and maintaining It was just an experiment, to begin with --- at most, a sketchpad or a repository to dump all my thoughts, feelings, and impressions. It freed my mind from having to catalogue and remember things. As it was accessible everywhere I traveled, it became a kind of "home" to the important things I needed to remember.

Internet surfers are fickle. If you don't communicate the right message first time around, they won't return. So how do you make your site sticky? I use to test out various strategies. One sure way is to respond to every single comment and question with a personal touch --- to come across as a human being rather than the Web site itself. Another way is to manage expectations such that visitors will want to return. If you let them know that you're going to update your site everyday, such as the Diary of Anne Ku, and that you will eventually touch upon the subjects of interest to your visitors, they will come back. A third way is to have an easy to remember domain name. Granted, analyticalQ is a tongue twister and I had deliberately made it so, naively thinking that people will immediately recognise the similarity to "Anne Ku."

Having your own Web site makes a statement to the world. In essence, you have bothered to think about what's important to you and invested in time and energy in putting it together. Rather than repeating yourself, all you want to say is already out there, composed and organised. It gives you credibility, and even more so if other sites link to yours.

Credibility and reputation are what goes into being a trustworthy person. Why should anyone spend any time listening to you? Why should anyone engage your services? Unless you've established yourself or someone else has recommended you, how can you come across as a person to pay attention to? Your Web site should do that for you.

Having a Web site speeds up the process of decision making. A person doesn't need to check your references or revisit many rounds of meetings to feel confident that you're the right person for the situation. I direct people I'm interviewing on the phone or trying to get information from -- to my site, so that they get a better feel of who I am and what I'm after. Once, several public relations officers - the gatekeepers to the experts I was looking for - searched for my name and found my site. These days, people "google" as a matter of course rather than exception. So you should want to be positively found.

When I left my last job, I didn't have to tell people my telephone number or e-mail address. I simply said, "Find me on the Internet." Increasingly, I believe that it's more important to be found than to find. It's more important who knows you than who you know. The speed at which new information arrives easily leads recipients to a bad case of information overload. So they can't remember things they don't need to remember. And if they do need the information, they want to find it quickly and easily. Why not just let the efficient search engines like Google do the work for you?

Oh! The benefits of having your own Web site are many --- too many to list here!

For more information, visit analyticalQ web advice.

28 February 2003 Friday

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Anne Ku
writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.