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  1. #1
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    A Great Traffic Generating Idea.....
    I was listening to the radio today, and they were interviewing the creator of a web site. Unfortunately, I came in on the end, so i don't know the actual domain name - but that is irrelevant to this thread, since I just wanted to mention the idea.

    A few years ago, this fellow took 2,000 postcards, handed them out randomly, with a message requesting that they send him a secret they have kept to themselves - anonymously. He would then post them on his site, and they could read their secret ont in the world - along with many, many other interesting secrets from other anonymous people.

    Point is, now he's got all these people coming to his site to see if he has posted their secret yet, and sticking around nosing through other secrets, etc. Since they are the ones wanting to mail him a secret, they've got to spring for postage, etc., so the cost can't be all that much.

    Down the road, he will have enough entries for a book or two, etc...

    So, think about it..... is there any other topic where one might be able to apply this same idea? Send in your favorite joke? Your favorite story about your dad? Your mom? Telling a secret seems to be a lot more interesting.....but maybe there's something out there still.....?
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  2. #2
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    I've seen that site, it's quite funny and sometimes very sad. I can't remember the URL but I'll try to find it up for you, if you want.

  3. #3
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure this is it:

    http://grouphug.us/

    Friend introduced this to me last year and I have to admit it's pretty darn funny.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  5. #5
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    I don't know, but it sure sounds like it. Boy there's some strange secrets in there, kinda eerie.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  6. #6
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    No, I think the link I put up was a blog for the original guy. Here's the main site:

    http://www.defunktion.net/

    The link to PostSecret describes:

    Challenging preconceptions of what a blog should be, PostSecret is a living and breathing exhibition masquerading as a web-log. Evolving constantly through confessions and secrets submitted on postcard to the artist himself, Frank Warren, pieces range from deviously amusing to discreet and dark.
    When you click on Exhibition PostSecret, this explanation comes up:

    In November 2004, I started the PostSecret Project (view Related Links below). I invited people at subway stations, movie theaters, art galleries and restaurants to write down a secret anonymously on a postcard and mail it to me. There were two requirements: The secret had to be true and it had to be something that had never been shared with another person.

    Over 1,000 people have mailed me their secrets and each one tells a different story with a unique voice. Some are written as though a confidant is whispering it into your ear through cupped hands. But not all secrets are expressed passively. Sometimes while reading a secret, the postcard I hold seems to writhe and flail like a freshly caught fish struggling to escape my grasp and re-enter the cold deep water again.

    Secrets can provoke with their raw emotion or by expressing a politically incorrect idea never heard in everyday conversation. They can appear self-contradictory, ambiguous or shocking. They can challenge us to look past the individual suffering to see the shared humanity. But most of all, secrets can surprise us.

    One secret written on the back of a photograph reads, “I steal small things from my friends to keep memories of how much I love them.” Is this sentiment tragic, funny, heartwarming? Your reaction may surprise you. It may be different from your spouse or friend. It may even change the second time you read it.

    Seeing the soulful revelations of others can evoke in us the secrets we avoid – the ones we chose to forget. Not long after I started reading the postcards I was reminded of a childhood humiliation that had gone untold for over 30 years. I wrote the experience on a postcard, shared it with my wife and daughter, addressed it to myself and physically “let it go” into a mailbox.

    The healing I felt from expressing, mailing and sharing my secret helps me look beyond some of the painful details included in the secrets I read everyday. It lets me understand the relief and solace that can come from releasing a secret. It allows me to see why someone would write down a guarded secret on a postcard and mail it to a stranger.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    You're right Tracy, the site I listed doesn't do the postcard thing.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  8. #8
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    Tracy- yeah that was the one I was posting about. On a similar, yet different approach, here is a site, www.randomaccessmemory.org , where you post memories, then can check for periods of time, and read other's posts, etc. It's kinda cool to sift through posts relating to specific keywords, etc...
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador JJJay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    You're right Tracy, the site I listed doesn't do the postcard thing.

    - Scott
    But its funny as hell, I could not stop laughing at the foloowing,

    "I nearly made a move on my cat. But I swear she started coming onto me.

    Although, perhaps that was because of the acid. It would explain many things in the past hour, like why I'm actually confessing this. And why my ears won't stop yawning."

    http://grouphug.us/confessions/543657517

  10. #10
    Plazan Merchant Neil's Avatar
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    i love when i find threads like this.
    Elbowcreek you have just given me i great idea..
    cheers
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  11. #11
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Back to the main reason for this thread ... traffic generating ideas ... the best thing I've done in the last two months was add a forum to my site. To celebrate the 5th anniversary of my site, and encourage people to join the forum, I gave away five prizes but required that people join the forum to register to win. Getting mostly lurkers right now, but the search engines are picking up and indexing the posts.

    I've always encouraged people to write to me with questions. Then I realized my one-on-one communications were a pot of gold. So, to get things moving I started culling through 1600 emails in my "questions folder" and posting the questions and my responses at the forum. It has helped to encourage more questions, reduced the amount of repetitive questions, and increased my overall traffic and income because when I answer questions about specific products, I include my affiliate code in the links.

    I also find where I would often put off answering email questions, I'm faster to answer questions at the forum because I don't want people to think I'm ignoring them.

    I think that anything that encourages people to interact and bookmark your site will help increase traffic.

  12. #12
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    Good post, Tracy.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I agree that a strong community is key. If you can get people to interact and provide content, you've definitely got something. One of my sites started as a forum and has diversified quite a bit. It's a programming site so I encourage people to submit their code. Each piece of code has a comments area where other programmers provide insight and suggestions for improvement. There's a scoring system in place that rewards quality programmers by listing their screenname and website on my "Experts" page. In order to entice more scores, I tally the number of scores they've submitted and reward those folks with a link on the "Top Reviewers" page. I also tally the number of comments and forum posts each person has made and display this info by their screenname to indicate their authority and dedication to the site. So in other words, creating a little competition definitely helps build a strong community.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  14. #14
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    Got a question about setting up a forum. First is it hard to set up? Second, I've noticed that many forums seem to have the same templete. How much does good forum software cost these days? Thanks.

  15. #15
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    I'm fortunate in that my hosting company provides it for free. All I had to do was click a link, enter a username and password and it automatically set it up for me. Then I went to the user forum (which is huge) for the software and learned a few tricks to tweak it. Change the logo, add Google adwords to the bottom of the pages. I also picked up a fix that allows google to index it.

    If your hosting company doesn't offer it as something you can automatically install, then you can get it for FREE at the company's website: http://www.phpbb.com/. I like that my hosting company offers it, because they also upgrade it when updates come out. Though with every update, I have to go in and put back the Google Adwords and change the logo again.

    It's written in php, which I know squat about. But, once it is installed it is relatively simple to use. You don't really need to know php to use it. If you run into any problems the forum at phpbb is very helpful.

    Also, phpbb is probably the template you are so used to seeing.

  16. #16
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Yeah, but how do you really monitize it? Those posters aren't shoppers. I want more than just traffic. I want shoppers!
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  17. #17
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Because a lot of time they are shoppers that come to my site having a hard time finding something specific and I help them, and I include affiliate code in the links so that I get credit for the sale when they buy.

    Plus it generates goodwill, confidence and return visitors. I am not perceived as somebody who is just trying to push them towards a purchase, but genuinely have a desire to help them find what they are looking for.

  18. #18
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy
    Back to the main reason for this thread ... traffic generating ideas ... the best thing I've done in the last two months was add a forum to my site. To celebrate the 5th anniversary of my site, and encourage people to join the forum, I gave away five prizes but required that people join the forum to register to win. Getting mostly lurkers right now, but the search engines are picking up and indexing the posts.

    I've always encouraged people to write to me with questions. Then I realized my one-on-one communications were a pot of gold. So, to get things moving I started culling through 1600 emails in my "questions folder" and posting the questions and my responses at the forum. It has helped to encourage more questions, reduced the amount of repetitive questions, and increased my overall traffic and income because when I answer questions about specific products, I include my affiliate code in the links.

    I also find where I would often put off answering email questions, I'm faster to answer questions at the forum because I don't want people to think I'm ignoring them.

    I think that anything that encourages people to interact and bookmark your site will help increase traffic.
    Tracy, do you think it is necessary to email the person that asked the question before posting to ask them if it is OK? What did you do? I am thinking of doing the same thing as I answer a lot of one-on-one questions for one of my sites. I don't have 1600, more like 30 or so.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  19. #19
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    Most questions are things a lot people ask so I didn't think I needed permission. Also, some are so old the email address isn't good any more even if I wanted to ask permission. There were others that when I did try to answer them, the email bounced back at me because I wasn't on the person's AOL buddy list.

    I respect the person's privacy. I use the "quote" feature to reprint the text of the original email. But only used the person's first name or initial as the signature. Then I followed with the text of my response.

    Yeah, 1600 is a lot of emails. But that's over five years, and a lot of them are repetitive questions, which I got tired of answering over and over again. That's why this works so beautifully. Somebody writes, "where can I find ..." and I post one response with a link, and everybody can see it ... plus it sort of adds content to my site and food for the search engines.

  20. #20
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Thanks Tracy for the info! This sounds like a good idea.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

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