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February 2012The monthly newsletter by Felgall Pty Ltd

My Word

Different Forums

Quite a few years ago I discovered that if I visited forums and helped others out there by answering the questions where I could that it would give me lots of ideas for new web pages that I could write to provide more extensive answers to the questions that a lot of people are asking.

At one stage I signed up to several different forums in order to gain access to lots more questions that people were asking. I found that if I tried to use too many forums that I would end up spending more time answering questions and less time getting topics to write web pages about. As the latter was one of my main reasons for using the forums in the first place I cut down on the number of forums I visited and just continued with a couple of the ones that were providing me with the most ideas.

Another benefit that I gained from posting on these forums is that the forums allow you to place a link to your web site in a 'signature' at the bottom of all your posts. By making lots of useful posts that provided genuine answers to the questions being asked I would have some of those people make use of that link to visit my site. Some of these people will have decided that the information I am providing is useful enough for them to provide a link from their own site leading to my getting even more visitors. The more posts I have on a given forum the more likely it is that someone searching the forum for answers will find an answer that I wrote and so see a link to my site.

These are two of the ways that I was able to benefit from answering peoples questions on forums.

As time went on I found that there were fewer and fewer new ideas for me to extract from the forum and convert into web pages. Also as the number of answers I provided grew, the additional benefit from each additional post that I made would become less and less. Eventually it reached the point where I appeared to be receiving little benefit from visiting those forums.

I actually stuck with one forum a lot longer than perhaps I should have because the forum had given me access to assist in moderating the forum since I had been visiting it so much. This gave me a sense of contributing something to the forum even though I wasn't really achieving what I went there for in the first place.

When I finally decided to take a break from that forum and visit a different forum instead (going back to one of the other forums I had visited for a while several years earlier) I suddenly discovered that I was once again getting lots of new ideas for web pages from the questions that people posted on that forum. I hadn't realised prior to that point just how different two forums on exactly the same subject might be when it comes to what is being posted there.

Going forward I will definitely not be continuing to visit one forum long past where I am getting anything useful from the visits. After all I can't find another popular forum on the topic that I haven't visited before I can always return to one that I haven't visited in a while and see if that forum has come back to life with presenting me with new ideas for pages I can write and share.

I guess that this approach ought to also be applied in other areas of web use. There is no point in getting stuck in a rut visiting the same web sites over and over past the point where you are getting the benefit that you were after when you started visiting them. It is well worth considering other alternatives. It should be the goal of the site owner to ensure that their content continues to be interesting so as to keep you coming back.
 

On Site

In the last few weeks I have started revisiting many of the pages that I wrote some time ago and have been updating the information they contain so as to hopefully make them more useful. In many cases the rewrite is such that the page contains more than twice as much content as before or has had the existing content effectively replaced. Counting all of those as 'new' pages is the reason why this month's list of new pages is so long. Those that are actually brand new pages rather than a replacement of a prior page are marked (*) so that you can tell the difference between the two groups. I have also started rewriting a lot of the scripts that I wrote some years ago many of which I put on about.com which is one reason why there are lots of JavaScript pages in the list.
 

What's New

The following links will take you to all of the various pages that have been added to the site or undergone major changes in the last month.

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