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Volume 1 Issue 14 7-14-06

For those who would like to read this in HTML format, this issue of Boomer eZine is posted on the Boomer eZine website at http://www.boomer-zine.com/V1I14_071406.htm and on the Boomer eZine Blog at http://boomer-ezine.blogspot.com.  

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Volume 1 Issue 14 7-14-06  

For those who would like to read this in HTML format, this issue of Boomer eZine is posted on the Boomer eZine website at http://www.boomer-ezine.com/V1I14_071406.htm and on the Boomer eZine Blog at http://boomer-ezine.blogspot.com.

Table of Contents for this issue.....

1.    Author’s Comments

2.    Yahoo Widgets

3.    Building a Website


Author's Comments  

This week has been a tough one.  On my day job, I am the chief operating officer of a technology company that makes a high tech shipping container for shipping temperature sensitive products.  We manufactured and shipped the first five units of a new model container on Thursday, and it was an intense week getting all the bugs worked out of the manufacturing process.  We have a great crew at our plant and it all worked out well.  These units will be used to ship vaccine for children’s vaccination programs around the Pacific Rim .  

Another highlight of the week was a shipment of two units of a larger model of our containers to NASA.  These will be used in August to transport material from Huntsville , Alabama to the Cape .  This material will be loaded on Shuttle Atlantis for repairing the minute cracks on the leading edges of the wings of the shuttle.  As you can see, I have an interesting day job.  

Yahoo Widgets  

Last week when I was researching RSS for Boomer eZine V1 I13, I checked many RSS readers and finally settled on a very clean, simple one that I am now using.  In the process, I learned about a really neat thing and that is Yahoo Widgets.  

Let’s go the Wikipedia for a definition:

Yahoo! Widgets is a free JavaScript runtime engine for Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows, previously called Konfabulator, but subsequently bought by computer services company Yahoo!. The runtime engine runs small applications referred to as Widgets, and hence is part of a class of software applications called widget engines. It combines its JavaScript engine with an XML document structure that can be used to author custom Widgets.

Note the uppercase "W" in Widget; this is the proper use of capitalization when referring to the actual applets that Yahoo! Widget Engine runs. The aforementioned use of capitalization is unique to this particular widget engine.  

To use Widgets, you go to http://widgets.yahoo.com and download the Widget engine.  This gives you the platform on your PC to run any of the many Widgets that are available.  Yahoo says that there are thousands of Widgets.  I am using three now.  One for local weather on my desktop, MultiNewsReader to read my RSS feeds, and an analog clock on my desktop.  

Some of these are helpful and some are just fun.  Check it out and see if there is a Widget for you.  

Building a website  

This is a tough subject to tackle since there are so many reasons for setting up a site and so many options for building one.  I will not attempt to guess your reasons for wanting to build a website, but let’s explore the options for building one.  

If you want to have presence on the Net and you want to build it quickly and cheaply, use www.blogger.com  and set up a blog.  This will give you a unique URL that is yours to use.  It does not cost anything and you can set it up in just a few minutes.  It does not have the status that a domain name with dot com after it, but you need to evaluate your needs.  This might be a way to feel your way into business on the Net.  As an example, we post the Boomer eZine in a blog on Blogger at our own URL http://boomer-ezine.blogspot.com.  

If you want your own website, you will need to get your domain name in the form of domain name.???.  The last letters will be .com, .org, .net. .biz, etc.  You can get a domain name from a multitude of registrars as cheaply as $1.95 per year, but there is usually a “hook” with that low a price.  The norm is about $6.95 for a year.  Go to Google and search for “domain name” and stand back for the flood of advertising that will overwhelm you.  

You can find many website hosts on the Net that will host your website for next to nothing each month.  As an example, we use one host that will host unlimited domains for $2.95 per month.  We are really just “parking” the domain names there until we have time to build them out.  Go to www.boomer-success.com and see the web page that lists them.  As we decide to build them, we move the hosting to a larger, more capable web host.  

If you just need a few pages on your site and you are not concerned about getting search engine traffic to your site, you can find numerous sites that will host your domain for a few dollars per month.  

However, if you are building a site that you want to create income for you in the future, I recommend that you consider using Site Build It (SBI).  

In Boomer eZine V1 I6 I wrote about starting our SBI site.  That was June 6.  I wrote follow up articles in several issues following that date.  Here it is almost two months later and there are 18 pages built in www.retirement-jobs-online.com.  We already have three number one positions for keywords on the MSN search engine.  We are getting hits from Yahoo and Google, but our page ranking is not as high with them as the MSN engine yet.  These will take more time.  All the feedback on how our keywords are doing and our position with the various SE’s (I will abbreviate search engine as SE in the remainder of this article) is on reports that we get as a part of the SBI management tools.  

My Personal Experiences with Web Sites  

Let me give you a little of my own experience with building websites so you will better understand my appreciation of SBI.  

I built my first website in 2000.  I registered the domain www.jhowe.com and used Microsoft Front Page to build a very basic website to give me a presence on the Internet and to give me a dot com name to use for my personal email.  

Since the, I have built several other websites using Front Page for the HTML editor.  I will be the first to admit that I do not program in HTML, but use Front Page which is called a WYSIWYG editor.  This stands for “what you see is what you get”.  With this type of editor, you develop the page that you want to see and the editor converts it into the HTML to make it appear as you have created it.  

I built these sites and used the premise “build it and they will come” and guess what, they didn’t!  

In a bricks and mortar business, the physical location of the business is the all important factor for success.  On the Internet, location is also important, but the “location” is your page’s ranking with the SE’s such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN.  Off line, you find a location where the customers go by your store and see it and stop in.  On the Net, your customer finds you when he/she is searching for information.  The SE’s are how the searching is done, and if you are in the top 10 sites presented by the SE, you may have the customer come to your site.  If you are not on the first page of the search results, you are invisible.  

Site Build It has so many services bundled with it, that it I cannot list them all for you in this issue, but the most important in my judgment is its handling of the SE’s for you.  

It helps you build each page and analyzes it for content organization so that the page will be best presented to the SE spider (SE program that checks your page for content to rank it in the SE).  SBI then handles the submission of the page to Google, Yahoo, and MSN.  It keeps track of when the spider visited your page, what the ranking is, etc.  It provides you with a traffic report that tells you the number of visitors you had and evaluates the traffic for each page.  It tells you on which page a visitor entered your site and the exit page from which the visitor left.  These are the statistics that you need to improve your site and make decisions about how to improve it.  

Sir Francis Bacon said, “Knowledge is power.”  In the case of working on the Net, that is true.  SBI give you the support and knowledge to evaluate your site and improve it based on the information that it provides.

I hope you can see from my excitement over the capability of SBI that I plan to build all of our future commercial sites using SBI.  It automatically handles so many of the small details for me that I would otherwise have to remember to do for myself if I were building the site in the conventional manner.  

On the surface, SBI appears to be relatively expensive, but do not let the initial impression fool you.  You need to really study what you get with SBI that are extra costs or are not supplied by the “cheaper” web hosts.  Linda and I are both of Scots heritage and that naturally makes us frugal.  We would not be planning to use SBI for our future web sites if we did not think that we were getting full value for our money.  

I strongly suggest that if you are planning to build a major commercial website for your business that you research SBI in depth.  For more information about SBI, go to http://buildit.sitesell.com/boomer.html.

That wraps up our issue for this week.  Until next week, stay tuned.  

John and Linda Howe  


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