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Networking builds character.I'm a Webmeister by trade. It's a fun job, but more important to me, it's a fun hobby. It's given me the ability to extend my need to publish "stuff" to a whole new level. I've always enjoyed sharing my own ideas with other people. Not that I feel my ideas are brilliant or anything, It's just always been fun to share my ideas and get feedback from people and hear about their ideas. It energizes my creative center and I continue to try and improve my own skills for the next round of exchange.The web has given is a direct line of communication between what we publish and the readers who end up with the finished goods. We can publish on our own schedule with minimal resources and within minutes of publication, feedback can be obtained. Results may vary, natrually, but the concept is sound.

Content sites have been sprining up all over the web for the last couple of years. Strong sites, especially in the online gaming circles, have hit the lofty goal of getting paid to run their sites. How much they get paid depends on how many visitors. So dependingon the popularity of the site would determine how much dough you collected to run your project. But the cost of running a high quality site is quite cheap. In fact, you can get started with only the investment of time.

So more and more of these content rich sites began to spring up. To a degree, deviding up the viewers into a wider range of sites. True, most visitors to a site of one kind most likely hit the rest of them in their daily patrol of their favorite websites. So naturally from this sprang Networks of sites with similiar interests who paid member sites for their participation and, most importantly, their content.These companies were some of the first dot com companies around. Other's of coruse followed. Again, the low cost of doing business on the web is a honey pot that most can't pass up. As with the first gold rush in California, too many came to the valley only to find fools gold. People started fighting over claims of land and eventually the veins of gold dried up. Even back then, a few oportunists found a way to combine groups of gold diggers to increase their chances of hitting the jack pot.

The dot com companies started buying each other up, but some too quickly with little research. They bought up projects there were going nowhere fast. Profits feel short of expectations and investors went back to solid blue chip investments leaving the web's "Network" sites in a pay day free fall.With layoffs in even the biggest companies who tried to step into the dot com game, who will be left standing when the dust settles? Those people who held on to their dream of publishing their ideas on the web.

You don't need a network to pay you. A network should work for you, not the other way around. We are looking at a new trend. Actually, two trends. One, like in the real world, bigger companies, like Wizards of the Coast, are buying up the major gaming companies and their products. Their precense on the web is secure. The RPG business has always been a very small audience compared with other main stream forms of intertainment. WOTC now has a huge advantage. They own a huge percentage of a small market. They've managed to consolidate resources and game lines. They have become a huge producer of rpg materials. They will servive the dot com free fall.

The whole world seems to be cutting staff as of late. NBC dropped nearly 600 jobs. Even WOTC, our Giant in the rpg arena cut quite a few jobs. It's simple math. Just how many people do you need doing the same job. Companies often jump before they walk. The web is no exception and it truely offers you a much better way of doing business.

No matter what you do online as a business, your website needs to be a part of your staff. It can do the work of dozens of employees. Employing the right software (much of which you can find and use absolutely free) and empowering your employees to use this vital tool are paramount to your companies success. Even if it's a hobby site, like my own, you can run it like it was owned by any of the biggest publishing companies around. Choose your tools wisely. And network your resources! Share them with your partner sites.

Networks are failing because they believe you should be working for them. It's the exact opposite. I run a network of sites. The purpose of the network is to promote the member sites. We don't charge for them to be a part of the network, nor do we pay for member sites. We do howewer promote them at every turn. Each site helps promote the others. Everyone wins. It's up to each site to figure out how to get paid to do it, if that's their goal. And we are always glad to help. Our number one goal is to get visitors to our member sites. In doing so, we make every tool in our arsenal available to our member sites. Allow them to control as much of the network as possible. As members, they are empowered to help shape the future of the netowrk an take an active part in any decision made about the network and what direction it should take. Having partner sites is very important in creating a community that works, and works well for everone.And commmunity is the key indeed. Why should I re-create the wheel? I shouldn't. I run a fairly active literary site, as do many other people on the web. Literature sites fall into that close knit group of sites much like comic book sites, tv show fan sites, music sites, gaming sites and many other's, who form tight niches with their fans. Most of my visitors also visit my friends sites. So why compete with them? I've got arrangements with sites similiar to mine where we don't try to duplicate our efforts. They keep their specialty, I keep mine and we all get visitors. Promote your partner sites. Show your visitors your affiliated with others and they will feel that sense of community and you will soon see that you have a more loyal base of visitors. Much like the reason you have a site, they like to feel part of it. Give them every opportunity to be a part of it!

Next week I'm going to cover a few of the essential tools every web publisher should have and how to make them really work for your site. Odds are you already have most of them. I'll help you realize their true potential.

Chrispian Burks (The Crowe) lit.org - Super-heroes.net

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Chrispian H. Burks
Lit.Org Owner / Founder
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Comments

The following comments are for "Spinning the Web"
by Chrispian

Thanks Chris.
Our leader has spoken...and extrememly well I might add. I'm so glad you posted this...we old timers know what a genuine, talented, trustworthy guy you are...and I'm delighted that the rest of Lit will get to know you and love you as we do!

Lit is so well respected on the web now...I can't wait to see how far we can go with you at the helm.

Love to Aeryn
Bea

( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: November 1, 2008 )

Speaking of Chrispian!
I'm digging through the archives today, and I found, of all things, some of Chrispian's writings.

This piece was fantastic, and although it was written in 2001, I think what he wrote here is timeless, and still holds true.

Hopefully, everyone on litdotorg will hit on this through my comment on the comment reel, and give it a read-through.

It gives me ideas for growing our community.

Ochani

( Posted by: OchaniLele [Member] On: June 20, 2009 )





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