Tue Sep 27, 2005 9:21 pm
I've been 'lurking' long enough, time to contribute.
This post is a combination of an introduction and a kudo to SiteSell. I realize I should probably split the post up into two: one for each category 'Hi I'm from...' and 'Kudos', but as you'll see, one leads into the other, so I'll put it here.
By day, I am a scientist (specifically, I work in solar physics). Among other things (to what's relevant here), I have been involved in many aspects of producing web content, both large and small, for quite some time (15 years). Most notably, I've designed web sites that serve large quantities of solar data, process user requests for many data products, query databases, provide public education outreach to the community, and serve information to the scientific community. These efforts required that I become proficient in all aspects of web programming, design, user interfaces, and implementation including PERL cgi scripting, SQL database design, yada yada blah blah...
Admittedly, all my experience has been in the scientific and educational categories of the internet (as opposed the commercial uses), but they are rather sophisticated uses and require 'leading edge' technologies to implement. Well, that's enough of my resume, moving on...
I know it sounds like I'm bragging and I really don't mean to, but I wanted to let you know that I'm coming from an 'expert webmaster' point of view to say: that in spite of the fact that I feel I can make websites do whatever I want them to do, I still chose SBI.
When it came time for me to choose a hosting provider for my wife's site, like everybody else, I looked for the best value I could find. All hosting providers offered more or less the same thing: x amount of bandwidth and diskspace for x dollars per month. The only thing that differed was the details of some of the features: number of email addresses, perl modules installed, number of mySQL databases, cpanel interface, etc...
I could get all the website functionality I could ever want for $4.95 per month. I still chose SBI.
In monitoring the websites we maintained, I became proficient in understanding what would 'sit right' with Yahoo, Google and more recently, MSN. Our scientific websites were all well received in the community and scored very high in all search engines. Scientists, students and the general public all visitied us when they were researching the sun or wanted pictures, etc. We have thousands of visitors per day, sometimes tens of thousands. Google lives on our sites.
I feel I understand SEO very well and could score any webpage highly in the search engines. I still chose SBI (for this, I especially chose SBI).
If there's one thing I've learned in my experiences with the internet, is that the web is nothing more than a tool. An amazing tool to be sure, but a tool nonetheless. Like a shovel, it just sits there unless you actively do something with it. Nothing that has come before has allowed so many people to gain a worldwide audience like the web has. Gutenberg would be proud (and envious).
All a person has to do now is have an idea or opinion and upload a document and voila, instant worldwide audience.
It's not really that simple is it? If it were, everybody would be famous just by virtue of having published their opinions on a web page or blog.
A worldwide audience for the average person is still out of reach because you still need a specific skillset to succeed on the internet. A skill set which I possess but my wife does not.
And that's why I chose SBI.
Now, she is on a level playing field with the best programmers and SEO'ers there are. She get's high spots on the SE's because of what she gets here, her pages get read because of what she gets here, her website rises above the noise because of what she gets here. SBI is the Gutenberg press of the internet. The average person can now be heard.
Another reason I chose SBI is that all of my web efforts, while successful, were not designed to make money, it would have been inappropriate. This system is set up from the beginning to allow a person with an idea to not only get noticed on the internet, but to profit from it. All tools provided are geared toward that goal.
Miriam looks at it as if the money she has paid to SiteSell just hired her a team of programmers and SEO'ers who work on stuff she could care less about. She focuses on creative writing and leave the details to the team of professionals she just hired.
Yes, I could have done a lot of this stuff for her, but that would have been a huge commitment, one that I'm was loathe to make. Further, I hate re-inventing the wheel, if someone else already has a proven system in place, why do it again? $299.00 is a bargain, I'm worth WAY more than that.
My main motivation for writing this is that in my lurking on these forums, I have become dismayed by many posts of 'expert' web masters decrying the so-called limitations of SBI. I wanted to offer another voice to those amazing webmasters (like Marc Liron), who are experienced, who can make webpages jump through all kinds of amazing hoops, and yet become customers of SBI, not in spite of those skills, but because of them.
Our skills allow us to see the value in SBI. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to any other expert out there. Even expert mechanics pay other mechanics to do their work for them if it saves them time and money. And for the average person, you won't get anywhere near the exposure you get from SBI anywhere else, at least not for $299.00.
I have purposefully stayed out of these forums for over a year now because I wanted to test the SiteSell system without getting a lot of traffic from the forums. I'll post how that went another time.
I will say now that Miriam's site is making WAY more money than we initally expected. Who would have though that from a creative writing site? Apparently Ken did.
Finally, I would offer that when you read negative posts from experts who claim SBI is limited, your question should always be: relative to what? Sure, there is no 'advanced functionality' (whatever that means) build into the Site Builder, but there is more than state-of-the-art stuff behind the scenes in terms of getting your website above the noise.
If you are out to make money on the internet, there is way more to consider than whether or not you have direct ftp access and php scripting capability. Having those tools doesn't equal making money - in fact, I would argue are almost irrelevant.
SBI provides the relevant tools to making money on the web.
Thanks for reading.