A friend of mine is breaking down and realizing that his friends nagging him to get a website were doing so because they realized he was getting left behind the rest of the world.

I– a System Engineer by day– flatly and mostly refused to help him set any of it up.  I had enough of computers during the day and wasn’t about to hold someone’s hand at night.  Worse, working with him for a few minutes, you realize that he has a complete lack of knowledge of even the basics.

I’m not saying it’s bad– we all have to start somewhere– but to teach Computers 101 after a 10-hour work day should hardly be a method of extortion to prove your love to someone.

I did, however, offer advice on where to start looking if he wanted to hit cyberspace running, and that is what I will shortly write:

Email

Get one.  Get a reliable one.  Get one of each:  Google, Hotmail, -and- Yahoo.  We’ll even get you another one once you get the website setup.  Yeah, yeah, sounds like a headache, I know, but you can have them all forward to one email account.  I am not, of course, going to show you how to do that.

Website

Get one.  Get a reliable host.  Don’t get anything fancy.  Hire the kid down the block to install Drupal or Joomla for you and you’re off to the races.

Once your website is setup, don’t watch the logs, don’t check your email every five minutes, and don’t expect any visitors for years.  That’s right, years.  Get the expectation out of your head right now that you’ll be like Amazon.com.

Social Media:  Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and LinkedIn

Using your new-found email address(es), sign yourself up for all of those sites.  Yep, all of ’em.  You don’t have to do them in one sitting, of course, but just make sure, eventually, you have all of them.

Once you get going you’ll see what everyone sees in it and by this point you are probably checking your stupid crops in Farmville or killing things in Mafia Wars and sending invitations to eeeeeverybody on your “friends” list.

Well, stop that immediately.  Update and logout.

Blog

Since static website become stale but redesigning an entire site is expensive, write a blog along with your static website.  That or some sort of news.  Write articles.  Submit articles to other blogs.  Keep it fresh, keep it constant.

No, all this may not happen overnight; it’s a constant and evolving process.  Just make it a habit and you’ll increase your bottom line by having more exposure to people a brick-and-mortar store might have missed.

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