|By Robert Diamond||
|July 26, 2000 12:00 AM EDT||
Living on Internet time proves more and more interesting every day. Sometimes it seems the online world is moving so fast that were I to sleep late one day, I might wake up and find that I'd missed an entire revolution - or at the very least another "correction" to the stock market before which I ought to have sold!
When speaking about the market and about new technology, the word innovation always comes up - because that's the politically correct thing to tout. But what lies beneath the innovation? Money...very possibly lots of it.
Appearing on CNN's financial news and saying you're in it to get rich isn't well advised. The desire to have more, get more, make more and spend more - all while working less - is the new American dream. Everyone I know, from programmers to Web page designers to those doing data entry are doing more than just watching this incredible growth with fascination; they're all trying to get in on it - any way they can.
Hardly a day goes by, or a dinner or even a simple night out, without a friend pulling me aside. "What do you think of this?" "What the Internet needs is ..." Or best of all (and my personal favorite): "I've a great new idea that'll make us both rich." Sure it will. They've come up with an idea, ranging from mundane to brilliant, have done a quick Web search to see if it already exists and have usually already gone through the final and seemingly most difficult stage of starting a new business - picking a virgin domain name. Network Solutions records a new registration about every five seconds - and while every domain name isn't taken, it often seems that every one that makes logical sense has been. (A word of advice on that subject: keep your eyes on international domain name resellers like .CC, they seem poised to catch on. Picking up a few key domains there surely couldn't hurt....)
Okay, back to the story. Our dot-com gazillionaire wannabes have now safely registered FantastikIdea12345.com (fantastic with the typo was all they could get their hands on) and with their big plan in mind...they're all ready to go.
What they need next is someone to make the site and that's usually where I fit into the picture. Having followed the world of ColdFusion with a tad of interest they're positive that no matter what site they want to create, ColdFusion can do it, that it can do it fast and probably without going over the budget (also known as their credit card limit). What's great about CF is that, in the majority of cases, they're right. While not always the best solution for a site, and while using it alone mightn't be the most scalable of ideas, CF almost always can be made to work. (On the topic of when ColdFusion isn't the right choice, there was a great article by Ben Forta a few issues ago that I highly recommend: "When Not to Use CF" [CFDJ, Vol. 2, issue 2, available in our online archives at http://www.sys-con.com/coldfusion/article.cfm?id=78.])
After the site has launched comes the hardest part of the process and the one that no one has developed a formula or an exact science for as yet...getting traffic to the site. The greatest site is only as great as the people coming to it, and if they don't know it's there, then they certainly aren't coming to it. There are several grand options available for those with large amounts of funding, such as purchasing a $100,000 ad on Yahoo!'s main page or buying an even more astronomically expensive national primetime television ad (SuperBowl, anyone?). For those on a shoestring budget the choices are much slimmer - and potentially less effective. The goal of most marketing campaigns is to create word-of-mouth buzz and the best way to do that, big or small, is to make a good site: one that works reliably and provides visitors with value they can't obtain elsewhere. I'm a firm believer that if you build it well, people will come. As the early summer stock market shake-ups have shown, what is rewarded most is profits (big surprise). But how do you generate the profits? With a well-done site, of course. We here at CFDJ are dedicated to helping you create just that.
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