|Newcomers, are you finding what you need?|
Moderators worry about you. Needlessly?
WebmasterWorld has become like the British empire in the days of Queen Victoria. The sun never sets upon it. By the time littleman is being tucked in, Woz is already doing his morning calisthenics. When henki and I wade to work through slush in icy winds, pete and tiempos are turning on the air conditioning. And eljefe3 is taking his afternoon dip in the Andaman Sea, wondering how the Americans will react to his morning postings, when they wake up.
Newcomers register all the time. You can see them passing by, top right on the home page. Some of them are seasoned SEO executives from the four corners of the world. Others are experienced webmasters taking their first uncertain steps into the as yet uncharted realm of SEO. Others again, newbies wondering when someone is going to explain what an url is. They find 17.000 posts in 25 foras. Reading up on them is probably out of the question. A lot of it is very high level, since WmW is aimed at professionals. Some of it very basic and useful, but perhaps not always easy to find. Some of it is very lighthearted, like here in the land of Foo.
For the past couple of days, the moderators have been discussing if we are doing enough to help newcomers. It is a matter of great concern to us. All kinds of ideas have been tossed around. Now we need more input, from the people who have just made the experience. Tell us please.
To answer your question; YES, YES, emphatically YES! Being fairly new to the SEO field I stumbled across this forum a few months ago in my quest for more knowledge in this field I now humbly call my "profession".
While I had actively read and sometimes participated in some of the other forums out there (who shall remain nameless), I felt that at WebmasterWorld I had reached a new plateau -the next level so to speak. Now, I don't mean to knock the other forums; they were and still are great places to learn and cut your teeth, but the level of professionalism at WebmasterWorld is staggering, and there are virtually no ego clashes or outright flaming that unfortunately seem to pervade some of the other forums.
Don't ever feel that you are not giving adequate advice or spending enough time answering questions. My hope is to one day be able to stand among you worthy veterans of the SEO Wars and consider myself a peer.
Keep up the great work!
Tom Veltri (AKA Rockintom)
The level of discussion is definitely very advanced but this is one of the aspects that makes this forum so valuable. There are several other forums, sites, books and resources where newbies can find the answers to the basic questions. However, most everything else stops at a certain level (essentials such as meta tags, submissions, KW Density, KW research, etc). This is where WmW comes in. This is the place where newbies can get the necessary information to step it up and take their operation to the next level.
Also, I've rarely seen an unanswered thread, regardless of the question. It's obvious to me that the "PROS" make it a point to help out newbies.
So, THANKS everybody for your help and for the high level of discussion in this forum, for all the informative posts, articles, ideas and opinions. You are all doing MORE than enough!!!
I'll ditto 2_much's remarks. WMW is great!! Thanks to all who post in WMW for sharing your knowledge.
>It's obvious to me that the "PROS" make it a point to help out newbies.
Yes, they do. I'd say they all remember what it was like when they first got a whiff of the concept of SEO and went out searching for a 'quick answer.'
>This is the place where newbies can get the necessary information to step it up and take their operation to the next level.
That's one of Rencke's concerns... everyone's concern, and not just for newbies. Are you finding the resources? How long, for instance, did it take to find Brett's SearchEngineWorld (or vice versa)? WebmasterWorld now sprawls over many, many acres. Whether a seasoned publisher, a pro seeking to tune/update his skills, or a newbie, this place must seem overwhelming when you first raise the hood and peek underneath.
<this place must seem overwhelming when you first raise the hood and peek underneath>
Awe inspiring rather than overwhelming. The eagerness of everyone to help one another is apparent from the get go, and although operates at a higher level than many other forums it feels like a comfortable pair of shoes in a very short period of time.
You got that right! It is VERY overwhelming, and it entails a certain degree of "committment" from a newcomer's part to get an overview of what they're looking for due to the sheer amount of information available.
Most importantly, all the tools and resources are THERE, available to whomever wants to dig around and do some research. Brett's SEW (very visible) provides great information, tools and resources. What isn't covered there can be found by digging in the forums through the search feature or by going to each individual forum and reading all the threads.
To me, this is definitely a "do-it-yourself" forum. When I post a question, I use people's replies as a starting ground, and then it's my responsibility to go from there. This system is very effective because it instigates newbies to do our own research. This consolidates the information more effectively than if the answers were hand fed.
Rencke, RC, you guys are doing an absolutely fantastic job here. You can't do more than provide the resources.
I have to say I am so happy to have found this forum. I am not even a year old with the net. The one thing I learned early on was that this net thing is changing constantly. I have hung out in other places to learn and did learn some things. You guys seam to be looking ahead with your posts not just with the attitude of thats how it is. I like the fact that you have experts hanging out here in all areas of web development. As with any business or club its all about people. Thank you for making me feel welcome. Over time I hope to be one who helps, not just the one who needs help.
Thank you for the comments in this thread.
> I've rarely seen an unanswered thread
That is certainly one of our goals. There is little to net forum usage that is more depressing than leaving a post in a busy forum and receiving no reply.
Even if we don't know the answer, that is itself still an answer. Even if the post is completely offtopic, we do try to point people in the right direction: seen any spiders lately [webmasterworld.com]?
For those who want a bit more look behind the curtain, here is the first working draft of our WebmasterWorld handbook [webmasterworld.com] for admins and moderators. More an instruction manual at this point, but growing. I know there are moderators who probably just spit out their coffee that I dropped that url, but I think an open policy is the only policy. Any feedback on that document can be sent to me directly via net email or the now popular StickyMail.
Back to the topic: New users.
We have considered a "help me" forum, and will probably forgo that for awhile longer. One of our main goals is to attract the professional Webmaster and SEO industry folks to the system. That is the main quality that sets us apart from the other places. It keeps the message quality high and the information reliable. That doesn't by itself rule out newer users - we aren't elitists by any means, but it does mean we are aware of it and trying to offer avenues of participation for everyone. It is a concern to me, because we probably have one of the highest regular lurker-to-poster ratio's on the net.
>You guys seam to be looking ahead
Chess is my favorite game. Always trying to see what the other is doing when it is right in front of you and already on the board.
YES we are getting the info we are looking for. I have learned heaps since arriving and try to help out where I can.
>You guys seam to be looking ahead
Bit of philosophy here; physically the brain lives in the past. It is an amazing information retrieveal and indexing system, but can only work with concrete information, that is, information about something that has already happened. Notice I said "the brain", not "the human brain".
What sets humans apart from animals is our unique ability to overcome that barrier and project ourselves into the future.
However, not everyone uses that ability, which is a shame.
We have all heard about there being three types of people:-
1- Those who make things happen
2- those who watch what happens, and
3- those who say, "what happened" with a nonplussed look on their faces.
Types 3 & 3 live in the past, making decisions based purely on the information their brain has collected and repeating the same actions (mistakes?) again and again.
Type 1 people are able to use that information but they "live in the future", they have vision.
I believe the people using this board are type 1 people, living in the future and willing to learn whatever they need to learn to succeed. And they help people along the way. It is also well known that you can get anything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.
I congradulate Brett on putting these fora together, and congratulate and thank moderators and posters alike for all the information and ideas they post. If everyone else learns only 1 tenth of what I have learned here, then they are well ahead in the ball game.
Thank you all
I came here around 8-10 months ago (basicly a month or so after I launched my site). I stumbled here from Buddy Links. I had no clue what SEO was. I was/am trying to do it all (makes for some long days)as our site is a help to the "retirement fund". I have been active in forums/BBS's/Chat rooms and the most important factor here was...no flaming (or at least it is kept in the moderators/admin forum ;)). It makes a difference.
I lurked for a month to get the "feel" here, made my first newbie SEO post and have always thought of these forums as a sounding board for problems I do not know the answers to. I, after a while, tried to answer anything I could offer a semi-sound opion on (again with no flames.)
I have never stuck with a site this long and I think all the above reasons from other posts sum it up. You folks do not have an "elitist" view and that is what makes us "lurkers" (IMHO) come forward and stay.
Thanks for the knowledge,
mind if I pick that one up and highlight it?
...and the most important factor here was...no flaming
We read you loud and clear on that one, in particular. It reminds me of those old westerns
|Gentlemen, you are welcome to have your fun at this saloon, but the sheriff says you will have to check your egos at the door. |
GWJ nailed it, there is no flaming, no "elitist" view. I know in other forums there were many times I wanted to help someone by answering a question and chose not to because of this.
I think if you ever reach the point of not being willing to learn from someone else you're in trouble.
The support here fosters a community for everyone from newbies to old-timers. It is rare and it is appreciated.
This forum is great! I start every work day with you guys and gals. I couldn't begin to
list what I continuously learn from you all
here. Brett, I would expect nothing less then this great forum from someone from Iowa.
Do I know you? :cool:
Hi Everyone. I really would like to thank you for this forum. I found it 5 days ago while looking for information on Search Engines. I am so grateful for this site.
I just started working in this field 3 months ago and have been given the job to learn how to improve my company's rankings on the SEs. As you all know, this isn't easy and trying to learn it all is even worse. I have read through most of this forum in the past few days and now I feel as if I have a fighting chance at making a fairly intelligent presentation. I realize I still don't
know too much, but at least I know that I am not the only one. And this is a great place to find information.
About it being over the heads of us Newbies:
Well, a lot of it is. But we need to start somewhere. Quite frankly, I've learned a lot by reading over my head. I read what you have to say and then I go in search of more info.
And I'm going to start asking for help, now that I'm not too overwhelmed.
Thank you all.
cf, welcome (out of lurking) to WebmasterWorld. Thanks for your comments.
You mention making a presentation. Conveying a sense of what SEO is about can be a major part of the job, particularly to corporate bean-counters. We had a thread with a few articles, they might help
Thank you, rcjordan.
My presentation is really just a report, I guess. But i do need to present it and from that, decisions will be made on what to do next.
See, I'm still an intern waiting for fulltime. So, the better I make this, the better for me. The more I know, the more valuable I become. (common sense, really)
I just want to do a good and thorough job. And you guys are making it so much easier.
Thank you. :)
I am reading this forum since the very beginning or so, whereas I didn't participate in discussions until I registered last month.
I always thought that it's a great job, and WMW is now way better than most other SE fora.
The new European SE section is a very good idea, and I will be happy to contribute squeezing the best from those 1,3 secs. of daily spare time I have left :)
I guess I can't add more to what others already said, only adding my best wishes and thanks to our really great staff of moderators.
Ettore R. Peyrot