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Forum Moderators: lawman
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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'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.
>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 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,
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.
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.
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
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