So you want to be found on the web? — Web Promotions, 101

The purpose of this article is to answer three questions about various web-based promotion tools.

  • What are web-based promotion tools?
  • Why should I care?
  • How do I use them?

This is not intended as a “how to” guide, though I will provide links to additional information for the more technically inclined. Believe it or not, 90% of web-based promotion is really about making connections — the technology is secondary. Mind you, these are electronic connections, but they still make a significant impact on how people can find and learn about you n the Internet.

For this article, I’m going to assume that you already have at least one web-page. For many people, this might not be true (yet), but there are ample ways that you can actually create one, including paying somebody to create one for you. This article focuses on what to do after that first page exists, such that your page or site becomes more visible to the world.

Topics to be covered include:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

What Is It?

SEO is the constellation of behaviors that you perform in an effort to make it easy for your name or website to show up on the top of the list in various search engines.

Why should I care?

If people can’t find you on the internet, then no matter how good your web-site is, it is not serving you as a promotional tool for generating business.

How do I optimize for searching?

SEO is not something you can accomplish over-night. Nor is there any single, magic bullet that will make your pages pop to the top of search rankings. Instead, SEO is accomplished as a byproduct of using many of the techniques described in the rest of this article.

However, from a LIOSian standpoint, the more connections that you have that point to your website, the more likely that your pages are to be found. In behavioral terms, that means that you should have at least one page on your website dedicated to linking with your peers, friends, or associates, and that you should ask them to do the same. (This is sometimes referred to as Link Love)

If you are LIOS student or graduate and would like to share a link with PrimaryGoals, see the Practitioner Referral page and register yourself.

Other Resources

Google Ad-words

What Is It?

Google lets you purchase your place in the search results page based on what people are looking for. You choose a few words or phrases, along with how much you are willing to pay to be listed in the results. You only pay if people click the link to your site.

Why should I care?

It is often quite inexpensive, results are nearly instantaneous, and you only pay for results. Basically, Ad-Words makes you an advertiser on the internet, with your website being the product. Once people reach your site, it’s up to you to sell them on your services. Note that although this only applies to searches on Google, and that there are a large number of search engines, that Google does have the largest market share. You can also restrict your results to only show up for people in your geographic region so that you don’t pay for clicks where you have no interest in working.

How do I use Ad-Words

Full details on Ad-Words can be found here:

Multiple Domain Names

What Is It?

Domain names are the words you type into your browser to find a website (like They are sold on a first-come, first-served basis from companies like GoDaddy,, and number of other companies called Registrars. Most commonly, multiple domain names refers to getting the .COM, .NET, .ORG, and both the singular and plural forms of a domain.  (Yes, that can be 6 domains or more.)

Why should I care?

Buying multiple domain names increase the chance that somebody who wants to contact you will be successful in their attempts to do so. Imagine that you own (which was still available when I wrote this).  You start building your site to make it valuable.  Then, when you are not paying attention, somebody else buys (with an S at the end).  Now, some people that you hope will go to your site will invariably go to the wrong address.  How many times have you written down the name of a site, only to realize it needed an S, or you were not sure if it was a .COM or .ORG?

For an even more clear example, many people hoping to find information on the US Whitehouse entered the address for Whitehouse.COM.  Unfortunately, the government page is actually at Whitehouse.GOV, and for a long time the .COM address was owned by somebody selling items that were inappropriate for minors.

How do I purchase multiple domains?

Purchase subsequent domains the same way you bought the first one — through your registrar.

Note: You can also set up these individual domains to have different starting points within your site, making one page link to another, thus increasing your own link-love.  For example, compare and

RSS – Really Simple Syndication

What Is It?

RSS feeds provide a means for people who view your site to be kept informed about updates without having to provide you with any personal information or registration. Sites that provide RSS feeds usually have one of these icons:   (Clicking these links should allow you to subscribe to the RSS feed on this site… try it!)

Why should I care?

People subscribe to RSS because they want you to keep in touch with them, while also maintaining theiranonymity. Often, people want to know about changes or updates to your site, but they do not want to register or provide you with personal information in order to get it. After all, anytime one provides an E-mail address to a site, one increase the chances of getting more spam. Putting an RSS feed on your site lets people know about updates to your site, thus inviting them to come back again later to see what you just added.

RSS feeds also provide another mechanism by which you can auto-submit changes on your site to a variety of different search engines (see below).  

How do I use RSS?

RSS works like an E-mail distribution list in reverse.   In a distribution list, people subscribe by giving their E-mail address to the list manager, or joining a group (such as Yahoo or Google groups).  Often, everybody on the list can send messages to "the list" and everybody else will get the message, even though no sender knows the address of the other recipients.  With RSS, there is a single place where updates are posted, and subscribers configure their E-mail programs to go check that place periodically.  Only the site admin can post updates, and nobody knows who else is subscribed.

Other Resources

To put an RSS on your site, all you need to do is put a file on your site in RSS format, then update that file to post new messages.

There are a handful of free and low-cost tools available. I recommend FeedForAll ($40) because it is easy to use, feature-rich, and has a 30-day free trial.

Once you have an RSS feed on your site, you should look at Ping-O-Matic, which will automatically let search engines know that you have a new page.


What Is It?

The definitions for a blog are numerous. In simple terms, most blogs contain a series of web-page, a set of tools for adding to or updating pages, a mechanism for visitors to comment on pages, and an RSS feed.

Why should I care?

If you don’t have tools or experience to maintain your own web-pages, blogging sites provide an easy way for you to publish content that anybody can read. Even if you do have a website, blogging tools can make sequential posts and updates easier to manage. They also provide one more place where you can insert links that point back to your primary website.

How do I create a blog?

Go to any of the blog sites found in the Catalog of common blog sites, create an account, and start writing.


What Is It?

There are two different types of site-maps.  The first is a web-page that people look at to get an overview of all the topics and pages on an entire site.  This is like a table-of-contents.  For example, that menu on the left can also be displayed in a sitemap like this.

That works fine when there are less than 30 pages, but what about when a site contains hundreds of pages (Primarygoals has over 1500 pages).  In that case, there is a different kid of site-map that is intended to be read by search engines.

Why should I care?

If you have a significant amount of content, you want to make sure that the search-engines find all of it. The more of your site that is indexed, the greater chance that a search will find a match on your site. Plus, it also allows you to put a search-box on your own site is based on your entire site’s content.

How do I create a Site-Map?

If you are only dealing with a handful of pages, create the site-map by hand. If you use a professional web-site development tool (Go Live, Dreamweaver), these may be able to create this kind of map for you. If you want to create the XML sitemap, Google has a tool you can download to create one for you.

Other Resources

Social Networking Sites

What Is It?

Social Networking is the practice of people linking to each other via any number of on-line tools. Common examples include LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, and a bunch of others.

Why should I care?

By using one or more networking sites, you increase the number of people that you can connect with, either directly or indirectly. However, these sites do not do that much for promoting your own website. The exception is when you our your associates use those tools as an additional source for creating links to your own website. One good example of this is the "Answers" section of LinkedIn. By providing good answers, you can make reference to material found on your own website. Click here for an example.

How do I use Social Networking

Pick a service that you wish to be part of, create an account, and invite your friends. Note that there are two main approaches to using these networking tools. The first approach is to be very selective in who you link with, such that you actually have a connections with or personal knowledge about all of your linked contacts. This approach is more likely to yield "high quality" responses when you search your network for somebody with a particular skill or background.

The second approach favors linking to as many people as possible in an effort to get much greater numbers of people in your network that you might contact. While your breadth of contacts are higher this way, you really have less knowledge about who these people really are.

Social Bookmarking

What Is It?

Social bookmarking is when you save your bookmarks on a web-page that you can access from anywhere. It is differs from regular bookmarking in your browser, in that the latter are saved on your PC. There are more than 30 social bookmarking sites, with some of the better-known being Digg, Favorites, and DELICIOUS.

Why should I care?

These public sites that store your bookmarks create additional links to your site that search engines can index. If lots of people bookmark your pages publicly, these bookmarks can increase the inbound traffic to your site.

How do I use Social Bookmarking

For the most part, social bookmarking is something that your site visitors use, rather than something that you manage yourself. However, you can make it easier for your visitors who already have bookmarking accounts to add your pages to their own lists. One such example is the "Add This" widget shown here.

addthis_url = location.href;
addthis_title = document.title;
addthis_pub = ‘AshleyGuberman’;

If you are new to social bookmarking, please click here for detailed instructions on how to use the bookmarking button above.

Caution: In theory, you could create your own accounts on the bookmarking sites above and create lots of links to your own pages. That could backfire in that it can easily look more like you are screaming for attention rather than that others have found your pages useful. The practice is discouraged.


What Is It?

You may check a more formal definition for CAPTCHA here, but a CAPTCHA tests are those web-pages that make you type what you see in a distorted word picture. Re-Captcha is a free tool that not only lets you mask your E-mail on a web-page, but it also helps translate books for Carnage Melon. To see how, click on my Contact…

Why should I care?

If your website is intended to generate business contacts, you want a way for your viewers to contact you. But if you put your E-mail address on your website, you will soon be bombarded by spam. G-mail, hotmail, and other free E-mail services do a reasonable job with filtering, but spam is still a never-ending battle. Using a separate address for posting on the web is also just a partial solution. The Re-captcha solution above lets real people see your E-mail address without giving it to automated spammers.

How do I use Re-CAPTCHA?

Go to the re-captcha mailhide site, enter your E-mail address, then use the URL that the site provides in place of posting your E-mail address.

Competence Based Training vs. Other Forms of Training

Is there evidence that competence-based training outperform other kinds of training?

Question posed by Marcello Tobar on LinkedIn

Competence-based training is popular nowadays. I wonder if there is enough evidence to state that competence-based training is better for increasing performance of trainees as compared with more traditional training forms (competence understood as a combination of knowledge, skills and attitude). If so, what are key elements to perform successful competence-based training?

This answer by Ashley Guberman was selected as the “Best Answer”

The response from Mr. Lewandowski did an excellent job of identifying most of the key components of various forms of training. An additional resources on training that I have found useful is:

• Training for Impact. How to link training to the business needs and measure the results.

By Cana Gaines Robinson & James C. Robinson

Also, Mr. Fornal was correct in pointing out that beyond the actual training method chosen, that the learning style of the participant is equally important. There is a relatively straight forward instrument called the Kolb Learning Style Inventory (LSI) that focuses on the differences between those who learn from concrete experience (do it), reflective observation (see it), abstract conceptualization (think about it), or active experimentation (trial & error).

Learning Styles Inventory

Prior to embarking on any significant training endeavor in the corporate environment, it helps to step back and evaluate whether the barriers to effective performance are really about the need for training at all. For example, looking at the “Skill vs. Will” matrix can help the individual responsible for performance to evaluate whether the employees need more direction, guidance, responsibility, or motivation in order to be more effective.

Cf.: Skill vs. Will Matrix

Back to the core question of whether training is the solution at all, you may wish to look at the Blumberg Model, which identifies three primary barriers to effective performance: Capacity (skills, ability, knowledge, training), Willingness, and Opportunity. In that model, “Opportunity” is identified as the most commonly missing component to performance. For example, in a customer service call center, suppose that the operators are failing to resolve customer’s issues. Therefore, additional training is provided to address this problem, but resolution rates are still poor. Then it turns out that the operators know exactly what it would take to resolve customer issues, except that they are rewarded on how quickly they end the call, or the number of calls that they take. Operators may even be penalized for taking more time, even if that is what it would take to resolve the issues. Thus, despite now having the skill and will to resolve customer issues, as well as the competence to do so, if the manager insists on keeping the call volume high even at the expense of quality of service, then the operators lack the opportunity to really make use of the capacity that they now possess. In situations where there are other factors that limit effective performance, no amount of training will address the core problem.

Cf.: Blumberg Model

The short answer to whether there is evidence that competence based training outperforms others types would thus be very difficult prove. The truth is probably that it depends a great deal on the environment, and on whether lack of competence is really the core issue to be addressed.


Thinking, Feeling & Meaning Making

Have you met a Telempath?
Question posed by Sujatha Das on LinkedIn

While reading an article, I came across this statement – “Empathy and telepathy are difficult to separate since emotions stimulates thoughts and thoughts stimulates emotions. Telempath is a term for a person that senses and interprets emotions and thoughts as a unified concept.”

Was interested to know your thoughts on this statement?

Have you come across such a person in life?

Have you had any experiences in this?

More of a deliberation mode and sharing thoughts please. I am not looking for a specific answer here, but trying to understand this concept myself.

This answer by Ashley Guberman was selected as a “Good Answer”

Trying to distinguish between thoughts and feelings can be very difficult in English culture because we are very loose with how we use both words through language.

Take a look at this diagram on Meaning Making

We become aware of something through our senses (see, touch, smell, hear, taste).

That triggers both thoughts and emotions at the same time.

We think and evaluate what we sense as part of making meaning of our environment.

We may also have an emotional response to the stimulus.

It gets messy because our emotions influence our thoughts, and vice versa.

Thoughts are in the neocortex of the brain and emotions are in the amigdala, but both are equally real and important.

Then what on earth is a feeling? While perhaps overly simplified, feelings are Mad, Glad, Sad or Afraid.

There are hundreds of feeling words, and a brief sample can be found here: Feeling Words

The point is that “feelings” are the combination of our thoughts and our emotions together, both influencing the other. Based on the quote from your question, we could all be considered “telempaths” to some degree. However, the goal is neither to unify our thoughts and emotions, nor to pull them apart from each other. Instead, it is to have a basic awareness of the relation between thoughts and emotions, to recognize how one influences the other, and to be in a position to choose how to act based on whatever is most appropriate in the moment. The goal is to increase our ability to choose our actions rather than being led by instinct alone. That does not mean denying instinct or analyzing every move. Instead, it means increasing the range of responses we are able to make – increasing our response-ability.

As a simple exercise to see how mixed up thoughts and feelings are in our language, try listening for the phrase “I feel that…” If you hear the word “that” as a feeling, then chances are pretty good that it’s not a feeling at all, but is rather a thought or opinion. For example, if somebody asks “how do you feel about…” and the response is “I feel THAT we should wait,” then what is the feeling? At the risk of reducing it to mere semantics, feeling words are more likely to be in the form “I am” as in “I am afraid,” or “she was enraged,” or “he was happy”.

I am happy that you asked your question.

I think that both thoughts and emotions are equally important.


Mission Statements

Recently, I went to a restaurant called Shari’s, which is part of a national chain.

On a wall in the lobby was a plaque of their "Mission Statement", made of engraved metal on a wooden background. It said something about dedication to customers, quality food, and employees who care.

So we sat down, and I asked our server "Do you know what the Mission Statement for Shari’s is?"

He didn’t even have a clue what I was talking about. I told him it was OK, and that I was just testing a theory that its all just a load of public relations stuff anyway.

So afterwards, we went up front to pay, and they were more than a little busy. The manager came out from the back to ring us up, and I asked him the same question. He stammered a bit, and quickly asked one of the employees with an armload of food to tell me what the Mission Statement was (typical for a manager… delegate in a crunch). The employee frowned at him, and kept going with her food.

I kept looking at the manager, who said "uh… hold on…. I should know this, right?" He processed my charge card, then started saying something vaguely in line with the statement… he knew it has something to do with quality food and customers, but that’s about all he could get out.

So I asked him "Do you at least know where it is posted?" To which he said

"Yeah, we’ve got that thing up in at least a few places around here. There’s one around the corner, I think."


Copyright (C), 2002, by Ashley Guberman

Click here for an automated mission statement generator of your own.