Myth #2: Nobody can find you on the Internet.
The Internet is big. The World-Wide Web, dominated by commercial companies, is growing fast. To a beginner, the Internet can seem huge, scary, and labyrinthine.
But the Internet is becoming easier for beginners to navigate. The World-Wide Web (WWW) has made a lot of difference. As long as you have the URL (Uniform Resource Locator, or World-Wide Web address) of a site, all you do is enter the URL and your software will connect you to the site instantly. Once you find a site you like, you can easily add it to the “hotlist” or “bookmark” list in your software. This way you can call it up anytime without having to re- type it. So you can very quickly become your own expert navigator.
Now to the next step: Many WWW site owners have set up directories, indexes, search tools, and resource pages with instant links to useful sites. Some of these “teleportation sites” provide general listings with many subject categories and entries. Examples are:
Alta Vista (http://www.altavista.digital.com/)
Commercial Services on the Net (http://www.directory.net/)
The Lycos Home Page: Hunting WWW Information (http://lycos.cs.cmu.edu/)
The NetCenter (http://netcenter.com/)
Thomas Ho’s Favorite Electronic Commerce WWW Resources (http://www.engr.iupui.edu/~ho/interests/commmenu.html)
WebCrawler Searching (http://www.webcrawler.com/)
The Whole Internet Catalog (http://gnn.com/gnn/wic/index.html)
Yahoo — A Guide to WWW (http://www.yahoo.com/)
Enter these “top-end” sites in your own hotlist, and you immediately gain all of their capability. These directory sites and search tools will continue to get better and easier to use, so that even new users will quickly become crack navigators.
It might take a little work but you can quickly learn how to find your way around on the Internet — and people can find you — if you set things up right.
To help people find your business site on the World-Wide Web, set up plenty of “pointers.” Negotiate links with other sites. Make sure you’re in the directories and navigation lists, many of which are free. You can figure out how to make the announcements, postings, and listings yourself, or you can have an Internet presence provider do it.
And be sure to promote your Internet presence through conventional offline channels — ads, mailings, brochures, press releases, company stationary, business cards, and packaging.