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Another take on building mindshare for the SHS...

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  • David Neeley
    Greg et al.: I ve done some more thinking about your recent question regarding attracting more folks to the Small House Society and its various incarnations on
    Message 1 of 9 , May 1, 2011
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      Greg et al.:

      I've done some more thinking about your recent question regarding
      attracting more folks to the Small House Society and its various
      incarnations on the Web.

      Frankly, I think you are being ill served by having it at the
      "resourcesforlife" site. While I understand full well how attractive the
      idea of some sort of generic, umbrella site that can be a potential host
      for various interests in addition to small houses might be, in my
      opinion that is a strategic mistake in this case. However, there is a
      very simple fix.

      As you know, the small and tiny house movement have mushroomed over the
      last several years. Interest continues high among many people, and new
      folks are looking into it all the time. However, when they do their
      searches, the key words front and center should be "small houses" or
      "tiny houses." Having a domain name with either term would make things
      far easier to keep from being lost in the blizzard of sites out there
      now. (I just checked my RSS reader, and presently in my "livingsmall"
      folder I have 48 different sites).

      As it stands, from a website perspective, having the SHS as a secondary
      heading under "resources for life" simply buries it for many newbies
      searching for small housing resources.

      Whether you use a free host such as WordPress.com or a self-hosted site
      on a paid service, you can have an individual site for the SHS--with
      plenty of links if you wish to any other content you host on
      resourcesforlife.com.

      As you know, there are many other steps that can be taken for search
      engine optimization--but the first step is to have a more specific
      domain name.

      Once you do, I would suggest finding a few guest blogging gigs with some
      of the more active small/tiny house blogs. That would also help drive
      folks to the SHS site...and cross links both ways would also help
      greatly on those blogs that do not currently have such a link.

      I hope this helps!

      David
    • Gregory Paul Johnson
      David, Thanks for this suggestion. What you present below is precisely the advice I give as a web designer and consultant. It usually results in higher search
      Message 2 of 9 , May 1, 2011
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        David,

        Thanks for this suggestion. What you present below is precisely the advice I give as a web designer and consultant. It usually results in higher search engine rankings, and it's typically easier and more effective to create, design, and manage a website with a narrower focus such as bicycles, computers, nutrition, weight loss, or small house living. It's also more likely to build an online following, and RSS feeds would provide more focused news.

        The ResourcesForLife.com website is a bit of an anomaly in this regard. Because the domain is over 10 years old, and an original owner domain that's consistently been rated and ranked high, a simple blog post on a topic will generally show up in Google almost immediately and rise above competing sites that use keywords in their domain name, page name, tags, and categories.

        For example, PoliticalResourceGroup.com would typically do better than a site that didn't have political resource group in the top level domain name. However, a Google search on Political Resource Group results in ResourcesForLife.com having the #1 position out of 6.2 million, with PoliticalResourceGroup.com being #3. The same is true for a search on Small House -- there are 6.2 million results with ResourcesForLife.com being #1. The ResourcesForLife.com sometimes ranks above Wikipedia and other top tier websites on certain subjects.

        So, for those wanting long-term impact on the web, multiple category sites can be useful. This is why a large number of the top sites on the Internet are multi-topic websites: http://www.quantcast.com/top-sites

        Many people come to ResourcesForLife.com for other reasons, and are delighted to discover SHS there. It's like the difference between being a store at a shopping mall or being a stand-alone business without walk-through-traffic.

        So, while it might make sense to turn ResourcesForLife.com into multiple websites that are more focused (one of those being a small house movement site), I've kept the site as a group of groups in hopes it would become more than the sum of its parts.

        All that said, I'm still intrigued with the idea of having another small house website that's more dedicated and focused on the topic. In this way, SHS would have a hybrid presence on the web.

        In the past I'd been hesitant to launch too many sites since each one requires domain registration, hosting fees, and some administration that's duplicated. However, as WordPress.com has really become a very viable alternative to the traditional GoDaddy or Network Solutions hosting that can cost upwards of $160 annually. With WordPress.com a person can spend $17 a year for hosting and setup a site in a few hours.

        Early on in the movement, there were some discussions about creating a monopoly presence on the web. Since SHS was (in prominence) kind of the first to market with this concept (to use retail terms), the advice people were giving is to NOT allow splinter groups, but try to beat out all competition and become the best, biggest, and only one-stop-shop for all things related to the Small House Movement (offering books, plans, homes, social networking, etc.) I was told that allowing multiple websites and online groups would diffuse the movement. I gave this much thought, and decided instead to run as fast as I could in the opposite direction. I quickly (and quietly) began helping others start their own small house websites, social networks, and books.

        In this way, over time, the Small House Society became like a volunteer consulting firm behind the scenes to help others launch small house businesses, websites, and online discussion boards -- allowing others to be at the forefront of the movement. This has created a cooperative rather than competitive environment -- and produced better results.

        So, I leveraged the SEO potential of the ResourcesForLife.com domain to launch the small house movement by giving others exposure they might not otherwise have had.

        Through using an open source, transparent, and cooperative model, as a movement, we've gone much farther than had we been competitive and used a typical marketplace model. The results are evident in the world-wide media coverage that the SHS (and movement) have received:

        In light of the above, what would you suggest as next steps in moving ahead?

        Greg




        On May 1, 2011, at 2:32 AM, David Neeley wrote:

         

        Greg et al.:

        I've done some more thinking about your recent question regarding
        attracting more folks to the Small House Society and its various
        incarnations on the Web.

        Frankly, I think you are being ill served by having it at the
        "resourcesforlife" site. While I understand full well how attractive the
        idea of some sort of generic, umbrella site that can be a potential host
        for various interests in addition to small houses might be, in my
        opinion that is a strategic mistake in this case. However, there is a
        very simple fix.

        As you know, the small and tiny house movement have mushroomed over the
        last several years. Interest continues high among many people, and new
        folks are looking into it all the time. However, when they do their
        searches, the key words front and center should be "small houses" or
        "tiny houses." Having a domain name with either term would make things
        far easier to keep from being lost in the blizzard of sites out there
        now. (I just checked my RSS reader, and presently in my "livingsmall"
        folder I have 48 different sites).

        As it stands, from a website perspective, having the SHS as a secondary
        heading under "resources for life" simply buries it for many newbies
        searching for small housing resources.

        Whether you use a free host such as WordPress.com or a self-hosted site
        on a paid service, you can have an individual site for the SHS--with
        plenty of links if you wish to any other content you host on
        resourcesforlife.com.

        As you know, there are many other steps that can be taken for search
        engine optimization--but the first step is to have a more specific
        domain name.

        Once you do, I would suggest finding a few guest blogging gigs with some
        of the more active small/tiny house blogs. That would also help drive
        folks to the SHS site...and cross links both ways would also help
        greatly on those blogs that do not currently have such a link.

        I hope this helps!

        David


      • Jean Bellinger
        I found the small house resources about 5-6 years ago when Googling small house didn t turn up much of worth, if anything. I also put in the term model
        Message 3 of 9 , May 1, 2011
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          I found the small house resources about 5-6 years ago when Googling "small house" didn't turn up much of worth, if anything. I also put in the term "model small house." 

          At the time everyone almost in So Cal was refinancing and upgrading as fast as they could. So....it was really refreshing to find both the SHS and RFL as counterculture. (This counterculture was around in the early 1970s but then was upended in the late 70s forward by the change in U.S. macroeconomic policy). RFL addresses life balance; I liked the small model efficiency home. It was good to see the linkage between SHS and RFL. So many I know are in bankruptcy/mortgage default/underwater in my community; some are out of work. 

          [Also, at the time (before the bubble burst) my former husband was designing websites for the builders of megamansions in So Cal]. Finding both resources was quite a pleasant and helpful surprise. Just my thoughts. -Jean 


          From: Gregory Paul Johnson <g@...>:David,

          Thanks for this suggestion. What you present below is precisely the advice I give as a web designer and consultant. It usually results in higher search engine rankings, and it's typically easier and more effective to create, design, and manage a website with a narrower focus such as bicycles, computers, nutrition, weight loss, or small house living. It's also more likely to build an online following, and RSS feeds would provide more focused news.

          The ResourcesForLife.com website is a bit of an anomaly in this regard. Because the domain is over 10 years old, and an original owner domain that's consistently been rated and ranked high, a simple blog post on a topic will generally show up in Google almost immediately and rise above competing sites that use keywords in their domain name, page name, tags, and categories.

          For example, PoliticalResourceGroup.com would typically do better than a site that didn't have political resource group in the top level domain name. However, a Google search on Political Resource Group results in ResourcesForLife.com having the #1 position out of 6.2 million, with PoliticalResourceGroup.com being #3. The same is true for a search on Small House -- there are 6.2 million results with ResourcesForLife.com being #1. The ResourcesForLife.com sometimes ranks above Wikipedia and other top tier websites on certain subjects.

          So, for those wanting long-term impact on the web, multiple category sites can be useful. This is why a large number of the top sites on the Internet are multi-topic websites: http://www.quantcast.com/top-sites

          Many people come to ResourcesForLife.com for other reasons, and are delighted to discover SHS there. It's like the difference between being a store at a shopping mall or being a stand-alone business without walk-through-traffic.

          So, while it might make sense to turn ResourcesForLife.com into multiple websites that are more focused (one of those being a small house movement site), I've kept the site as a group of groups in hopes it would become more than the sum of its parts.

          All that said, I'm still intrigued with the idea of having another small house website that's more dedicated and focused on the topic. In this way, SHS would have a hybrid presence on the web.

          In the past I'd been hesitant to launch too many sites since each one requires domain registration, hosting fees, and some administration that's duplicated. However, as WordPress.com has really become a very viable alternative to the traditional GoDaddy or Network Solutions hosting that can cost upwards of $160 annually. With WordPress.com a person can spend $17 a year for hosting and setup a site in a few hours.

          Early on in the movement, there were some discussions about creating a monopoly presence on the web. Since SHS was (in prominence) kind of the first to market with this concept (to use retail terms), the advice people were giving is to NOT allow splinter groups, but try to beat out all competition and become the best, biggest, and only one-stop-shop for all things related to the Small House Movement (offering books, plans, homes, social networking, etc.) I was told that allowing multiple websites and online groups would diffuse the movement. I gave this much thought, and decided instead to run as fast as I could in the opposite direction. I quickly (and quietly) began helping others start their own small house websites, social networks, and books.

          In this way, over time, the Small House Society became like a volunteer consulting firm behind the scenes to help others launch small house businesses, websites, and online discussion boards -- allowing others to be at the forefront of the movement. This has created a cooperative rather than competitive environment -- and produced better results.

          So, I leveraged the SEO potential of the ResourcesForLife.com domain to launch the small house movement by giving others exposure they might not otherwise have had.

          Through using an open source, transparent, and cooperative model, as a movement, we've gone much farther than had we been competitive and used a typical marketplace model. The results are evident in the world-wide media coverage that the SHS (and movement) have received:

          In light of the above, what would you suggest as next steps in moving ahead?

          Greg




          On May 1, 2011, at 2:32 AM, David Neeley wrote:Greg et al.:


          I've done some more thinking about your recent question regarding
          attracting more folks to the Small House Society and its various
          incarnations on the Web.

          Frankly, I think you are being ill served by having it at the
          "resourcesforlife" site. While I understand full well how attractive the
          idea of some sort of generic, umbrella site that can be a potential host
          for various interests in addition to small houses might be, in my
          opinion that is a strategic mistake in this case. However, there is a
          very simple fix.

          As you know, the small and tiny house movement have mushroomed over the
          last several years. Interest continues high among many people, and new
          folks are looking into it all the time. However, when they do their
          searches, the key words front and center should be "small houses" or
          "tiny houses." Having a domain name with either term would make things
          far easier to keep from being lost in the blizzard of sites out there
          now. (I just checked my RSS reader, and presently in my "livingsmall"
          folder I have 48 different sites).

          As it stands, from a website perspective, having the SHS as a secondary
          heading under "resources for life" simply buries it for many newbies
          searching for small housing resources.

          Whether you use a free host such as WordPress.com or a self-hosted site
          on a paid service, you can have an individual site for the SHS--with
          plenty of links if you wish to any other content you host on
          resourcesforlife.com.

          As you know, there are many other steps that can be taken for search
          engine optimization--but the first step is to have a more specific
          domain name.

          Once you do, I would suggest finding a few guest blogging gigs with some
          of the more active small/tiny house blogs. That would also help drive
          folks to the SHS site...and cross links both ways would also help
          greatly on those blogs that do not currently have such a link.

          I hope this helps!

          David


        • David Neeley
          If your host permits subdomains, I would go with a domain registrar and create a specific SMS domain and point it to a subdirectory of your main site. On the
          Message 4 of 9 , May 1, 2011
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            If your host permits subdomains, I would go with a domain registrar and create a specific SMS domain and point it to a subdirectory of your main site. On the ResourcesForLife site, I'd have the SHS menu entry point to that subdirectory also. I would put a subhead on the main site such as "Oneline Home of the Small House Society" while on the SHS site I'd have a similar one "Part of  ResourcesForLife.com" or some such.

            This is one place where you should be able to "have your cake and eat it too."

            As far as domain registration--I use namecheap.com so if I were to change hosts again I can simply have the address shifted within a few hours as DNS listings update worldwide.

            David



            On 05/01/2011 04:59 PM, Gregory Paul Johnson wrote:  
            David,

            Thanks for this suggestion. What you present below is precisely the advice I give as a web designer and consultant. It usually results in higher search engine rankings, and it's typically easier and more effective to create, design, and manage a website with a narrower focus such as bicycles, computers, nutrition, weight loss, or small house living. It's also more likely to build an online following, and RSS feeds would provide more focused news.

            The ResourcesForLife.com website is a bit of an anomaly in this regard. Because the domain is over 10 years old, and an original owner domain that's consistently been rated and ranked high, a simple blog post on a topic will generally show up in Google almost immediately and rise above competing sites that use keywords in their domain name, page name, tags, and categories.

            For example, PoliticalResourceGroup.com would typically do better than a site that didn't have political resource group in the top level domain name. However, a Google search on Political Resource Group results in ResourcesForLife.com having the #1 position out of 6.2 million, with PoliticalResourceGroup.com being #3. The same is true for a search on Small House -- there are 6.2 million results with ResourcesForLife.com being #1. The ResourcesForLife.com sometimes ranks above Wikipedia and other top tier websites on certain subjects.

            So, for those wanting long-term impact on the web, multiple category sites can be useful. This is why a large number of the top sites on the Internet are multi-topic websites: http://www.quantcast.com/top-sites

            Many people come to ResourcesForLife.com for other reasons, and are delighted to discover SHS there. It's like the difference between being a store at a shopping mall or being a stand-alone business without walk-through-traffic.

            So, while it might make sense to turn ResourcesForLife.com into multiple websites that are more focused (one of those being a small house movement site), I've kept the site as a group of groups in hopes it would become more than the sum of its parts.

            All that said, I'm still intrigued with the idea of having another small house website that's more dedicated and focused on the topic. In this way, SHS would have a hybrid presence on the web.

            In the past I'd been hesitant to launch too many sites since each one requires domain registration, hosting fees, and some administration that's duplicated. However, as WordPress.com has really become a very viable alternative to the traditional GoDaddy or Network Solutions hosting that can cost upwards of $160 annually. With WordPress.com a person can spend $17 a year for hosting and setup a site in a few hours.

            Early on in the movement, there were some discussions about creating a monopoly presence on the web. Since SHS was (in prominence) kind of the first to market with this concept (to use retail terms), the advice people were giving is to NOT allow splinter groups, but try to beat out all competition and become the best, biggest, and only one-stop-shop for all things related to the Small House Movement (offering books, plans, homes, social networking, etc.) I was told that allowing multiple websites and online groups would diffuse the movement. I gave this much thought, and decided instead to run as fast as I could in the opposite direction. I quickly (and quietly) began helping others start their own small house websites, social networks, and books.

            In this way, over time, the Small House Society became like a volunteer consulting firm behind the scenes to help others launch small house businesses, websites, and online discussion boards -- allowing others to be at the forefront of the movement. This has created a cooperative rather than competitive environment -- and produced better results.

            So, I leveraged the SEO potential of the ResourcesForLife.com domain to launch the small house movement by giving others exposure they might not otherwise have had.

            Through using an open source, transparent, and cooperative model, as a movement, we've gone much farther than had we been competitive and used a typical marketplace model. The results are evident in the world-wide media coverage that the SHS (and movement) have received:

            In light of the above, what would you suggest as next steps in moving ahead?

            Greg

          • Gregory Paul Johnson
            David, Thanks. These are good ideas and suggestions. You may be familiar with WordPress. One nice thing about it is the ability to have multiple installations
            Message 5 of 9 , May 2, 2011
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              David,

              Thanks. These are good ideas and suggestions. You may be familiar with WordPress. One nice thing about it is the ability to have multiple installations on a single site. So, a person could (as you suggest) have a completely free-standing uniquely branded website, with a different side-bar and theme than the top-level domain. It could exist in a subdirectory. That's the cheapest way to go. My host permits multiple websites in a single hosting package -- you're simply limited to the available drive space allotted. So, that would be an option also.

              However, I really like to use and promote best practices and feel that when I do make the move, I very much want to use WordPress.com as a hosting solution because at this point it's quite honestly the most effective, fastest, best managed, most secure, easiest to use, best multiuser optimized, least time consuming, best socially integrated, and least costly complete website solution around. At $17 per year for domain registration and hosting, it's amazing. It's the solution I'm recommending for others -- even though I'm still stuck with a self hosted site.

              I want to live an example that I'd believe others should/could follow.

              Greg




              On May 1, 2011, at 11:51 PM, David Neeley wrote:

               

              If your host permits subdomains, I would go with a domain registrar and create a specific SMS domain and point it to a subdirectory of your main site. On the ResourcesForLife site, I'd have the SHS menu entry point to that subdirectory also. I would put a subhead on the main site such as "Oneline Home of the Small House Society" while on the SHS site I'd have a similar one "Part of  ResourcesForLife.com" or some such.

              This is one place where you should be able to "have your cake and eat it too."

              As far as domain registration--I use namecheap.com so if I were to change hosts again I can simply have the address shifted within a few hours as DNS listings update worldwide.

              David



              On 05/01/2011 04:59 PM, Gregory Paul Johnson wrote:

               
              David,

              Thanks for this suggestion. What you present below is precisely the advice I give as a web designer and consultant. It usually results in higher search engine rankings, and it's typically easier and more effective to create, design, and manage a website with a narrower focus such as bicycles, computers, nutrition, weight loss, or small house living. It's also more likely to build an online following, and RSS feeds would provide more focused news.

              The ResourcesForLife.com website is a bit of an anomaly in this regard. Because the domain is over 10 years old, and an original owner domain that's consistently been rated and ranked high, a simple blog post on a topic will generally show up in Google almost immediately and rise above competing sites that use keywords in their domain name, page name, tags, and categories.

              For example, PoliticalResourceGroup.com would typically do better than a site that didn't have political resource group in the top level domain name. However, a Google search on Political Resource Group results in ResourcesForLife.com having the #1 position out of 6.2 million, with PoliticalResourceGroup.com being #3. The same is true for a search on Small House -- there are 6.2 million results with ResourcesForLife.com being #1. The ResourcesForLife.com sometimes ranks above Wikipedia and other top tier websites on certain subjects.

              So, for those wanting long-term impact on the web, multiple category sites can be useful. This is why a large number of the top sites on the Internet are multi-topic websites: http://www.quantcast.com/top-sites

              Many people come to ResourcesForLife.com for other reasons, and are delighted to discover SHS there. It's like the difference between being a store at a shopping mall or being a stand-alone business without walk-through-traffic.

              So, while it might make sense to turn ResourcesForLife.com into multiple websites that are more focused (one of those being a small house movement site), I've kept the site as a group of groups in hopes it would become more than the sum of its parts.

              All that said, I'm still intrigued with the idea of having another small house website that's more dedicated and focused on the topic. In this way, SHS would have a hybrid presence on the web.

              In the past I'd been hesitant to launch too many sites since each one requires domain registration, hosting fees, and some administration that's duplicated. However, as WordPress.com has really become a very viable alternative to the traditional GoDaddy or Network Solutions hosting that can cost upwards of $160 annually. With WordPress.com a person can spend $17 a year for hosting and setup a site in a few hours.

              Early on in the movement, there were some discussions about creating a monopoly presence on the web. Since SHS was (in prominence) kind of the first to market with this concept (to use retail terms), the advice people were giving is to NOT allow splinter groups, but try to beat out all competition and become the best, biggest, and only one-stop-shop for all things related to the Small House Movement (offering books, plans, homes, social networking, etc.) I was told that allowing multiple websites and online groups would diffuse the movement. I gave this much thought, and decided instead to run as fast as I could in the opposite direction. I quickly (and quietly) began helping others start their own small house websites, social networks, and books.

              In this way, over time, the Small House Society became like a volunteer consulting firm behind the scenes to help others launch small house businesses, websites, and online discussion boards -- allowing others to be at the forefront of the movement. This has created a cooperative rather than competitive environment -- and produced better results.

              So, I leveraged the SEO potential of the ResourcesForLife.com domain to launch the small house movement by giving others exposure they might not otherwise have had.

              Through using an open source, transparent, and cooperative model, as a movement, we've gone much farther than had we been competitive and used a typical marketplace model. The results are evident in the world-wide media coverage that the SHS (and movement) have received:

              In light of the above, what would you suggest as next steps in moving ahead?

              Greg



            • David Neeley
              Greg, I am not completely familiar with the paid versions of the WordPress.com site, and what can be done with them and what cannot. I do believe they permit a
              Message 6 of 9 , May 2, 2011
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                Greg,

                I am not completely familiar with the paid versions of the WordPress.com site, and what can be done with them and what cannot. I do believe they permit a direct web domain for their paid accounts so you don't have to do the xxx.wordpress.com as you do with the free ones.

                As I understand it, their support is also exceptional.

                I would look at what they permit in terms of add-ons also--such as a forum or some social networking features on their paid sites. Unless I am mistaken, neither is feasible with their free ones.

                Also, the theme support may be somewhat limited there.

                By having your domain registered externally, too, should you decide on moving later as I say it is simple to do so.

                I am glad you've determined to abandon Ning, by the way. I think they have a relatively lousy value proposition at this point and thus they seem to slowly be committing suicide as far as their business is concerned.

                David

                On 05/02/2011 04:39 PM, Gregory Paul Johnson wrote:  
                David,

                Thanks. These are good ideas and suggestions. You may be familiar with WordPress. One nice thing about it is the ability to have multiple installations on a single site. So, a person could (as you suggest) have a completely free-standing uniquely branded website, with a different side-bar and theme than the top-level domain. It could exist in a subdirectory. That's the cheapest way to go. My host permits multiple websites in a single hosting package -- you're simply limited to the available drive space allotted. So, that would be an option also.

                However, I really like to use and promote best practices and feel that when I do make the move, I very much want to use WordPress.com as a hosting solution because at this point it's quite honestly the most effective, fastest, best managed, most secure, easiest to use, best multiuser optimized, least time consuming, best socially integrated, and least costly complete website solution around. At $17 per year for domain registration and hosting, it's amazing. It's the solution I'm recommending for others -- even though I'm still stuck with a self hosted site.

                I want to live an example that I'd believe others should/could follow.

                Greg

              • Gregory Paul Johnson
                The paid WordPress.com options are very reasonable and allow for www.YourNameHere.com website addresses. The limits you mention exist: limited plug-ins and
                Message 7 of 9 , May 2, 2011
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                  The paid WordPress.com options are very reasonable and allow for www.YourNameHere.com website addresses. The limits you mention exist: limited plug-ins and limited themes. However, for 90 out of 100 people wanting a site, it works great.

                  Then there's the question of having a social networking component. In the old days, there would be BBS sites. Then came Ning charging about $240 per year with an upscale version of the old BBS sites.

                  However, the mentality and framework of the bulletin board systems and forums really doesn't exist in the form it did back in the 1980s when first popularized.

                  Today, it seems there's a lot of communication, socializing, and exchanging of ideas on most websites simply through the comments area below articles. Like a forum thread, an article is like a title and description of the conversation that's about to ensue. Most newspapers and other online sites don't have a separate forums area. They simply let people chat and exchange using the comments area. So, in this regard, WordPress.com websites allow for comments. You can also add people to your site as authors, so they can write articles.

                  While it lacks some of the structure and familiarity of an old BBS, it seems to me the function is very similar.

                  Greg



                  On May 2, 2011, at 8:58 AM, David Neeley wrote:

                  Greg,

                  I am not completely familiar with the paid versions of the WordPress.com site, and what can be done with them and what cannot. I do believe they permit a direct web domain for their paid accounts so you don't have to do the xxx.wordpress.com as you do with the free ones.

                  As I understand it, their support is also exceptional.

                  I would look at what they permit in terms of add-ons also--such as a forum or some social networking features on their paid sites. Unless I am mistaken, neither is feasible with their free ones.

                  Also, the theme support may be somewhat limited there.

                  By having your domain registered externally, too, should you decide on moving later as I say it is simple to do so.

                  I am glad you've determined to abandon Ning, by the way. I think they have a relatively lousy value proposition at this point and thus they seem to slowly be committing suicide as far as their business is concerned.

                  David
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