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Stop the Australian (Anti)Vaccination Network

Out Campaign

Ethical Internet Advertising

(in response to a USENET article)

>Interesting...   I suspect that would depend on what you are advertising.
>Right now I have a web site and use the signature block on eMails as
>advertising...   I'd love to use the net in a broader way but I refuse to
>spam so i'm pondering on that.

You could still run a newsletter. People can subscribe by submitting their email address, and you send a single email to verify, to which they have to reply, before their address is added to the list. That confirmation step will prevent unethical people from subscribing other people to your list.

Of course, many people will not supply their email address to just anyone, for fear of being spammed. You don't even post to USENET from your real address. I do though ... you can reach me at ... but I also run blacklisting, spam detecting and online spam database lookup for every email which comes into most of my email addresses. It has caught an average of 63 spam per day for the past week, and only misses 3 or 4.

Getting back to your website though, the best way you can advertise online is to make your website useful. Not just an online brochure - put things on it which people might find interesting, helpful or relevant to them. Still write your newsletter but place it on the website, and keep back issues linked - all of them - and produce it like clockwork, at whatever interval you think is best. Write about stuff related to your business which interests you, because people who are likely to buy from your business are probably interested in the same things.

You could start a weblog. Publish an RDF file which links to your latest web contents. I expect there are tools which people use already to give themselves a personal news source based on a set of RDF files. The weblog idea is an attempt to conquer the problem of "look once, never look again". No matter how well your website develops, your customers will never know if they visit only once.

There's also the search engines and paid online advertising. You could try Google AdWords - I've been using that for months now and it has cost me around US$5 (which I haven't even paid, cause they don't bill until it is US$50 or more). Of course I commit only to the minimum cost-per-click (5 cents) and I choose keywords so obscure that they get only a few hits per day - but I'm not selling anything on that site so it's okay. You might choose more popular words, ones which are likely to identify possible customers, and then use the AdWords parameters to regulate how much it costs you each month.

You reading this, Josip? I'm spilling the beans, baby! Giving away all the secrets to ethical Internet Advertising. I must be nucking futs to be telling this to the world. Crikey, more people will start putting up useful webpages now! (For those too stupid to read between the lines, if my business were something bogus like "selling the secret to successful online marketing" then I would have an interest in preventing this information from becoming widely known, because it would destroy my market. Fortunately it is no problem to me at all if other people run successful online businesses, because ethical business is not about WINNERS and LOSERS and making LOSERS so there can be WINNERS. Ethical business is about helping everybody to be successful - not screwing your customers or suppliers, because a good business will thrive in a strong economy.