About Mike Banks Valentine

Mike Banks Valentine operates the WebSite101 Domain Name Tutorial as well as the Small Business Ecommerce Tutorial and blogs his SEO Commentary at http://RealitySEO.com
The Oscar for WebSite of the Year goes to! . . . . [drumroll]

Although web awards are never a truly big deal by current standards established by major television events like the Grammy’s or the Oscars, they are actively sought by web developers and small businesses online for their efforts.

Ya Just Gotta Believe!

Gamblers are a breed apart, they just KNOW they’re gonna hit the big one someday. Some will even bet their life on that one “sure thing” that is gonna make ‘em rich when they strike the jackpot. They’ll bet the house, the car, or their future on a lucky feeling, a tingle in their hands as they roll the dice, or maybe Lady Luck will whisper in their ear telling them to bet it all and spin the roulette wheel “Just One More Time!”

Speak English Will Ya?

I know a nice retired couple that used to like foreign travel and used to take yearly trips abroad and used to regularly broaden their horizons and expand their experience through cruises, tours and vacations. I say *used to* because they quit traveling after a trip to Portugal where they got very frustrated because, “Those people don’t speak English!”

Lighten Up! Enjoy Your Time Online!

This week I did what we all do occasionally, I “hit the wall” in my marathon run for online success, That point in the race that feels like you have smacked face first into a solid brick barrier and can’t possibly continue on.

WebSite Moving Day! New Home for the Home Page

Moving is an inevitable event for most of us. Over the last 25 years I have moved an average of once per year! First it was that exciting move out on my own to attend college, then came the reluctant bouncing between relatives, bad apartments, incompatible room-mates and then, just about graduation time, the perfect apartment! Oh Well.

Nightmare on Web Street!

I need access to online database tools from my host and call them up to ask about availability. OK, I find that it costs a few bucks a month extra to access those tools for my site. Hmmmm. Well I’ve got someone telling me that their host is offering those very same tools and more storage space for half of what I’m paying!

Roadmap to Pay-for-Placement

The “paid placement” search results model introduced by GoTo.com has become an accepted method of advertising online and should be considered a very viable and attractive option in your small business marketing budget. Get out your roadmap and let’s GoTo!

Techno Gizmo Gadget

There is an infomercial running these days by a company that makes a Techno-Gizmo Gadget. The production values are high, the writing is clever and the goal is the clear. Get this “gadget” into the hands of consumers and it allows immediate interactive advertising! Use this goody, connected to your computer to scan a bar code on a product and you are taken immediately to a web page with more info! I can’t imagine what more I’d want to know about my soda-pop, but what a great idea for interactive learning!

Business Failure Here! FREE!!

I want to yell at someone or give ‘em a good poke in the nose for this! How could they do this to me? What gives them the right to blow off my best customers, to rob me of potential business and make my clients angry at me? How dare they do this!! I’m just fuming and ready to explode! Don’t get too close to me right now!

Seven Secrets of Grassroots Internet Marketing

Marketing your small business online can look like a complex and daunting task when getting started with your ecommerce enabled web presence. But listen folks, there just ain’t that much to it! Lend me an ear while I set the record straight.

Email Piracy, Email Privacy?

How much sensitive information do you send via email? Email piracy is usually not a major issue for small businesses online. If only because there’s not enough *money* at stake for expensive industrial espionage and undercutting by competitors who beat you to the punch in launching a new idea because they worked out how to intercept your emails to a business partner.

Linking is a Basic Necessity of Online Business
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First, I’d like to offer my apologies to those of you who don’t know and use HTML coding. If you use WYSIWYG web authoring tools then you may as well only read the first half of this article. I’m not sure it’s possible to follow these suggestions if you don’t write your own HTML code. I know that you can insert code in most editors, but each varies. It’s worth looking up in your instructions though, because linking is critical to your site!

Disinter . . . What?

Another new B2B buzzword? D I S I N T E R M E D I A T I O N

The first time I saw the term, I ignored it, thinking the writer was a journalist charmed with a new word. The next time I saw “disintermediation” was in an internet journal for Information Technology Specialists so I thought I had better pay attention, but still there was no definition offered. So I went to dictionary.com and looked up the term. Where I found the following:

Do I love the Web? You Bet Your ASP!

The proliferation of Application Service Providers, or ASP’s, is making me very happy! They host software on their own servers which obviates the need for me to own the software and allows testing of programs on machines that couldn’t possibly run that software.

Domain Name Hijacking!
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Domain names are becoming “hot” property – as in *theft* for resale. More and more companies are finding they cannot get their trademarked names as a domain name because so few good names are left. But sometimes it’s outright extortion as when a Fortune 500 company name is reserved by someone that has no intention of developing a site under the domain, but simply “parks” it somewhere and waits to be contacted by the big boys to purchase the name for astronomical fees.

Privacy Concerns Online Increasing Daily!
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A major issue for small to medium sized business online is PRIVACY if they collect information from visitors to their site. New laws are being passed that require site operators to maintain the privacy of surfers that provide personal information to site owners. A law recently came into effect called the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) that can lead to fines of $15,000 for non-compliance PER VIOLATION. Sites that collect information from children under 13 are required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to get “verifiable parental permission” before collecting ANY information from kids.

Don’t Be Naive! Check Out Potential Joint Venture Partners!

If you have very little internet experience, it’s important to find someone you trust that *does* have experience online to help you with your idea development. Doing business online is very different than offline. If your idea is something that could easily be adopted and developed, obviously you need to protect the idea from an unscrupulous potential partner.

There’s No Place Like My Home Page!

In operating WebSite101 I get one question *far* more often than others. So I thought I’d address the single question more frequently asked than any other online query,

What Can’t be Done Online?

O.K. I admit that title is a bit of hyperbole, but it seems to be going that direction, doesn’t it? WebSite101 has long been an advocate of bringing *all* businesses, big and small online. We have focused most of our energy on bringing the home office online, assuring that mom and pop businesses get their share of the internet pie.

How to benefit from the proliferation of free information
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Everybody’s doin’ it! eBooks, eBooklets, eReports, eGads! The problem with all of this e-information scattered about the web on so many far-flung sites is that it’s impossible to find them all. That’s only a problem if you’re paid to get that information circulated! The guy out looking for your client’s products may be searching for every piece of information he can get his hands on about your client’s widgets.