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TIPS for Successful Web Site Promotion
By Steve Feld -- November 28, 2001

Do you want to successfully promote and showcase a class project or district web site?

Here are some strategies and methods for ethically promoting a web site so that all web site stakeholders can share their viewpoints, creations and ideas. All members of the team should take an active part in project dissemination.

Project audience is a prime consideration:
Schools, museums, cultural institutions, lesson repositories, grade appropriate educational directories, and academic communities are the best places to begin the team project's promotion.

Steve Feld

 

Divide website creators into pairs, or as Head Coach identify appropriate resources for promotion.

Develop a strategy to coordinate a system of sending individual email to contact the selected schools and institutions.

Always try to ascertain the individual who will be able to be of most assistance, since the email request will be specifically addressed and sent to that person. Do not send to mailing lists. People prefer to receive email addressed to them individually. Indeed, many people delete emails which they received without their name on it.

Appropriate methods of dissemination with peers, colleagues and the broader Internet can take the form of a Press Release (example listed later in this article) to Newspapers, Letter of Invitation to organizations and school communities, and Site Recommendation for specific distinctions.

Press Releases are important to get the news about your project to newspapers and radio to attract an offline general population. Newsday in Education, USA Today, Internet Minute and Radio Net are excellent starting points.

Letters of invitation for participation may be the most effective method of promoting a team's site. The replies received through this method of exchange are often the most rewarding to the team members.

Applications for Educational Awards of Merit will yield desired increased exposure. Acceptance by organizations such as GII US, ThinkQuest and CyberAngels are good examples.

Listing in Reference Sources and Search Engines will substantially increase numbers of student researchers who can access your resource.

Be sure there is a team member to include Meta Tags in the coding of the page to improve the site's visibility in the search engines. Otherwise your listing may never be found.

Never spam the search engines. Your listing will more likely be dropped from the search engine with multiple submits.

Once you have invested in creating a web site that shares information, activities, projects and products of your team, school district or class, engaging and inviting broad-based multi-sector, multigenerational responses will enrich, inspire and motivate visitors.

Site promotion is the next step for developing an ongoing, contagiously captivating web site evolution. May your site be seen by a burgeoning audience.

If you build it they will come.  Promote so it will live long and prosper . . . like the following press release.

Press Release: Learning About Leonardo

For Immediate Release - Contact: Steve Feld, Head Coach sjfeld@erols.com John F. Kennedy High School, Bronx, New York Phone (718) 562 5500

Mona Lisa & Leonardo Linked - Experience and Evaluate Digital Discoveries

Examine the collaborative ThinkQuest project of John F. Kennedy High School students in the Bronx New York and their peers in Borlange. Sweden.

Read the research of Dr. Lillian Schwartz and Rina de Firenze regarding the Mystery of the Mona Lisa linked to Leonardo.

Delve into the disclosure of the identity of Leonardo's Portrait of the Musician, never before revealed.

Hear Leonardo's original music online for the first time in 500 years! Click on the signing hand to link to the Hard of Hearing resources.

Get up to the minute dispatches on developing da Vinci discoveries, exhibits and events. See pictures of Leonardo's Bronze Horse, now realized. It was unveiled in Milan on September 10, 1999.

Tune in to Bronx High School student /Ovation TV Artszone, Miho Museum multicultural dialogue with students in Japan...

Dive into a dozen da Vinci diversions. Design a multilingual musical postcard in one of 17 languages.

Make your mark by signing the multigenerational guestbook, which has been signed each day for over two years.

See our site at the Getty Museum Digital Experience, the Boston Science Museum, the Smithsonian Institution and the Vatican.

The Getty Museum Digital Experience called Learning About Leonardo "the best at offering art historical information in a new and innovative way."

All this acclaim and excitement over a site that was created in the Bronx by multiethnic inner city students with 15 year old computers!

Be part of an ongoing community of over 1/3 million visitors Make the Mona Lisa Learning About Leonardo link today: http://www.tqnyc.org/NYC051308/.

Here are some of the reflections about site construction. We created the site after surveying the plethora of site design approaches on the web.

Since we were using 15 year old equipment, it sensitized us to the need for site construction which would be viewable any browser, since we were using Netscape 1.0.  The site is operational on any platform.

Our research had to be framed, and taken into account, the extent to which our equipment could credibly adapt web site designs. The image-mapping of the Vitruvian Man was inspired by our visiting the MSNBC Web Site which featured image-mapping.

On the Music page the site was constructed originally using frames, so that the Hand Signing "Music is Playing," (accessible to the hearing impaired), would continuously animate, while the Da Vinci melody plays. Frame construction was used to allow the computer processor to multitask; that is to allow two things to occur simultaneously.

We also incorporate an interactive multigenerational guestbook which has prompted a wide spectrum of visitor responses ranging from reflections, questions, sharing of additional resources, pertinent information, reactions to other guestbook comments, support for our project and reviews of scholars, students and artists. As an outcome of this construction and nurturing of this online literacy community, the guestbook has been continuously signed each day, for four years and counting.

Steve Feld
Copyright 2001
All Rights Reserved

About the Author
Steve Feld is an internationally recognized teacher educator who has developed three technology curricula used by the New York City Board Of Education. He is the teacher advisor for the award winning Why is the Mona Lisa Smiling? ThinkQuest project which has received numerous awards and citations including the Surfers Choice, Superb 300 Award, a Peoples' Pick Webby Award, and the  Microsoft Challenge award -  Artifaq 21OO.  Mr. Feld’s work is featured in the Making Technology Happen book available through the ISTE

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