Some honest talk about the web, marketing and mediation services

There is a great deal of interest in mediation circles about having web sites and about establishing an internet "presence."

I surveyed some of the people who use the most heavily promoted listing service for mediators on the internet.  Here is what they had to say about what level of response their listings provided them (I've quoted from their e-mails back to me in the order I've received them):

From the sites I've seen that had believable counters displayed, the average number of hits is pretty low. (I ran across a non-content site that claimed 32,000 hits or so a month on the hit counter -- which wasn't showing any substantial movement week to week ...)

My site generates a fair number of hits (over four thousand the week I wrote this caveat). The offices at Union Square have had an internet listing for about a year.  Two out of the four attorneys here have gotten cases as a result (one each).

For me, the site is worthwhile.  I'm a writer and this site allows me to put up works I've published and to make them readily available.  (e.g. one of the articles I've written resulted my being asked for over a hundred copies of it.  Since I've posted it on the Internet, it gets downloaded about a hundred times a week or so and I no longer get asked to make photocopies).  I also find this an interesting learning experience.

I'm also hoping to find other writers and to encourage people to write essays that I can post here or that can be published by mediation oriented journals (such as Mediation Monthly).  I'm hoping to establish a sense of community.  I'm hoping to make an internet experience and experiment affordable and more in line with the level of results that people can expect to receive.

In terms of time, effort and cost, I have serious reservations about the utility of the internet as it stands right now -- especially for those spending more than twenty or thirty dollars a year (e.g. two to nine hundred dollars a month) on a site. Thus this caveat.


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