Guest Post by Mark Schumann
There are many ways to increase traffic and exposure for your website, but these techniques can often take a long time and provide frustratingly minimal results. Instead, try to imagine what could happen if your site was being advertised on hundreds of similar sites continuously for several days. This is the goal of the Publicity Wheel, a new concept for generating a boost in traffic and exposure for website owners. Rather than the banner/link exchanges used to generate a steady trickle of visitors, the Publicity Wheel aims to give one website (per category) full exposure and resultant benefits in traffic for an extended period of time.
It works by providing a piece of code to site owners that will generate the banner/link to the currently-featured site within a particular category. Every time a visitor clicks on one of these links, the Publicity Wheel member is given an associated number of “publicity points”. These points then contribute to the selection of the forthcoming featured site generated during the next “spin”. Consider a “wheel of fortune” scenario, where each publicity point owned provides one “slice” of the wheel. It’s also like a lottery, but instead of buying a new ticket after each draw, points continue to accumulate even after a winner is selected, so members have a much better chance to win over time. Winner points are reset to zero to avoid having the same sites featured each round. This allows sites with low-traffic to benefit by still having a chance of winning each round, even with a small number of points.
The Publicity Wheel was launched in early April 2008 by myself, Mark Schumann (follow me on Twitter). I work as an e-Learning Developer in a K-12 school in Melbourne, Australia, and own 2 other websites. The first is Edutagger, a K-12 social bookmarking site (much like Digg), which was developed primarily to provide K-12 teachers with a repository of quality resources. The second is a concept known as the Fame Experiment, which is where the original idea for the Publicity Wheel was born.
The Fame Experiment, as the name implies, is an experiment on the internet fame and society’s response to it. I had wondered about this phenomenon, where (often by accident) certain people had become famous overnight for any number of reasons. I questioned whether this fame was restricted to the internet, and whether these people were being recognised and approached in “real life”. As a result, the Fame Experiment was developed in an attempt to artificially generate fame by promoting a single person’s image to as may places online as possible. Fame points are generated in the same was as publicity points, but there is only one winner. Incidentally, this winner is yet to be selected as the experiment is still running.
Over time, I noticed a number of people signing up to the Fame Experiment with the hope of achieving “fame” for their websites, which of course sparked the idea for the Publicity Wheel. The concept is similar, but the implementation and goals are very different. Instead of one winner, the Publicity Wheel generates one winner for each category, and repeats to process every few days.
The Publicity Wheel certainly isn’t for everyone, but it provides a great alternative approach to internet marketing and traffic-building that is simple to setup and use.