SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi,
    Although I've been in the commercial website game for relatively a short time compared to many of you, who've been professionally designing and marketing sites since near the beginning, does anyone think it's a good ides to start a sort of webmaster's guild?
    I know the idea has been thrown around before, but I don't think anyone's followed up on sincerely developing something like this.
    What I have in mind is not using this organization to directly threaten advertisers to raise CPM rates, much like traditional unions, but rather to represent the fair interests of its members. As an example, if an ad company is illegally withholding payment of its members, we could quickly warn each other and boycott their ads, thus forcing the company to take notice and hopefully correct their action. Right now, I see that efforts to represent webmaster rights are too fragmented, the few complaints you do see are scattered throughout only a few forums like this. I bet for every 1 webmaster actively posting their complaints, there are at least 4 other ones who were similarly robbed but don't feel that their individual voice will make a difference.
    This isn't restricted only to wrongful ad representation, but also fraudulent hosting companies, software providers, etc.
    With the internet accelerating at this unbelievable pace, I don't think it's the yahoo's or msn's who should hold all the influence. It's webmasters like us who, if only given the chance to collectively represent ourselves, could greatly enrich this landscape by weeding out the scams and supporting the exceptional.
    This organization would be completely non-profit, but I'd be willing to help chip in for the general costs. As I said before, I'm far from being the most experienced or connected webmaster. I just want to be a contributor and hopefully make a difference. Iím hoping to find a group of people who share the same sentiments.
    I think sooner or later some sort of union will be formed (I've tried checking up on this, but haven't found one yet), I just hope that its interests will be rightfully placed.
    I know I'm simplifying issues to their bare minimum in this message, but I hope the intended general idea is there.
    I'd love to know everyone's opinions, whether it's feasible to get a bunch of squabbling people like us to actually work out something as huge as this. A project of this magnitude can only succeed with the overwhelming support of webmasters like you and me. Iíve also posted this message at Jimís GetHighForums.com and geekvillage.com
    Please post here or send me an email with any thoughts, most importantly whether you'd join such a organization and if you'd help contribute.

    Thanks so much for your time reading this lengthy post!

    Drew Chang
    adychang@hotmail.com

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    2,629
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would definitely join assuming it's free and it has at least a few members. But for now, I think that if one advertiser or ad network is ripping off webmasters, the word gets around very quickly.

    Webmasters are way above normal in terms of computer knowledge and they'll warn eachother in newsgroups, forums like these, on mailing lists, etc.

    If you start this, you will have the chicken-and-egg problem. No one will join until there are a lot of members. You won't have a lot of members until people join. I bet most people in these forums would join so you might not have as much of a problem. But all the other webmasters out there might look at 50 members as almost nothing.

    Even better than just warning eachother of nasty companies, you should set up a mailing list where we can chat about the issues effecting us, like paid linking. I'd be happy to host the mailing list (I will be able to in a few weeks, if it gets started that quickly).

    There is something called the HTML Writers Guild but that is just a button you put on a website--nothing more. If you do this, you shouldn't require a button but also let everyone chat via mailing list (to get a community feeling).

    Tell me what you think about my ideas...

  3. #3
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi qslack,

    I definitely agree about the chicken-and-egg problem, I'm trying to send out a few messages in some of the popular forums to get a sort of "feel", whether people are ready or even want something like this.

    I noticed that most warnings about fraudulent companies are prompt, but there are always a few webmasters asking again and again "maybe this other webmaster just had a bad break" or "I've heard this company is bad, can anyone else tell me if this is true?". If these warnings could come from a reputable association, I think this would expediately prevent these scams from going further. Also, the eventual action to deal with the source of the complaints, if any, are carried out by individuals who know they can't really have an impact.

    Someone brought to my attention that people might not be willing to boycott an ad company because they have hosting costs to support. I completely agree - but if a substantial amount of webmasters are a part of this no one would have to lose anything. Just think of the influence a simple petition (whether by normal snail mail or email) from thousands of site owners to the company would . An organization with members who really care about their site and are actively willing to head-on rectify the "corruption" in this crazy internet world, would be unbelievable. I think there's so much potential.

    Membership would always be free with no obligation.

    I really appreciate your reply, thanks again!

    Drew

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast Setac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    San Marcos CA
    Posts
    83
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Drew,
    You might consider a review and rating web site.

    I almost always search for a review or rating of any service I will depend on for my client's sites. When I fail to find one then I search the news groups. SitePoint has been a great find (Thank you Snitz for sending me here) that I came across when I was researching forum software.

    One could do the home work and research and review various advertisiers. Point.com has greate reviews of cell phones and plans and a comparison method that is great. Something like that would be very useful to webmasters. It would also eliminate the chicks and eggs problem. If you create such a site, it is a potential income generator too.

    Maybe there already is one. Has anyone seen one?
    Dynamic HTML - Is that a Frisbee based language...

  5. #5
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi Setac,

    There are countless rate and review sites, unforunately some of them have degraded into biasly favorably reviewing their own sponsors. Try http://www.eopinions.com for an excellent source of opinions on thousands of products.

    I'm not trying to generate any extra revenue. My main goal was to bring together a group of like-minded webmasters with similar concerns. I've already checked out http://www.htmlwritersguild.com and http://www.iwanet.org. I don't want to wrongfully bash their sites, but the organization I had in mind would be completely serving its members, without demanding a button placed on their site or a membership due.

    Drew

  6. #6
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    9
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There's something like this online already, although I suspect they only cover conventional advertisers, not affiliates.

    The following URL may or may not get censored:
    http://www.****edadvertiser.com/

  7. #7
    SitePoint Addict Macromedia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    249
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This sounds like a very good idea! There is a orginazation online called I.A.W.M.D (Internation Association of Web Masters and Designers). They have an award (Http://www.goldenwebaward.com) and I won it and that's how I know about them, but they seem to be a lousy organization. You have to pay a bunch to join and then you get some stuff, but that's pretty much it. It seemed more like they were trying to get money than to actually do anything to represent webmaters, but I didn't get a chance to check them out in detail.

    Also, I think the site is Http://www.epinions.com, not eopinons.com, and yes it is a great site!
    <Edited by Macromedia on 01-08-2001 at 11:54 AM>
    -Nick

  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    78
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    guys, I think your time is better spend working to make money.
    I've seen many of these types of organizations come and go.
    Their downfall was always their membership.
    I've had several webmaster organizations try to throw their wieght around and shoot from the hip because one of their *members* accused us of cheating them. Once we trotted out the truth, there was seldom if ever a retraction or apology. (you'll never know who to trust, webmaster or program, unless you have experience)

    hmmm, this post is a little more rambling than I meant but maybe it will spur more discussion on the topic.
    http://www.standardinternet.com

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    196
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    what's really need is some type of banner network cooperative, nonprofit, for webmasters. a nonprofit company for webmasters that acts like a banner network, would be cool, but there's little incentive for creating one because it's nonprofit, hehe.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ron - I understand where you're coming from, I'm sure there have been more than a few webmasters who have tried to take advantage of the freedom/lexbility your programs offer.

    After receiving mixed feedback after posting this similar thread in various other forums, I noticed almost all of the negative sentiments were related to the idea that this association would try taking on more than it was meant for (like trying to raise industry CPM ads). I made the mistake by using the words "union" and "guild". They turn up bad images of some actor's guild or trucker unions (no offense to their respective members, but I don't have a very good impression of either of them).

    Rather, I'd like to revise the idea of this being more of an industry Better Business Bureau, a place where complaints can be made and communication between the site owner and company facilitated. People have pointed out that if ad companies are witholding pay, the site must have broken their contract. I disagree, there are many many instances where supposedly reliable ad companies have wrongly witheld payment for no possible reason besides greed. This organization is not one-sided and would take into consideration both the webmaster's argument as well as the ad company's.

    I'm sure most reputable ad companies would gladly agree to discuss the problem with a somewhat neutral organization representing webmaster rights.

    I don't have any grand scheme of this body going out and trying to change the industry. I think it would be noble AND possible to introduce the idea of forums, real-time chat rooms, and mailing lists completely dedicated to being an industry "watchdog" (as someone put it). This body would never go out and directly instigate change - rather it is a place to go to after a problem has occurred. Obviously the integrity of its members would have to be preserved and screened for. I see that the webmaster community now is isolated in countless circles, with people wondering "is what's happening to me happening to everyone else?".

    Does anyone think it would be good to try to get everyone together, possibly anonymously survey what ad companies people think are "exceptional", which hosts are the best, and also act as a meeting place for websites of similar genre to promote each other? It's true the internet is a dog eat dog world, but I think if two people benefit from a relationship (which is very possible, contrary to what lots of people think), why not go ahead and encourage it?
    (a lot of these ideas are from your feedback)

    I really value everyone's thoughts and opinions on this.

    Drew

  11. #11
    SitePoint Addict Macromedia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    249
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I like this idea, but I think I would find almost everything you are offering right here at the Site Point or other forums. I think most smart and dedicated webmasters check out these and other boards or sites before they make any major decisions on hosts or ad companies.

    But, yes, an Webmaster's Guild (I have no problems with this word) would probably be a good idea in dealing with bigger companies.
    -Nick

  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    78
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, again, I think its a good idea but build on a slippery slope.
    I know that for myself, I have very little time for mediation. For Standard Internet to accuse someone of cheating and with hold pay, an experienced account rep. would have actually gone to the site, witnessed the cheating first hand, and wrote their remarks into the account. It is EXTREMELY unlikely that we would make a mistake. I know that sounds arrogant but remember, everyone in our organization started in this business as a web publisher. We know the business from the bottom up and just get tired of defending our position against a cheater for the thousandth time.
    Of course, if I were one of your mediators, maybe I'd feel differently.
    http://www.standardinternet.com

  13. #13
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    196
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i don't think there's a problem/need for any organization for webmasters that deals directly with ad networks.

    there's two types of ad networks, legit and scams. no organization is gonna get a scam to pay and a legit company pays so there's no problem.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    unfortunately, the distinction between legit and scam is not always so clear. what about AmazingMedia, that does seem to pay most of its members, but chooses to axe members that become to popular without paying deserved income.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    78
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    drew, how would organizing change AM's ways?
    http://www.standardinternet.com

  16. #16
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    the idea is that if there were enough members and support, an organized effort - without the need to boycott/remove ads - could threaten, or at least, compromise AM's ways.

    unfortunately, it seems at this time few are very supportive of this, so i guess that's the end of that


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •