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Syndicated Content.

Over the last few weeks I have talked about the value of adding
Dynamic content to your site in order to get your visitors to return.
Dynamic content by its nature means that new information is
constantly being added and revised. For the majority of overworked
and understaffed web managers this can appear to present a
problem. Fortunately, there are several forms of dynamic content
that will require a minimum amount of effort to add and maintain.

One of the easiest and least demanding forms of dynamic content
you can add to your web site are Syndicated news articles and
periodicals on topics appropriate to the content on your site. Since
your web site presumably offers a specific product or service, you
are in a unique position to gather information from many different
sources and organize it in a way that is easy for your visitors to find.
Even though these articles may be available elsewhere, they could
require a significant effort for your visitors to find. If your web site
has it already organized, then it becomes a huge convenience for
your visitors and worth their effort to bookmark your site.

Where do you get syndicated content, how do you use it and how
much will it cost?

The first place to look is at articles and periodicals that you may
already be subscribed to. Many publishers already have a web site
with their latest articles posted. You do not need permission to
include a link from your web site to any of these posted articles. If a
page contains articles that are updated periodically, great. Just post a
link on your web site with a brief description.

We post the articles from this newsletter each week. You do not
need our permission to add links from your web site. For example:

"Check out this Week's Web Design tip:"

"Need help promoting your site? This weeks tip:"

Be careful that you do not infringe upon the copyright requirements.
Whereas you can place a link to any website without permission,
you can not copy the contents of someone else's web site to your
own. The article itself is copyrighted as may be the description if it
contains original content.

If you do decide to place a link, check that it will remain valid and
updated as each new article is published. In all likelihood it will
since the page was probably created for just this reason.

Although a simple link is easy to add to a web site, it does have
several limitations. These include the fact that it is does not display
a headline which would make the topic of the article clear. You can
of course manually change the headline yourself but this will
demand a greater effort on your part and will almost certainly create
instances where the link and headline do not match. Another
possible problem includes the fact that once selected, your visitor
will have left your site, possibly not to return until your next update.

The latter problem is relatively easy to fix. Simply open the article
in a separate window. For example, if you include Target="resource
window" in your HTML link code then the article page will be
opened in a separate window.

<a href="http://www.imswebtips.com/webdesign.htm"
Target="resource window">Web Design Tip</a>


The Headline problem raises several other issues. For example, the
reason many copyright owners encourage you to put links to their
articles is because they include advertising. This is a reasonable
thing for them to do but it may not always be appropriate for your

If you have a very high traffic site, placing advertising on it maybe a
major source of income for you. In this case it may be worth your
while to purchase the rights to post the articles directly on your site.

You can contact the publishers directly or you can try a syndicator
of online content. The only one I am currently aware of is
iSyndicate. For a fee they will allow you to republish
articles from many different sources including many of the major

In addition to purchasing re-publishing rights they can provide you
with free news feeds that will automatically update your links and
headlines. This is great for sites that can not justify the cost of
purchasing articles but still wish to include the dynamic content.

Whatever route you decide to take, including articles from
appropriate publications is a great way to add dynamic content to
your site. It is not however, your only option and is only one
requirement in giving your visitors a reason to return.
Next week, more dynamic content

"IMS Web Tips" ISSN 1488-7088
© Copyright 1999 Virtual Mechanics

"IMS Web Tips" is a weekly news letter for all web site managers regardless of experience who are looking for detailed information on
creating, maintaining and promoting their web sites.

To subscribe send an email to tips@imswebtips.com with SUBSCRIBE
as your subject or visit the IMS Web Tips home page for subscription information and a list of past articles.
IMS WebTips