One of the most powerful ways to develop web site traffic is to enable your users to share their content through your web site with others--to create community around user generated content.
Many of the fastest growing web sites of all time did this (or do it now): MyFamily.com, eBay, GeoCities, Xoom, Homestead, MySpace, Epinions, Hotshots, LinkedIn.com, Meetup.com, Friendster, and more.
I've never met Brewster Kahle, inventor of WAIS, co-founder of Thinking Machines, founder of Alexa and digital librarian for the Internet Archive. But I've watched his contributions over the years and have admired his Vannevar Bush-like vision. (If you have never read the 1945 Atlantic Monthly article by Vannevar Bush titled "As We May Think", you're missing out on the original "access to all knowledge" brainstorm.)
I am happy to report that I have offers from entrepreneurs to translate my blog and resource pages into Polish, Portuguese and Italian. In searching for translators, I also learned about a software programmer named Joel Spolsky who started a blog called Joel on Software in 2000. His blog is translated into more than 30 languages.
I heard a great story on NPR a couple weeks ago about a woman who was born in Afghanistan but raised in Australia. She visited Kabul earlier this year and discovered that there was no phone book or at least no yellow pages. (That kind of blows my mind--the population is more than 2 million!) She decided to do something about that and apparently is now publishing the first Kabul yellow pages, with more than 100,000 phone numbers listed (almost all cell phone numbers) from businesses and merchants.
It's nice to see a great Canadian company hitting the hockey stick part of their growth curve.
I am deeply saddened by the devastation and loss of life from the earthquake and tsunami which struck southeast Asia on Sunday morning. The New York Times reports the death toll is more than 23,000 with one third being children. It is hard to think about anything else today. I just learned that a close friend left a Thailand resort with his wife and children just two days before it was wiped out by the tidal waves.
The first thing I do when learning about a new company is check its Alexa ranking. The second thing I do is visit the web site and click on Press Room. I want to see what the company has been doing lately. Then I often look at the In the News section to see what media coverage they might be getting and I like to read about the management team and investors.
I added Italian and German to yesterday's post "Blogging for the World" and already have a reader who is willing to do the Italian translation. Now I need to find a blog spot for each language and figure out a scheme for knowing when each translation is posted so that my site can automatically add links as the translations appear. I think this can be done with RSS feeds and some simple coding.
I'll be updating my Powertools for 21st Century Entrepreneurs page soon and I'm considering adding some of the following (after I have investigated them more fully):
Jigsaw.com (sales leads)
vFinance (venture funding emails)
Xenu (free link checking software)