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Way back in 1997 I created my first web page on Geocities. Hours and hours were spent making a few dozen pages. And that got me one or two hits a day. I was looking for a way to bring more people to my website. So I added a guestbook. One day while surfing to someone who had signed my guestbook I noticed they had a few dozen entries in their guestbook. And it seemed most of the same people had stopped to sign everybody else's guestbook also. So I came up with an idea to get people to add a little button to their webpage calling themselves an official guestbook surfer. Sure enough the people liked the idea and the visitors came charging in. Then I started keeping track of the people that had linked to my page. And started a list. It got up to almost 700 people. And at one time a search report showed almost 1500 pages linked to that page. Five years later and I'm almost a real webmaster :) And now with my own domain I present to you the original Official Guestbook Surfers Page.


Do you know what the best free source of advertising is for your home page?
Guestbooks! In this virtual community it's like a cyber graffiti wall. (ooops, buzzword overload)
Have you noticed that a large number of guest books are signed by the same people? This isn't a small group either. And it's growing. And since you are reading this you are already a part of it. Most of us are not doing this for anything other than to meet people and make new friends.

Here we go. The rules are simple. Actually they are more like guidelines.

  1. If someone signs yours then sign theirs.
  2. After you sign, view the book and click somebody else.
  3. Observe a little "netiquette".

You will get better results and clicks with an entry that says "Hi, I loved your smurf links and the rest of your pages look cool" than you would with just a "Please visit my site". If you are in a site competition of some kind don't just sign saying "vote for me" or "come sign my book". People will be more likely to go through your site if they see you have gone through theirs. Guestbook's should be more for telling people what you liked about their site. Compare one of their pages to your own. Say something like "I see you like NIN" and then mention your Trent is godlike midi page :) If you would like a real example then click the featured guestbook entry.

Some guestbook's allow HTML. You should make up a little graphic or ask someone to make one for you. Here are some links for blank buttons or banners or graphics. Don't go overboard with the graphics or do a font=5. People will see it no matter what and are more likely to click if it's SSS. That's small, sincere, and simple. But no spam :) Some guestbook's have spamproof mail systems. Use discretion with the email addresses you obtain. Don't set up auto replies, go visit. Don't set up mailing lists unless they are small or you are absolutely sure the people on them would not mind getting unsolicited mail. Don't hit reply:all when responding to a message if you don't know where it's going. And most of all if you get unwanted mail make sure you reply to the correct person asking them to take you off their list.


Stop in to the Guest Surfbook and let me know how you like this idea. There is a link in the surfbook where you can read what other people think. If you want to drop a banner or an ad or dreambook is down please jump to the guestbooks on my main page. If you have a Java enabled browser try the* Guestbook Surfing chat room.

Here is what a lot of people are doing. And probably what brought you here in the first place. Add one of these buttons official guestbook surfer little buttonGA official guestbook surfer or a logo from the OGS images page to your site and link it back to this page. Download the image to your web page server or some other server you have access to. 07/25/2000 It has come to my attention that some people have been having trouble saving images from within AOL. Make sure you save as a .gif or .jpg and NOT an .art file format.

Here is an example of the code you can cut and paste. Change the name to whatever you saved it as. Remember to change the img src location to your url where the graphic is located or remove it if the image is on the same server as your web page. Try to put it all on one line.

The original OGS page had instructions here on how to add an image to a webpage or a guestbook. That was back when you could remotely reference an image and most people didn't know how to do it. Today everyone with a web page knows hot to img src="http://www.somewebsite.com/blahblah.gif  :)

Then please add yourself to the list. This will make you an Official Guestbook Surfer. By the way, the first example is the same type of code you use in someones guestbook when you add an image. Just substitute your URL's for the page and graphic. If you need any help with this don't hesitate to email me. Also please be aware that img linking can cause bandwidth problems. If you would like to see the pages that display the ogs link then click this bookmark. All the people I have run into in the past two years are so cool. Everyone needs to be recognized. It looks like for every guestbook you sign you might get a dozen or so visitors.

Happy Surfing!

Ok, The new link database is up. Let's see how long it lasts :)

 

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