The Free Forums Are Great, But Do Any Gems And Secrets Lie Within The Private Forums?
Interview With Brett Tabke, Owner and Founder of WMW. (He The Man!)
If you've read many of the Internet related articles on this site you'll know I reference webmasterworld quite a lot - it's a great collection of forums that address almost everything that the webmaster, amateur or professional, will have questions about.
Whether its Google Search, Adsense, Server Issues, Which html editor to use or link building, they'll be a thread on wmw that addresses the issues, or at least somewhere to answer the question, and most of the time you'll get a decent response.
There are issues - you get a lot of noobs asking the same questions over and over, but the atmosphere is generally friendly and supportive. I find that WMW has kept me informed of new developments related to my sites and their operation / profitability, answered numerous questions, and inspired me to experiment with different techniques, priceless really.
WMW also have paid, private forums for those who want a quieter, more relaxed environment. It costs about £45 for 6 months (depending on exchange rates) - so the million dollar question - is it worth it? Well, in the interest of investigative journalism, I've just paid the money and I'm going to dive in and find out .
Week One. Hmmm. I was a bit disapointed to start off with, there was no real stand out "this is how you make a million" threads, but I shouldn't have expected that. WMW is all about reliable, solid feedback and advice. What caught my eye was the Social Media and Bookmarking Forum. There was some fantastic stuff on how to use Digg, delicious, etc, and its made me pencil in adding some Digg tags to some of my most popular pages as soon I get the time. It also inspired me to try a bit of fun to see if I could get digged with a fake video of something that would prove popular, you can see it here.
In the threads I have been reading there are a lot less "noob" type questions, and the replies tend to come from the more senior members of the forum. I'll be digging back through hundreds of pages to look for those gems that will improve my websites.
What I think at the moment is that you learn the day to day, nuts and bolts of webmaster stuff in the free forums, and the private forums add that icing on the cake. Not essential, but it sure could make a big difference.
Month One. Ok, I feel it's time to update this article with my feelings about WMW. To be honest I've been a bit disapointed with Supporters Forums at Webmasterworld. It's not that there isn't good advice - it's just that it isn't that much different to what you can read in the free forums, in fact most of the good stuff is in the normal forums.
Knowing what I know now, would I recommend you to subscribe to WMW? Well, if you think the information you've found in the normal forums is worth a £45 donation to keep the site going, then yes, subscribe for 6 months. If you're expecting to find "seo secrets" or more information then don't subscribe - the free forums are where the real gold is.
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