If you were building a Web site for business purposes, the site would need to have all of what we call the three Cs content, community, and commerce. A site can’t thrive without all three, because without content, no one would visit and form a community, and without commerce, no one would host it. Good support sites also need the three Cs to survive, albeit in somewhat different forms. Content comes from the information on the site, and it can be in many different forms, as discussed in this article. Same thing with community, which goes well beyond message boards. A site can often take on a life of its own with the support of the people who visit and participate. Commerce can come from subscriptions, advertising revenue, product sales, and one-time purchases, among other things.
You can’t expect a site to be all things to all people. In fact, just like you don’t only visit one site for a job search, a hobby, or your favorite pastime, you might regularly visit many sites in your quest for a healthier you. However, if there was a perfect support site, it would have the components listed in the following sections, in addition to a food and exercise diary. (The components are listed in alphabetical order, along with which of the three Cs each one belongs to.)
On many Web sites, much of the support information, such as polls, message boards, and so on, works better if pop-ups are enabled for that Web site only. If you use the Google Toolbar to disable pop-ups, you can enable them one Web site at a time. That way, when you go to other Web sites, you’ll still block those annoying pop-up ads.
Advertising is a good source of revenue for the site, which is good for you because a lot of revenue will help the site stay in business. Also, the ads might be interesting and helpful to you. Some sites have ads for food products, health and medical devices, and items that might appeal to someone who is on a diet, such as books, magazines, or even dating services. Others, particularly sites with offline components, such as magazines, have many of the same ads that are in the magazine. A good Web site with a lot of traffic is appealing for advertisers because they get access to a community beyond the readers of the magazine. They also get an opportunity to appeal to the online audience for the Web site.
An annual conference or convention is a great opportunity to meet offline others who share your interests. The conference might be a professional conference, such as Weight Loss Frontiers, or a personal conference that gets together a group of people who’ve lost weight, such as Dotti’s Weight Loss Zone Conference.
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