should be on the Web promoting your practice.
Millions of people are using the Internet every
day and tens of millions are expected to be by
the year 2000. As a benefit of membership in The
American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress,
you can now work with professional web developers
to create a custom web site at substantially discounted
rates! This article explains terminology and gives
some examples of how an Internet presence can
be a tremendous boon for your practice.
Have you considered
the visibility you could obtain through the Internet?
The Internet, commonly referred to as "The
Net," the "World Wide Web" or simply
"The Web," is quickly becoming the place
to do business. But there is much more to business
on the Net than simply buying and selling products.
We are entering
the age of electronic commerce and it is becoming
increasingly common to buy and sell products through
a computer connected to the Internet. But electronic
commerce also refers to the advertising, marketing,
merchandising, customer support services and information
resources available on-line that ultimately tie
back to sales. Not just product sales, but sales
of your services. If you do not promote yourself
and your practice on the Internet now, you will
by necessity in the near future.
The Academy has
set up a web site to promote its activities and
its membership. The National Registry of The American
Academy of Experts in Traumatic StressT is available
to the world! As a member of the Academy your
name is listed in the Registry and you are on
the Internet. Anyone on the Internet can use the
National Registry to search for a member of the
Academy based on a number of criteria: names,
specialties, locations (limited to city and state),
and telephone numbers.
a home page?
now have home pages or web sites to promote themselves
and their practices. But what is a home page and
how is that different from a web site? A home
page is analogous to one page of information.
However, a page can be longer than an 81/2"
x 11" piece of paper because on the computer
it can be "scrollable." So even though
the entire page does not appear on the computer
screen at once, the user can scroll up and down
the page to view it.
A home page can
have "links" or pointers to other pages.
A person reading a page can use the mouse to "click"
on a link. This means that the mouse is moved
so that the on-screen pointer is on the link and
then the mouse button is pressed. This action
causes the computer to change the screen to the
page referenced by the link. As an example, consider
a home page where you mention that your office
is centrally located and easy to find. You might
then include a sentence like this: "Click
here for directions." The reader of this
page could click on that highlighted phrase which
is a link to another page. The screen would change
to your "Directions to My Office" page.
a web site and what can be put on it?
A web site is
simply a collection of linked pages. You could
have information about yourself including your
vita on-line. You can specify office hours and
locations. You can present information pertaining
to your specialty. All of this information can
be presented on several linked pages that comprise
your web site.
The types of information
on your web site can be varied. Some of this information
is what you would give someone over the phone
when they call for the first time. The advantage
is that the information can be much more elaborate
than what you can explain in a time-limited phone
conversation. In effect, you can use your site
to educate your reader about your background,
experience, specialty or any other subject.
Some people put
up the same information they have in their brochures.
Others put up a picture of themselves along with
their vita. Your site can include all this, and
more, by linking several pages. Links can even
be set up to point to other web sites. For example,
your vita will list your affiliation with the
Academy. A link can be set up to point to the
Academy's home page.
As an example,
consider the pediatric surgeon who has a web site.
This surgeon has a specific specialty dealing
with infants and small children who have nasal
passage deformities. As you might imagine, he
spends a lot of time answering the same questions
over and over again. With the web site, he now
provides detailed information on the types of
deformities that he deals with, what surgery can
accomplish, how the surgery is done along with
accompanying diagrams, complications that can
arise, details on the recovery period and much
People can send
electronic mail to this doctor and get a timely
response. Of course this doctor also meets with
the parents, whether or not they have access to
the Internet. A lot of time is still spent on
the phone. But he now saves time as more and more
of his potential patients parents visit his web
site. The parents are better prepared to make
an informed decision regarding surgery and whether
to use this surgeon. They are also more aware
of what can be expected.
someone find my home page or web site?
You might be wondering
how people will know about your web site and whether
many people will "visit" it. A web site
can be registered with Internet search engines.
These are other web sites that serve as giant
indexes of web pages. Someone might be looking
for the keywords "traumatic stress,"
"children," and "disease"
to pull up a list of pages which mention all of
these. If these keywords were used on one of your
pages, a link to your page would appear on the
resulting list. The person searching for information
could click on the link to your page to visit
Of course you
can also advertise your site by putting the address
of the site on your business cards and stationery.
You can put the address in any papers you publish.
Other organizations with which you are affiliated
may be able to create links to your site.
Remember the pediatric
surgeon whose site is described above? People
using the search engines for information on nasal
passage deformities, or specifically for a surgeon
with this specialty, are likely to find this doctor's
site. This could lead to many visitors to the
site. Obviously, there is tremendous potential
for exposure, additional clientele and development
of a reputation through improved visibility.
You can also have
your name in the National Registry linked to your
home page. Thus, if a person searches the National
Registry and your name appears on the resulting
list, it will be highlighted indicating that a
link exists. Clicking on your name will bring
up your home page.
people visit my site?
The question is,
" How much exposure am I going to get as
a result of having my own home page or web site?"
Perhaps you are wondering how many referrals you
are going to get. This all depends on the type
of information your have on your page(s), how
you promote your site (beyond registration with
the search engines) and the type of practice you
are promoting. Obviously, a site promoting a highly
specialized practice is likely to have a small
audience. Although some sites generate substantial
traffic, you should not look to the Internet as
the sole source of new referrals. But that is
certainly changing quickly as more people and
organizations are browsing the Internet and putting
up web sites.
I put up my site?
So what do you
have to do to put up your site? You have two options:
do it yourself or work with a professional web
site builder. To do it yourself, first you will
need to select software to generate web pages
and links. If you are good with the computer,
you can probably learn to use the software fairly
quickly. Next, you must find an Internet Service
Provider who will "host" your site.
This means that you need to find an organization
that will rent space on their web server, a specially
configured computer connected to the Internet.
Finally, you will need to learn how to transfer
your web pages onto the host computer.
Members of the
Academy can now work with professional web developers
to create a custom home page or web site at substantially
discounted rates. Although you might be able to
do it all yourself, it is likely to take many
days or evenings to get it accomplished. It takes
a lot of experience to develop a professional
the costs for professional site development?
You may choose
to work with a professional. The Academy has arranged
for discounts of 25%-35% off standard billing
rates with Learning Lane Software, the developer
of the Academy's site. The setup fee is $150.
This includes up to two hours of site configuration
and telephone consultation. Usually, a home page
can be set up in this time. If your information
is typed and on disk, this can speed the process
along. Additional site setup time is billed at
$60 per hour. The fee for hosting your home page
or site is $120 for a year. The fee may be slightly
more for large home pages or sites, or for sites
with many graphics and pictures. Alternatively,
you can have an existing site linked to your name
in the National Registry for $20 per year.
For more information
on these services, contact Mitch Adler of Learning
Lane Software at (908) 548-7171, or send electronic
mail to email@example.com.
by The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic