Who is in charge of your organization's Web site? Who puts together the pages where attendees find out about your meeting, register for it, select sessions to attend, link to hotels and airlines, etc.? At last year's CEMA Summit, many marketing communications executives said these responsibilities would migrate out of MIS or IT and into their departments. Doubtless, one or two readers out there with event and meeting responsibilities are trying to duck the issue because they don't know beans about the way Web sites work. Fortunately, a new book will relieve them of their ignorance without making their eyes glaze over with page after page of HTML instruction. It's called Poor Richard's Web Site, by Peter Kent (2nd edition, Top Floor Publishing, Lakewood, Colo., $29.95), and it belongs on every Web-illiterate planner's bookshelf.
Kent, whose previous work includes the best-selling Complete Idiot's Guide to the Internet, has set out to create a plain-English guide to creating a functioning Web site for people who don't know anything about how to go about it. In the process, he has created a valuable 448-page manual that will help event and meetings managers avoid being flim-flammed by people who would otherwise sell them the digital equivalent of the Brooklyn Bridge.
For example, Kent discusses the eight options for placement of a Web site and describes how to choose the best one. He also shows how to go about choosing a Web-hosting service, and in the process shows the rather dramatic spread in prices charged. He shows how to conduct credit-card transactions over the Web without spending oodles of cash on specialized card processing services. He also takes the reader step-by-step through the options for registering a domain name (more nontrivial savings here), getting search engines to pick up your site, and helpful hints about figuring out how a visitor got to your site in the first place.
The best thing about this book is not that it will teach you how to build your own, functioning Web site--although it will do that--but that it will give you the wherewithal to ask intelligent questions and even argue with the folks who run the Web site in your company. For more, visit http://PoorRichard.com