I’ve been struggling to promote my new site, the Alternative Browser Alliance, since I launched it in August. It’s a tough sell. I get the most traffic when I post something visible on Slashdot and people follow the link in my signature. You can barely even find it in Google—search for “Alternative Browser Alliance” and blog posts about it show up ahead of the site itself! (On the other hand, it seems to be #1 for “alternative browser” on MSN. Not that it seems to be helping much.)

By contrast, Flash: Those Who Ride the Lightning pulls in tons of visitors. Last week I put up an article on the Three Dimwits, the Flash’s comedic sidekicks from the 1940s. Within 24 hours it had received more than 150 hits. Within 3 days it was the top result for “three dimwits” on Google.

Why the difference? Well, my Flash site is long-established and authoritative. More importantly, it fills a specific niche. You can find a zillion pages about web browsers. But there are only a handful of large sites dedicated to the Flash, and mine is the longest-lived of them, aside from DC Comics’ own site. And until I wrote one, I could not find a page anywhere that actually focused on the Three Dimwits, just a set of stubs and the occasional comment in articles about the Flash.

Last Thursday I posted a suggestion box on the front page of the site. The results have been interesting. The freakiest part was probably that the first suggestion came in just five minutes after I uploaded the form! There’ve been 22 suggestions in the first week, which I’ve divided into three categories. Continue reading