Come Fishing With Me

by William R. Eubank

I love my volunteer "job" as Webmaster for MidTESOL. It gives me an opportunity to combine several vocations and avocations. There are elements of teaching, writing, publishing, salesmanship and fishing in the construction of every web site. I have always enjoyed living and working on a "frontier" - twenty years in the Aleutians of Alaska; three years in Yunnan, China; and many years working as an ESL / EFL teacher. Right now, the Internet is still very much a frontier.

The fishing part comes in setting out lines (files) and then seeing what they have caught at the end of a certain period. To do this, I have several programs that analyze the access.log file that records every visitor and each file that is delivered to their computer. During the last 90 days, 1,326 "first time" visitors* (15 a day) arrived at the MidTESOL web site. What did they come to see? What drew them to the site?

We had the following:

560 page views** of "Teaching Reading Skills: Tips From The Trenches" by Tracy Henninger-Chiang.

277 page views of "The Catcher in The Rye: A Successful Novel for Intensive English Reading Courses: by Karen M. Mills.

350 page views of "Job Opportunities in the Midwest"

150 page views of the Winter MidTESOL Matters articles (posted on 2-19-99).

120 Page views of the MidTESOL Membership Application Form.

The state rep pages had these numbers of contacts: Missouri (101), Iowa (85), Kansas (74) and Nebraska (70).

The site is up and running, and visitors are finding it and returning!

Won't you join me on this fishing expedition? I'll take care of the technical part - getting the files out there - you just need to send me the bait.

*I am aware of the finer points of log file issues - unique IP address vs. actual visitors vs. actual visits.
**A person/machine "viewed" the page; it may or may not have been read or comprehended the message.

Ideas?  Contact me!  William Eubank,

Added to the WWW on 06-21-99
Last updated on 06-21-99

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William R. Eubank
1632 Burcham Drive
East Lansing, Michigan 48823
United States of America