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FriendsOfIshmael.org and Ishmael.com are both sites that work best for those who have already read Ishmael. However, for those who have not yet read Daniel Quinn's work, both sites can be daunting or even a turnoff. It became clear to many readers that a site was needed that would help introduce Quinn's work to those who were not yet familiar, especially those who were not already open-minded to new ideas. For this reason, ReadIshmael.com was created.
What Is ReadIshmael.com?
ReadIshmael.com is a website designed to help introduce Ishmael to the mainstream reader who is unfamiliar with Quinn's work. It does so in an intriguing and engaging manner by gaining the reader's interest via key personal and social issues. The homepage then explains who Daniel Quinn is and shares some of the most inspiring stories of Ishmael's influence in our culture. This then leads into a series of short thought-provoking pages explaining to the reader why he or she should read Ishmael.
The site also helps the potential reader to find the most crucial related information, such as other Quinn readers in their local area, mainstream-relevant reviews of Ishmael and Daniel Quinn's other speeches and essays. Finally, viewers may purchase copies of Quinn's work, as well as other works inspired by Ishmael, conveniently through the website.
Who Created ReadIshmael.com?
Readers from throughout the world have come together to create ReadIshmael.com. Each has lent his or her best talents, be it writing, editing, drawing or programming. All of the writing, graphics, hosting, and funding for the site come from readers themselves. ReadIshmael.com receives no funding or donations of any kind from Daniel Quinn or his publisher.
Use ReadIshmael.com To Spread The Word
ReadIshmael.com is a powerful marketing tool to help spread the word, and it is a tool for you to use! Refer friends to the site or put it on stickers, flyers, banners, email signatures, and other materials. Place a classified ad in the employment section. Link to it on your page, or let others know about it so that they can link to it. It uses many well-known and effective marketing strategies, and therefore, in promoting it, there are certain things that will help make it most effective.
Use the Best Entry Point For Each Reader
As a tool, ReadIshmael.com is quite comprehensive, taking the viewer from having no idea who Daniel Quinn is all the way to learning about several of his books and having the opportunity to purchase them. Therefore, the best way to use the site is to simply encourage people to view it. But, how do you encourage someone to view a site they know nothing about?
The key is for the first page they see to grab their interest. Obviously, different people can be encouraged to view the site through different interests, and this is reflected in the site's various entry points. Encourage viewers to enter the site at the point that would be most intriguing to that particular person or group. Beware of coming across as an advertiser marketing Ishmael to the reader. Instead, you are simply offering a site that tells a story about their particular interest, which just happens to involve an interesting book.
Any of the tools mentioned on the Friends of Ishmael Society Reader Promotional Tools section can be applied to help market ReadIshmael.com. This includes advertisements, banners, flyers, stickers, signs, videos or any other means of communication. The key is to remember why ReadIshmael.com was created. The site was necessary because many people are not interested in environmental issues, cultural issues, and other "big picture" issues. It is hopeful that after reading Ishmael, many people do become interested in these issues, since the book explains how they relate to their lives. However, the fact is that most of the people we hope to interest in Quinn's work do not care about these issues very much.
- Rat Race Entry Point - The main theme of the site, including the introductory segment, deals with the rat race lifestyle. Therefore, anyone who might be affected by the stress and insecurity of our current job system will be interested in the site by the main entry point. Just send them to www.ReadIshmael.com and explain that it has to do with the stress and other problems they may experience from the current job market. You can also suggest that websites dealing with similar issues link to ReadIshmael.com.
- Special Interest Story Entry Points - There are several stories listed on the ReadIshmael.com homepage, such as Ishmael's influence on Pearl Jam's Yield album, Ishmael being featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Ishmael's use in schools, and the story of Ray Anderson, the CEO who changed his business around after reading Ishmael. Any of these pages, as well as any of the other special interest stories listed on the homepage, makes a great entry point for someone interested especially in that person or issue.
For instance, tell the folks on the Pearl Jam newsgroup to visit the Pearl Jam page at http://www.readishmael.com/readishmael/readishpearljam.html (or tell someone who runs a Pearl Jam fan page to place a link to it). Tell people who are more interested in business about the amazing story of Ray Anderson at http://www.readishmael.com/readishmael/readishanderson.html. All of these pages then link back up to the homepage so that viewers will go on to learn more about Ishmael once their interest is gained. Check out the sites where you are posting, however, to make sure someone else has not already posted before. If they have, you may add a response agreeing with their post. But, beware of multiple posts in the same place, which will come across as spam-like.
There is no need to give a drawn-out explanation of Ishmael, as these pages speak for themselves and then lead the viewer in an intriguing way to more information. Simply explain that there is an interesting story about the person or issue that they are interested in and give them the URL. The site will take it from there. Remember the sense of curiosity that you had as you first discovered Ishmael? Let new viewers have the chance to experience that by not giving away the whole book too early.
What they DO care about is their jobs, their families, and their personal feelings. Therefore, ReadIshmael.com focuses more on these mainstream issues. In marketing the site, it will probably be most effective to hit on these issues in your stickers, flyers, and other materials. On the other hand, there is no need to get into in-depth discussion about these issues, that is done by the site. Just mention enough to get the reader intrigued to go to the site, and then let the site take them from there. Think about a movie trailer. They don't give away the whole movie, just a tiny piece right?
You may want to read through the Why Read Ishmael section and use ideas taken from those pages, or ideas taken from the initial introductory cartoons at the beginning of ReadIshmael.com. Many issues are noticeably NOT discussed on those pages because they are not mainstream issues that will intrigue most potential readers, and it may be more effective to leave those issues to be dealt with by Ishmael itself.
How You Can Help Support ReadIshmael.com
As mentioned, ReadIshmael.com is a tool offered by many readers to help you spread the word. There are several ways that you can help support ReadIshmael.com: