Provide Guidelines to Create and Maintain an Effective Internet Presence as a Vehicle to Help Potential Kidney Donors Learn of Your Need
This post is based on our admittedly limited experience with the creation, design, development, content, launch and maintenance of an effective Internet presence to help patients needing a kidney transplant find a donor. We see many Internet-based efforts to find a living kidney donor that miss the mark or could use some help. Here are some suggestions.
Why an Internet Presence?
You have a story to tell and you need to let as many people as possible know about your need for a kidney and how they can help. What better and less expensive vehicle is there to accomplish that goal than the Internet? It’s relatively easy to use and it can help you reach many people.
About a Webpage?
The web address (domain name, URL) of a webpage with an easy-to-remember domain name will be easy to remember. A webpage hosted by a web hosting platform may also require URL redirection (easy to do).
Facebook and other social media are useful. They can then be deployed to share your story through individual posts, each of which refers to, and drives traffic to your webpage or Facebook page.
How a Webpage Works to Help Your Donor Find You:
A webpage can contain your personal story in a consistent, updatable form. It can be working for you 24/7/365, always available to inform, interest and motivate readers in a consistent and comprehensive way to learn about your need and to take action, even if that action is only to share your story further.
And a webpage can tap into the power of Facebook and other social media where you can add short attractive sharable posts that refer to your webpage via a hyperlink for a quick click-through to your story.
A public webpage or Facebook page can help your story go viral by the marvelous phenomenon of exponentiation. Your friends publicly share your public story, and then some of their friends publicly share your public story, and so on.
Instead of repeating your story every time you tell it, a webpage on the Internet or a Facebook page that tells your story will make the most effective use of your time and reach the most people. Let’s call that webpage or Facebook page a “Landing Zone.”
A parachutist will land on earth everytime, but where? If that parachutist is either a potential kidney donor or even just someone who could repost, retweet, copy and paste or otherwise share your story, they might share your post so that your message finds its most effective home by landing in your Landing Zone.
That Landing Zone is your webpage or Facebook page. And that webpage or Facebook page should tell your story and motivate people landing there to take action.
The action you need from as many people as possible is that they share your post on Facebook and elsewhere as well as its URL or hyperlink to your landing zone. Ultimately that might lead to a potential donor reading your webpage.
By making a small request (the "Small Ask") that is easy to grant (e.g., please share my post), it is more likely that your post and your website or Facebook page will be shared. The goal is to get your story read by many many people so as to increase your chance of your story being read by a potential donor. Sharing can be of immense help in ultimately getting your story in front of those few who (a) are willing to consider the possibility of kidney donation and (b) are also medically qualified to donate.
Blog Hosting Platform:
A blog platform is an easy-to-use and easy-to-update and maintain free/inexpensive tool to host your Internet presence in an easily found location with an easy-to-remember Internet address (e.g. SaveLily.com).
Blogger and Wordpress are two good blogging platforms to consider. Examples here will be based on Blogger, a Google product.
The Blogger.com platform hosts thousands of individual blogs. Each blog has a unique name. E.g., “SaveLily.com." And in order to be found within the Blogger environment, Blogger assigns each blog a unique Internet address name (a URL or Universal Resource Locator) by adding “blogspot.com” to the Blog name, thereby creating an Internet address such as “SaveLily.blogspot.com."
Now that’s difficult to remember but there’s a simple solution: I register a domain name that is easy to remember, such as SaveLily.com and have my hosting service (I use BulkRegister.com) redirect inbound traffic to the URL assigned by Blogger which, in this case is SaveLily.blogspot.com. In BulkRegister, redirection is done by changing “host records” so as to redirect (called “URL Redirect”) inbound traffic to SaveLily.blogspot.com, the real target web address.
So now you have a way to send interested persons from your registered URL to your Blogger URL where you blog resides.