When I read that beautiful article from Jennifer Stewart on the very same topic, I realized that many of us would not have the time to search for and maintain really good stuff to entertain our visitors. And I surely remembered that more than two years ago we at ICA-D dealt with the very same topics.
Being German and publishing on the web mainly for German speaking audiences, we nevertheless realized very soon, that interesting content, even if not been written in English, might attract visitorsof foreign tongues worldwide. So – what could we do to entertain visitors nationally and internationally alike?
When we started to put our “2000 Years in History” (which is under development since 1993, first being published on CD-ROM) on the web in January 1999, we already did have some web experiences. If you would like to have a peek, you may visit the site here: http://www.weltchronik.de
Concerning the entertaining issue, we were looking for something suitable to those international needs, and we finally came down to online playable jigsaw puzzles.
Why that? Why jigsaw puzzles?
Here are some answers:
Jigsaw puzzles are aiming at ALL ages, ANY gender, ALL languages. Nothing else has such flexibility:
When we looked for a suitable software doing the job, we could not find any in the market by that time. So we wrote our own. This gave us the advantage to add some features a marketeer would love to have: A tool to gather leads. A tool to catch a prospect in a state of being “happy”, flying high because of having solved a little problem successfully. This IS a very important aspect on its own!
The results can be viewed at our jigsaw puzzle home page: http://www.ica-d.com/puzzle/puzzle.htm (this site is written in English, dont bother to need a translator). And what we are doing by ourselves with this piece of software may be viewed inside our history pages (there is some German there, but you will circumnavigate it easily): http://www.weltchronik.de/games/puzzle/puzzle.htmBy the way – the software cuts ANY JPEG image into a programmable number of pieces automatically at runtime.
Pretty soon we found out that other webmasters would like to have such marketing tools on their own site. Thus, we made the software public, adding FreeWare and ShareWare versions to it and started selling it seperately – especially the “Strategic Business Version” which is exactly the same what we use to make our visitors to hand out their e-mail addresses to us. And to make them come back every once in a while, even if they would eventually not search for historical events. If you need efficiency, speed, cost-reductions and visibility, then you NEED eWork ProSource…
Using such tools (yes, we do have a joke page, too, with hourly changing contents) since over two years now, the status of our sites is some 13.000 unique vistors a day downloading 2 million pages each month. And close to 50% of them became regular guests. For a German content of such specialities, this is pretty much though.
Regards and greetings from the German-French border!
Rainer Detering, Senior Consultant, Dipl.-Ing., Webmaster of ICA-D, Germany International Consultants Agency Homepage: http://www.ica-d.de with links to all other services as there are: German Laws online, Inline Skating Guide, and of course World-, German-, Technical- and Cultural- History of the last 2000 Years Online playable Jigsaw Puzzle Applet pages are found at http://www.ica-d.com/puzzle/puzzle.htm All versions may be tested as ShareWare, purchases can be done by Credit Cards using secure US Services.