The Middlebury Community Network

How to become a member of this internet community

If you are a quality business or service located approximately between Rutland and Burlington, Vermont, you are most likely qualified to join this internet community.  While our focus is on Middlebury in particular, and Addison County in general, we consider anyone within about an hour's drive of Middlebury to be within our playground.

We're only interested in folks who have something of interest to offer both local residents and the hundreds of thousands of visitors who may arrive - either via the internet or in person.  We do not accept web sites of a controversial nature, such as political pages, blogs and other rants, and of course, material that you wouldn't want your children to visit.  This community is not a "directory" of everything under the sun - there are lots of other places for that.  We're only interested in the quality, interesting, and useful stuff.

As you may have noted, we do not have any advertising anywhere in this network.  Please don't ask us for a banner ad, to "exchange links" or things like that.  That's not what we're about.  We want our visitors to leave with a warm fuzzy feeling about our community and it's many activities... and in fact we get a lot of email simply thanking us and remarking what a nice "visit" they had.

The process is very simple:

If you already have a web site, you send us $100 Yankee money and we add you to the community after we've approved your membership.  First we'll take a "screen shot" of your home page, reduce it to 150 pixels wide, give it a thin, 2 pixel black border, and re-sharpen the image where it will be placed on our home page as you have seen, hopefully in alphabetical order.  Below it will be your full business name, and both the name and the photo will hyperlink to your web site in a new browser window.  That way they can thoroughly cruise your site without having to hit the "back" button a zillion times to return to the network.  In order to have your new membership noticed right away, we'll also run it at the top of the page in the "What's New" section for a couple of months at least.  You'll start getting visitors from day one.

If you don't have a web site, you have two options:

1.  We can custom-build you a one-page "Business Home Page" which will be hosted within the Community Networks web site.  It will have a URL ( web address ) something like www.middlebury.net/yourname but other than that, it will appear just as any other web site home page.  While we don't have any firm size limits, we're generally thinking of something like your company logo at the top ( if you have one ), a general description of your business, location, hours of operation, phone, fax, snail mail address, email link, and such.  A couple of photos always add a nice touch.  Our charge for this design work is a flat rate of $100, regardless of how much programming time we put into it - and some folks have called this "the biggest bargain on the web".  The search engines will automatically pick up your page soon after it goes online, and soon folks will be able to find you directly through Google, Yahoo, AOL Search, and the other major engines.  So the bottom line is, the first year will cost you $200 ( $100 for design, another $100 for hosting 24 x 7 x 365).  A year later, you'll receive another annual bill for $100 for hosting.  If during the year your phone number or email address changes, we'll do the update at no additional cost.  But if you call us every month wanting to change the content or photographs or whatever, then we're going to bill you our standard programming rate of $75 per hour.

2.  If you're ready to hit the net with your first full-sized, multi-page web site, we can do that for you as well.  We can register a domain name for you, set up your own web server, design the site - including custom image work and an online store if needed where folks can buy directly using their credit cards - or anything else you need.  Our biggest site to date is 147 pages, and the client raves about it constantly.  Naturally, the price of such a site varies with the size and complexity, but we recommend keeping it simple at first... 6-10 pages can generally tell the story quite well, and if you follow our advice, you'll end up with a nice, clean, quick loading, and easy-to-navigate site for somewhere between $1000 - $1800, including domain registration, server setup, design and hosting for a full year - no kidding.  If you're interested, you need to give Jim a call at (802) 897-2001 and he'll talk your ear off on the subject.

So the bottom line is thus:

  • You already have a web site, you're in for a hundred bucks a year ( pending approval of your site )
  • You don't have a web site but would like to get your feet wet on the web, you're in for $200 (first year) and $100 per year thereafter.

Parting Note:  You may have noticed a few sites that fall out of our claimed area of coverage.  We will occasionally extend our borders for something special that might not be available locally, like Susan's brother-in-law, Dave Kernan, who repairs Antique Radios from his home in Warwick, Rhode Island at www.middlebury.net/olradio . Dave gets email from as far away as Japan from folks looking to the their antique radios back in working order, and has had more then 80,000 visitors to that simple, single page on the web..  Jim's buddy, Carlisle Wiley, who makes authentic Civil War leather goods got in at www.middlebury.net/carlisle because there are a lot of Civil War reenactors in Vermont (including Jim) who are looking for that sort of thing.

So if you have something exciting, unique, or unusual down in Bennington or up in the Northeast Kingdom, give us a call at (802) 897-2001 and convince Jim that folks in our neck of the woods would really like to know about you.

Thanks for visiting and actually reading all of this long-winded explanation.

  

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Revised: February 09, 2008