Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Portal Paper Q&A

(Blogjob tags: Gate City VirginiaKingsport Daily Newslocal advertisinglocal news,Portal PaperPriscilla’s Internet Portalrole of local newspaper in communityScott County Virginia.)

Basic questions and answers for the printed edition of my blogs...yes, it's different from what you see online. (For instance, reposting this page online allows me to answer more questions!)
Q. What's a "Portal Paper"?
A. It’s the printed newsletter for Priscilla’s Internet Portal…in big, bold letters, for those who don’t like looking at computer screens.
Q. What’s an “Internet Portal”?
A. It’s a business address people can use to buy and sell things on the Internet. It protects everyone’s privacy and helps people shop with cash or prepaid methods, so they don’t have to worry about bouncing checks or online theft.
Q. What can people buy, sell, or advertise via an Internet Portal?
A. People can advertise almost anything. The obvious limits on actual sales apply. Federally regulated merchandise, such as guns and drugs, have to be purchased in real life through licensed dealers (we can mention the stores here). Large transactions, such as cars and real estate, have to be conducted in real life. Things that need special handling, such as grand pianos and live animals, have to be shipped in reasonable real-life ways.
Q. What does the Internet Portal advertise?
A. It was set up primarily to advertise books. In real life I have relatively few, heavily used, books for sale; by setting up an Internet Portal as an Amazon Associate, I advertise and resell more books, in better condition, from other people to other people worldwide. However, I’ve been using it to advertise my hand crafts and writing services for years, too…and there’s no reason why you can’t use it to advertise anything you want to sell or promote, as well!
Q. What can Priscilla’s Internet Portal do for me?
A. The sky’s the limit. Frankly, you’re not going to be the only person in the world who’s advertising anything on the Internet; probably you’re not going to be the neediest person who’s willing to offer the lowest price. All U.S. business on the Internet will always be undersold by somebody in Asia or Africa. But you never know when you might be the most convenient advertiser, or the one a customer wants to support.
Q. Could I do the same thing myself?
A. If you want to make a full-time job of looking at computer screens and earning pennies for five years or more, the way I’ve done, go ahead and try it; you might do it better. If you want to keep the job and life you have, you’re better off working with what I’ve put together so far. My Internet Portal can and will get better as it grows and gains support. Meanwhile, I’m the one who’s already invested enough in my virtual business that it’s worth my time to keep track of other people’s online sales of $5 or $10.
Q. Can online readers subscribe to the Portal Paper?
A. Why not? Outside the U.S., a postage fee may apply.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. For those who don't remember the Daily News, the goal is to make a full-sized weekly paper free to readers--completely funded by local ads. We're not there yet, though. Currently, the price is $1 per week, cash. The first issue, which basically announced that this paper exists, consisted of four sheets of paper printed on one side. The next issue will be longer, won't repeat the policy statements from page one or this FAQ sheet from page two, and will therefore contain more news.
Q. Amazon ads don't appear in the Portal Paper, so how is this post going to work one in?
A. With links to books by two very good writers, dearly loved and sorely missed, whose printed newsletters I used to read before the Internet was invented:
(This book was famous for the monster typo in the title! It should have been The Last Word: On The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense. It was not the last word. Elgin read her mail, discussed relevant material with pen friends, and wrote another twelve volumes reflecting reader input.)
(John Holt didn't live long enough to update this book, but members of his network have done that; click this link to see what they've made of it.)