I remember my first web site. While I have been in computer industry for over 25 years, my exposure to internet was very limited until a few years ago. My expertise was large computer systems and applications, as well as project management. In mid-1990's none of these systems required access to a global network of any kind.
However, once I found internet I began searching around (surfing) and found all kinds of wonderful things. However, I was very busy with a very demanding job (on pager 24 hours a day, 7 day a week), a wife, a kid, 3 cats and a dog. Life was just too busy to do more than jump on web and download a few files.
One day a few years ago I decided to create a web site. I had no idea how to do it, but it was time. I was very conversant in HTML, as I maintained our intranet (the internet network for our company), but mechanics of putting a web site on web was foreign to me.
Looking back, it's hard for me to believe how naive I was at time! I had some web space that came with my dial-up account and it seemed to me that this would be a fine place to put a web site. No domain name, just a plain, free host type URL.
I put up web site and waited. Of course, I added a hit counter because I wanted to see if anyone was visiting. I waited, and waited, and waited. Not a single hit. Not one, except, of course, for my own.
Hmm, this was strange, I thought. No one was visiting. At that point, I began searching web to find out why this was (well, wasn't) happening. Slowly truth dawned on me - you've got to promote your site! People have to be informed that it exists and they have to understand that it has enough value for them to take a look.
Okay, so now I had to figure out how to get people to come to my site. I looked around some more, and before long I found an interesting page. It claimed that my site would get over 3,000,000 hits! Wow, that sounded great.
The page went on to explain that it was something called a "hit tree". This means people take it from your site, modify it slightly (this is automatic and part of process) and add it to their site. The new page on their site is then promoted, and other people find it and do same thing.
How does this help get people to a site? Simple, there is a set of links on page, basically URL of last eight or so sites which added hit page. When page is created, bottom link is removed and new site is added to top.