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The number of people using the Internet continues to expand exponentially. A recent study by the Angus Reid Group stated that more than 100 million Americans use the Internet, and at least 30 million more are expected to join the ranks this year. Canada holds second place. Approximately 300 million people use the Web worldwide, and that number is expected to skyrocket to one billion users by 2005.

The Internet can be a boon to your practice, so long as you don’t get lost while surfing. It’s a great resource for statistics, articles, products, networking and practice-building tips. It also serves as a marketing tool if you do E-mail promotions or have a Web site. This issue includes articles on utilizing the Internet for research, marketing your practice online, and creating effective Web sites (complete with examples of massage therapy home pages and interviews with massage Web site owners).

Keith Eric Grant guides you through the maze of searching for information on the Web, and provides a list of handy Web sites covering search engines to U.S. government sites to small business information and services sites to specific massage resource sites to massage therapist directories.

Elaine Floyd discusses online marketing to find and communicate with potential clients. She describes how to use a commercial service for classified ads, forums and E-mail promotions.
J.J. Surbeck explores the factors involved in determining your need for a Web site. He points out the benefits a Web site has to offer your practice—particularly as a means of increasing visibility and providing information.

Raphaella Emet explains the basic steps involved in setting up a Web site—from choosing a domain name, to purchasing appropriate software, to finding a service to host your site. She also provides an extensive glossary of Web terms so that you easily can understand the current techno-jargon.

Doug Craigen explains the basics of Web site design: He illustrates common design flaws; demonstrates how to correct problems and ensure your site is readable; and includes pointers on overall design.

MTJ Business Editor Cherie Sohnen-Moe provides an extensive list of ideas for drawing people to your Web site. She also interviews several therapists about their Web sites, and shows highlights from several sites.

It’s our hope that after reading these articles, you will feel more confident about using the Internet for your business ... and that your bottom line will rise accordingly.

—The Editors

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