Youve Got Questions? Weve Got Answers
Above all else, you need to make sure that your visitors get their questions answered quickly and effectively. You can initiate this process by creating a FAQ that answers the most common questions a newcomer might have. FAQs are inherently designed to evolve; you start with the most obvious questions and later add others that come up as your community grows.
In addition to FAQs, you may also want to include instructional information if your audience is new to the Net, or your community platform is especially complex. For example, eBay caters to a mainstream audience, and offers step-by-step instructions for using all the various tools and features. By contrast, Slashdot caters to geeks and hackers, who like to figure things out for themselves, so instructions are minimal.
If your visitors fall into distinct categories, you can streamline your Visitors Center by providing a separate area (and FAQ) for each group. For example, the About Us area of drkoop.com (www.drkoop.com/aboutus) (see Figure 4) has special sections for consumers, advertisers, investors, and press. Each section answers questions for that particular type of visitor, so theres less extraneous content for everyone to wade through.
TheAbout US section of drkoop.com is divided into areas geared towards investors, consumers, advertisers, and the press. This section also features a picture and quote from Dr. Koop himself, who, as the elder of the site, conveys a sense of comfort and trustworthiness.