Geoff Whitehouse | Yossarian

Launching a New Traffic Exchange - Part One

Oct 3rd 2010 at 12:12 AM

Some might think that I’m quite mad but I launched a new Traffic Exchange (TE) the other day. 

After spending quite a while being a surfer and a promoter, I wanted to have a go on the other side as a TE owner. 

Now I’m no Jon Olson or Tim Linden but sometimes you have to run with what you want to do and I felt that I was ready to take the plunge.  I had quite a few ideas for TE themes.  Themes are important as they “personalize” and “brand” the TE.  Think of your favorite TEs and why they are so – the underlying theme plays a critical role in your surfing experience.

I finally settled on a “battleship” theme although I have to confess that I nearly changed my mind at the last minute!   Battleships have always been an interest of mine - from Nelson’s Victory at the battle of Trafalgar right up to the modern day to the last remaining battleships (the USN Iwoa class ships).  Having a personal interest in the theme helps when thinking about the detailed site design. 

Thus Battleship-Hits was born. 

Next came selection of the TE script,  After a bit of background research, asking around, and drawing on the experience of surfing many TEs, I settled on the LFMTE script.  Josh Abbott is a very capable programmer and has come up with quite a package – a robust, feature-packed script that can easily be tailored to any theme you can dream up.  The team at LFMTE also offer technical, design and hosting support – all of which I am grateful for!

The LFMTE back-office enables easy management and performance monitoring of the traffic exchange.  This was one of the top selling points for the script. 

Even with this, there was a lot of work to do.  First I had to install the base script onto the host server and after a few “crisis” moments, we managed to get it up and running.  Chris Houg (LFMTE-Host) was fantastic and very understanding as I took my first steps.  The LFMTE script comes with an automatic downloader to load the script to your server of choice and this helped immensely. 

Then came the steps of tailoring the base traffic exchange.  This includes adjusting the system settings and base templates to your overall design.  Other factors to take into account include developing the terms of service for the exchange, help and/or FAQs, setting membership levels and payment processing. 

I also contracted out the overall design of the exchange as my skills in this area are limited.  I am glad I did but this was perhaps the hardest part as my designer initially struggled with what I was trying to achieve.  I should stress that this was not my designer’s fault.  It is just a fact of life that ideas can be easily lost through the medium of email and good communication and patience are paramount.  In the end, it resulted in a design that I am very happy with and I thank Adam Campbell for his design expertise.

Finally, the Traffic Exchange was technically ready to launch which meant moving into a more marketing mode for the exchange.  This can be both very rewarding and frustrating at the same time.   Naturally I think that my Traffic Exchange is wonderful and that surfers should flock to it.  I also believe that I am a reliable and trustworthy TE owner.  However, my experience as a surfer and promoter tells me that people are going to have a healthy degree of scepticism to any new product. 

This is where networks really come into play.  After all, I am building a book of promoters and surfers who will only be interested and remain so if the product delivers what they want.  If I have already networked with these people, I have a much better understanding of their needs.  I also turned off the “hard sell” introductory pages that come with the LFMTE script.  Robert Puddy probably thinks I’m mad but I believe that a brand new TE needs to establish its credibility and reliability before it can hope to sell one dollar of services. 

Now, its early days (the TE went “live” this week).  But given that I am starting from scratch, I have been heartened by the response to-date.  Moreover, the script is performing beyond my expectations.  Thanks once again to Josh and the team at LFMTE and Chris and the team at LFMTE-Host. 

Will it be ultimately successful?  I believe that the right steps have been taken to-date and I am getting good advice from fellow TE owners and experts.  Also, I have learnt so much in a relatively short space of time and I am hungry to learn more.  It’s my goal to continue to deliver a good, reliable, safe, and cost-effective platform for promoters and surfers alike, coupled with high-quality support and services.

Care to join me? 

Visit my new TE site at and see if it works for you.  I am always interested in comments and feedback and am looking to further develop the site into a first-class Traffic Exchange.

And stay tuned for part two......

Please to comment
Feb 12th 2011 at 3:09 AM by blackfolder1
If owning a traffic exchange sounds like something you would like to do but it sounds too complicated, you can always "test the waters" by renting one at any number of places
Nov 26th 2010 at 1:22 PM by RobertBland
That is a great story Yossarian,it all sounds very complicated to me! Well done. I love battleships too so I shall be joining.
Oct 23rd 2010 at 10:36 AM by luckylibllc
Smooth surfing. Quick loading. Good job!
Oct 21st 2010 at 10:58 PM by luckylibllc
Looks great. I owned a traffic exchange once, but I was not ready for the challenge. You're not mad at all; I plan to do it again myself (siiigh - I miss Cascade Traffic). Good luck.
Oct 21st 2010 at 9:45 PM by bjfoot
Great site! Good Luck... Brenda
Oct 21st 2010 at 6:08 PM by rhondamorton
Hi Geoff, Good luck with your TE :)

sign in

Remember Me

New to IM faceplate? join free!

Lost Password? click here