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    Back Issues, Weekly
    Week Ending: Jan 20, 1996
    January 20, 1996
    What a traffic builder! The Internet Sleuth is an amazing collection of over 900 form interfaces to major Web Databases. If your goal is to get people to come your way and hang around for a while, try something like this.

    January 19, 1996
    Online marketing isn't just about setting up and operating a website. It's very difficult to really tell who your competition is because manufacturers are becoming publishers, publishers are becoming marketers, marketers behave like distributors and so on. Role definition is topsy-turvy in this new channel.

    Editor and Publisher Interactive offers a single source for staying abreast of the developments in the traditional news publishing industry. It's liable to be the case that you'll have to invest some of your marketing budget in ads in a news service of some kind (The more things change, the more they stay the same!). Editor and Publisher Interactive is a way to keep an eye on who's targeting your audience.

    January 18, 1996
    Graphics are not the most important part of Website Design. But, they are the surface that customers encounter first. You can't ignore the graphic look and feel, and you can't overemphasize it. The single most important part of site design is the underlying Business and Market Planning.

    We consistently encounter potential clients who are sure that their product/service/website/graphics/software (and so on) are so incredible that simply placing a site on the Web will ensure their prosperity.

    Someone ought to hang the person responsible for the idea "If you build it they will come." In the Marketing world, we know that if you build it, they will stay away unless you find a way to attract them.

    The Web is a tool for building relationships with customers. The commercial possibilities are a secondary consequence. The fact that you develop repeat traffic provides the opportunity for a sale, not vice versa.

    The "final" Netscape Beta (version 2.0b5) is available. If you're not using it, stop what you're doing and download a copy.

    January 17, 1996
    Donna Hoffman is the Vanderbilt professor who is nearly single-handedly defining the theoretical view of the Web. We've mentioned her often. Her recent article Commercial Scenarios for the Web: Opportunities and Challenges offers a detailed, if somewhat intellectual, look at the pieces of an effective web site. The piece is laced with examples and makes quick reading for a scholarly article. Dont't forget about the amazing wealth of Marketing information available through her Website: Project 2000

    January 16, 1996
    Topic: New and Changed Sites

    January 15, 1996
    Great design isn't accidental, it's a question of sweating the details. With the mind numbing array of competing aesthetics around the Web, the question of site design is the stuff of headaches. We applaud David Seigel's attempts to recognize truly excellent graphic design.

    The High Five Awards are given weekly to recognize Excellence in Site Design. Seigel is upfront about the rigorous standards he applies in selecting sites. This is no "Cool Site of the Day", but an attempt to apply real graphic standards to the Web. A phrase that seems to drift through Siegel's text is "This may sound harsh, but....". He is deadly earnest about excellent graphic site design.

    A modest inconsistency influenced our overall impression of the site. Using a Mac Netscape browser, the High Five Awards page itself is somewhat unreadable. The tables and background are not lined up effectively. We know all about optimizing site design for target audiences and it seems that Seigel is focused on the larger PC audience. Our feelings weren't hurt. Knowing your audience is a critical part of solid design.

    Check out the Past Winners Gallery for examples that will stimulate your thinking about your site design. Remember, Siegels emphasis is on graphic quality, not usability per se. After a quick look, we're sure that we flunked the test. So, we looked closely at Web Wonk, Seigel's very useful collection of design tips.

    Think of the High Five Awards as a sort of "Architectural Digest". Nice interiors, great ideas, incredible quality but you might not want to actually live there.

    If you are really interested in site design and the future of browsers, please read his essay:Severe Tire Damage.

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    All material on this site is © 1995, 1996 by IBN (The Internet Business Network), Mill Valley, CA 94941