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    Back Issues, Weekly
    Week Ending: Feb 03, 1996
    February 3, 1996
    Now that the telecommunications reform bill is passed and in place, the protests are beginning to come out of the woodwork. We tend to see it as a marketing issue rather than a free speech question. If your market has a high component of the "digerati", you should quickly get a blue ribbon logo and display it prominently on your site. There are other markets, however, in which actively supporting the rights of pornographers is liable to cost you customer traffic and cash flow. We'd suggest that the decision to display or not display the blue ribbon logo is a strategic business question of real significance. Tread carefully on this one and look beyond the hype.

    On a lighter note, Meckler is providing a real public service by keeping track of the relative costs of the nearly 2,000 Internet Service Providers (ISP) in the country. This is the sort of service that builds traffic and customer loyalty by providing changing content with real customer relevance.

    February 2, 1996
    You might remember that we were really excited about the prospects for the Discovery Channel's services when they first announced them. High on our list was the Knapsack service which is now available in a beta form. Knapsack purports to search the net regularly for topics that interest you. Our initial searches yeilded particularly bizarre results (including five references to a Ron Brown speech at the top of the "Electronic Commerce" search).

    Performance aside, this is a bellweather service that demonstrates the lengths to which competing Websites will go to attract visitors. By registering new visitors and delivering information through custom personalized web pages, they are leading the way. We're hoping that the search engine performance catches up.

    February 1, 1996
    The folks at A1 Index keep making their service better and better. Recently, they made the whole index searchable and expanded the listing to over 550 directories. If you are trying to promote your site, they are, by far, the most comprehesive collection of tools for the do-it-yourself site promoter.

    January 31, 1996
    New and Changed This Week



    January 29, 1996
    We have reprinted, with permission, a letter from Nathaniel Borenstein <nsb@fv.com>, Chief Scientist, First Virtual Holdings regarding the First Virtual (FV) security experiment that you have probably read about. (The story first appeared in today's San Jose Mercury-News). While FV's motives are obviously suspect, we think that the letter is detailed enough to help you explain the situation to your clients. For more information, see FV's additional details.
    If you use IBM (or clone) machines, take a look at IBM's InfoMarket. After you download IBM's software, you get a program that acts like a ticker tape across the top of the screen with news from Reuters and ESPN. The headlines scroll across, you can get the accompanying article with a click. This is part of IBM's infoMarket program, which take the idea of plug-ins a step further...proprietary add on software that captures clients by providing a stream of regularly updated material. Watch for more and similar types of ventures in the coming months.

    Try Freeloader

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