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of new technologies.
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more grand theories
that hold sway
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Archives: Two Weeks Ending 9-22-96
Negotiating Website Agreements
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Good Brochure = Bad Site
Take a look at Itraffic (the web media planning organizaton). "Great brochure makes crummy website" should be the subtitle of their package. If rule #1 of marketing is "focus on your customer", we wonder if their online presence helps or hurts them. Well, we don't really. They'd be better off with no website. Though their client list is impressive, this showing leaves us unconvinced about their prowess.
The lesson here: sometimes it's better to have no net presence.
Web Evolution With A Bite
We love watching a good thing get better. Media Central Digest, a weekly publication of Cowles-Simba keeps pushing the new-sites digest formula to greater heights. Always delivered with a biting wit, an appropriate level of sarcasm and a quick bit of insight, Media Central Digest covers the evolution of the Web as a medium. Recent issues have focused on the increase in Web production values.
We're using it to show clients why the web, a supposedly populist media, has such a rapid increase in the basic cost of entry.
Jobs For Web Developers
The Internet Developers Association Jobs Listings include a number of interesting opportunities for designers.
What's That Sound?
We're excited about our new advertiser, Thunder Lizard Productions. The company puts on a series of conferences each year. We're particularly enthused about Web Advertising '96 which will be held in New York at the end of October. The conference covers
What Is Success?
We still tell our clients that the best way to start is by imagining the simplest formula: a website designed for one specific individual. The question to ask is: What does your website look like if it only needs one specific viewer to succeed? How do you market it?
By giving this thought experiment weight at the beginning of your design or redesign, you can avoid the natural tendency to focus on yourself, your products or your company. The web offers an interesting direct access to the mind of your customer. If you work from their needs out, you'll begin to create a design that offers a reason for your customers to return.
Customer centered design, with a simple information architecture, is difficult. What is obvious to you and your company is not inherently obvious to your customers. The work required to translate your insight and value into terms your customer can understand is slow, frustrating and painful. It moves forward with leaps of insight after hours of heads banging against the wall. It doesn't come because you want it (though that's an important starting point). It comes through vigilant pursuit of the customer's heart.
Danger: Grumpy Editor On Prowl
Recently, we had a chance to review a remarkable document called WebTrack/Adspend published by Jupiter Communications. It was remarkable for its inadequacy. On the one hand, if you're trying to scope out the big players who buy ads, you'll get the company names (but not their media buyers). On the other hand, if you want a comprehensive review of the online ad market, spend your $1295 annual subscription fee elsewhere. They've missed the marketplace completely. A cursory review reminded us of 25 major sites making real money in advertising that they completely missed. And, our take on the web has a decidedly narrow focus. But, if you want to make your ad money the hard way, start with WebTrack/Adspend. You'll get a solid list of the URLs of known big advertisers.
I Owe My Soul To The Company Store
As if it were some marvel of technology, the Link Auction has opened a link purchase / auction plan that will satisfy the truly desperate. They guarantee a floor price of $0.01 per click-thru and hint at the possibility of an auction rate of about $.06 per "CT". Like a click isn't worth more than a buck. Sheesh. But, if you're about to be kicked out of your house and need a quick exchange of cash for hits, you might want to check them out.
Hmmmm let's see. If your site does 100K visitors per day and their ads get an outrageous 5% click rate, you'll net between $50 and $250 per week. (If you sell at their floor price, and your click rate was a more reasonable 2%, you'd get $20). It wouldn't cover your ISP bill but could make your landlord happy. Unless the wolf is at the door, however, we suggest you pass.
There's A Man Who Leads A Life Of Danger
For some reason, we keep thinking of them as Secret Agents. They're not! Personal Agent technology (websites and tools that help you find what you want) are coming of age. We're familiar with the inner workings of several (our client's) and find the state-of-the-art to be primitively engaging.
To get yourself up-to-speed, we suggest a look at the following summary level sites:
Take a look at the Archives. We've indexed all the past issues with topic pointers.
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