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Hall Of Fame8 Corners of ECommerce
industry is on
the verge of
into a thousand
fragments due to
the knowledge explosion
and the proliferation
of new technologies.
There are no
more grand theories
that hold sway
over the entire
It's better to
All material on this
There are a numerous E-zines, magazines, and web sites providing articles and analysis on different aspects of web marketing and design. There is such a tremendous amount of information available, but a lot of it covers the same ground over and over. (Do we need one more article listing the different and obvious avenues of web promotion?) Starting with today's column we will be running a special weekend column called "Weekend Reading". We will point out 3-4 articles that have appeared on the web in the previous week that in our humble opinion are "must reads". We will surf through the popular publications and marketing web sites and provide links to the best articles that focus on web marketing and design. We feel that this column which will appear every Saturday morning will provide your essential weekend reading.
Seldom do marketers miss the importance of promoting a new site. The challenge is to keep up the momentum of your promotion efforts long after your site has been launched. Therefore, when a new site offers the opportunity of a new avenue of promotion, it seems like a gift. Forum One is a new site that indexes forums and discussion areas on sites. If your site has a discussion forum you can submit your URL for inclusion in their database. Forum One will then index your site and the threads that take place, provided you meet certain criteria. Currently Forum One claims to catalog over 37,000 separate discussion forum topics, and will include other sites that attract a reasonable amount of traffic and discussion. If you don't have a forum on your site but are thinking of adding one, Forum One also has a guide to software and techniques for managing web-based discussions. --Linda Wilson
Domain, Domain, Domain
Domain Names can be considered the web equivalent of the off-line creed of "location, location, location". The problem is once www.yourcompanyname.com is taken, it's gone. This tends to be a real problem for a lot of companies especially for companies who are largely indentified by their initials. But what if after discovering that the name you want is taken you could ease your distress by choosing companyname.inc or companyname.bus. The International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC) has announced a plan to add seven new generic top level domains to decrease the competition for commercial domain names. They also proposed that other companies in addition to the InterNIC be able issue these domain names.
While this plan opens up more possibilities for new entrants, this decision could defeat the very advantages of the current system. The commercial domain naming system has evolved into a better way to find a site than all the major search engines combined. Users know that the quickest way to find a site is to type www.sitename.com before utilizing a search engine. Before C/Net launched Shareware.com, they posted it on the net for six hours for testing. During that time they had 6000 visitors who just typed the URL while presumably looking for shareware. Knowing now that there will be seven more top level domains, it seems doubtful users will enter in eight different possibilities on a hunch that they may find the information they are looking for. It also seems unlikely that Microsoft would let me register www.miscrosoft.inc. Already many companies are registering their domain name in several countries to ensure no one else gets the name. It is reasonable to assume that this practice would continue with new top level domains as well. --Linda Wilson
So What's Microsoft up to?
With yesterday's news concerning the release of the public beta of Netscape Navigator 4.0, it is safe to assume that Microsoft will not be far behind with a release of their own. Microsoft has created a page describing what will be in Internet Explorer 4.0. An article from PC World comparing pre-release versions of Navigator 4.0 and Internet Explorer 4.0. reported that Internet Explorer would be available in beta sometime in December. However, other sources have reported that Microsoft was forced to delay their planned beta release. Microsoft did have a new release this week, but it was for a new Internet Mail and News Client for Windows 95 and NT whose main claim to fame is better management and finding of people's email addresses. A search of the Microsoft site though reveals little information about when Internet Explorer will finally be available. --Linda Wilson
Navigator 4.0 Beta Arrives
Netscape has finally released Navigator 4.0, also known as Netscape Communicator. Currently available only for Windows 95 and Windows NT, this suite of products integrates open email, groupware, editing, and browsing tools into one application. The interesting thing about the timing of this public beta is that industry insiders predicted that it wouldn't happen before year's end. The release was originally loosely scheduled for the 4th quarter of this year, but lately Netscape had been avoiding making any promises at all. In an article dated yesterday (also the day that Netscape made the release available), Computer Reseller News posted an article on TechWeb predicting that Netscape wouldn't be able to pull it together before year's end. Since the article quotes many people who believed it was an impossible feat, the fact that Netscape pulled it off leads us to wonder about the integrity of the product (I feel a system crash coming on). However, the article does quote users that found the product to be more stable than Navigator 3.0. Netscape has created Beta Central to provide information on any known problems with the software.
If you want to learn more about Communicator before downloading, Netscape has an overview on their site and there is a review on C/Net . According to BrowserWatch (whose statistics are the more generous to Microsoft than other surveys), Netscape currently has 50.4% of the browser market and Microsoft Internet Explorer's market share is 38.0%. Therefore, this is an announcement that web designers will not be able to ignore. --Linda Wilson
Cascading Style Sheets
The World Wide Web Consortium issued a press release this week announcing their support of Cascading Style Sheets Level 1 (CSS1). This industry recommendation is already supported by Microsoft Explorer 3.0 and the next release of Navigator 4.0 (expected in beta any day now). Several other software vendors are also planning support for CSS1 in their next versions. Given these recent announcements it makes sense for designers to look at this new specification. However, unlike some specifications, if you don't have the latest browser that supports style sheets, your view of the site is seriously impaired. Microsoft has created a gallery of web pages using CSS1. To see the difference, look at these pages using IE 3.0 and Navigator 3.0. Style Sheets will be a welcome addition for many designers who are frustrated by HTML's typographical and layout limitations. A single style sheet can also apply to all web pages on a site, therefore simplifying Web site maintenance. The World Wide Web Consortium has information on this specification including links to CSS1 guides. --Linda Wilson
Take a look at the Archives. We've indexed all the past issues with topic pointers.
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