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The advertising
industry is on
the verge of
being shattered
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
Michael Strangelove

Advertising is
one of the minor
arts, so don't
be intimidated
by it. Try
not to lose
your sense of
Keep it fun.
Robert Bly

is more
it seems.
John Gall

The System
is its own
John Gall

It's better to
do a few things
really well than
than to do
a lot of things
If you can't
make the necessary
commitments of
time and energy
to your
scale back
your plan.
John Sumser


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© 1995. 1996 by IBN



C l i c k   o n c e   t o   r e c e i v e   o u r   o c c a s i o n a l   N e w s l e t t e r

December 28, 1996

New Feature

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.

Weekend Reading

  • Dis-Content Coalition from Pathfinder Netly News
    Josh Quittner writes an interesting article about the formation of the new Internet Content Coalition which was voted into existence earlier this month by such industry giants as Microsoft, MSNBC, Disney, and C/Net. This editorial is a critical look by someone who was there.
  • What's ahead for '97 from AdAge Interactive
    From the looking ahead department: This insight into the year ahead makes predictions on the future of banner advertising, ad cost models, web measurement and more.
  • Year in Review from WebWeek
    From the Looking back department: WebWeek looks back at those developments that impacted Web commerce & design. --Linda Wilson

-- Linda Wilson
December 27, 1996

Forum One

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

December 26, 1996

Domain, Domain, Domain

Domain Names can be considered the web equivalent of the off-line creed of "location, location, location". The problem is once 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 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 before utilizing a search engine. Before C/Net launched, 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 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

December 25, 1996

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

December 24, 1996

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

December 23, 1996

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.

Try Freeloader

Check out the Archives....75 Weeks of Back issues including:

Week Ending December 29, 1996 Including:
  • Forum One
  • New Domain Names
  • New weekend Feature
  • Navigator 4.0
  • Cascasing Style Sheets
Week Ending December 22, 1996 Including:
  • Staying Abreast
  • Project Cool
  • Personal Casting
  • Look Smart
  • Demographics
Week Ending December 15, 1996 Including:
  • New Ad Age Supplement
  • Marketing Awards
  • Media Bistro
  • Cows at TUCOWS
Week Ending December 08, 1996 Including:
  • Lycos Changes
  • Websites That Suck
  • Ultra Whatsit
  • Excite
  • Web University
Week Ending December 01, 1996 Including:
  • Internet Commercials
  • More About Search Engines
  • Convenience Is King
  • PR Update
  • Evolution of Search Engines
  • Pathfinder Turns 2
Week Ending November 24, 1996 Including:
  • Fundamentals
  • Notable Bookmarks
  • Web Digest for Marketers
  • Effective Banners
  • Internet Fever
  • GIF Wizard
Week Ending November 17, 1996 Including:
  • Fundamentals
  • Sharrow
  • Advertising Tools
  • More Fundamentals
  • Wilson Internet Services
  • Editor and Publisher Interactive
Week Ending November 10, 1996 Including:
  • Gamelan
  • Design Excellence
  • Java
  • Superscape
  • The New 5 Ps
Week Ending November 3, 1996 Including:
  • Office Humor
  • High End and Personal
  • Net Post
  • Types of Links Redux
  • Who's Marketing Online
Week Ending October 27, 1996 Including:
  • WiReD IPO
  • Art and The Zen of Websites
  • Stalker Page
  • Dave Winer
  • Killer Websites
Week Ending October 20, 1996 Including:
  • The SOS
  • Do You Need A Website?
  • Big Boy Internets
  • 809 Phone Scam
  • Advertising Resources
Week Ending October 13, 1996 Including:
  • Little Email Things
  • Snorkeling The Web
  • Red Herring
  • Webmaster, Inc
Week Ending October 6, 1996 Including:
  • Len Duffy Interview
    • Marketing On The Web
    • Small Competitors
    • The Personal Touch
    • Integrating The Web Into Your Marketing
Week Ending September 29, 1996 Including:
  • How Much Will Your Website Cost?
  • The Jimmy Stewart Approach
  • Product Development
  • Components of Marketing
  • Back In The Saddle Again
  • Much, Much More
Complete Indexed Archives(17 months of marketing and design)

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