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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

January 5, 1997, 1996

Weekend Reading

Starting last week, we introduced a new feature called Weekend Reading. Every weekend 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.

  • Web Sites Drowning in Deluge of E-mail from NetMarketing
    Many business when creating a site get caught up in attracting traffic without planning for the results of such traffic. This article examines how sites deal with the incredible amount of email they can attract and the costs of answering such email. This is a good case study that discusses an cautionary aspect of marketing that rarely gets attention.
  • 1996 Review of the Year from NUA Internet Surveys
    While reluctant to mention yet another article which reviews the last year, there is a lot which can be learned from taking stock of where we have been and where we are going. NUA publishes a monthly analysis and list of pointers to the major surveys about the Internet. This special edition, is an indepth analysis of the facts and firgures that have emerged from sources like Forrester, and the Gartner Group in 1996. While this a lengthy report, make sure you skim the chapters on The Internet Marketing Opportunity, Internet Market Sectors, and Online Advertising.
  • Beyond the Banner from Wired
    This articles examines the current general disatisfaction with banner advertising and discusses companies that are finding new ways to advertise as well as sites that are providing alternative methods of sponsorship.
--Linda Wilson

January 4, 1997

Two Great Research Tools

With all of the clutter on the web, the last thing you need is a search tool that gives you thousands of answers to a single question. As good as the current search engines are, we get headaches just thinking about running a query that gives us endless strings of gobbledygook in response. Here are two very useful attempts to deal with the clutter

Profusion allows you to search all of the major web databases simultaneously. It then processes all of the results to give you a single readout of the answers to your query with duplicates removed. If you have a little patience, it will even verufy that the links work before handing you a result. (In some of our recent research, we're seeing 50% broken links in search results). Finally, Profusion allows you to repeat queries over time and tailor them for relevance. It's really very useful.

Companies on the Net is a handy database that includes lots of information searchable by keyword. At the simplest level of the search possibilities, it returns company names and domain names. In more complex searches, it returns the company URL. Very useful.

January 3, 1997

AltaVista Accepts Ads

AltaVista was created to showcase Digital's search technology and therefore was the only search engine that didn't display banner advertising. Despite previous concerns that advertising would slow down AltaVista's performance or disenchant users, Digital has recruited Doubleclick to market their banner space. Doubleclick will sell keywords starting at $60/CPM. Keywords range form $50 - $60/CPM depending on the search engine, so AltaVista will be considered one of the more expensive search engines. --Linda Wilson

January 2, 1997


If you have ever tried to send one email to many people with out the help of a service provider, you have probably realized after much frustration, that there is no way to hide your email list from each recipient. Many marketers want to send an email update or newsletter to previous visitors to their site, but you can be sure that you will have angry recipients if you allow everyone on your list the opportunity to see and therefore "borrow" your mailing list. NetMailer form Alpha Software is a reasonably priced tool that overcomes this difficulty. An added feature allows you to import names from a database into their program. Taking into consideration the negative side to mass emailing, the site has included an article on their site addressing the responsible use of their software which gives a list of elements every email should include. This software will also be a good tool for marketers who are distributing their own press releases. --Linda Wilson

January 1, 1997

Site Promoter

As soon as you make a declaration someone comes along and proves you wrong. The numerous sites on the web that provide links and instruction on how to promote your site, are a clear example of the mediocrity we discussed in yesterday's column. The Site Promoter however, is a excellent example of innovation. They have taken a concept already prolific on the web and have done it right. Instead of a list of unedited links to promote your site (often a thinly veiled attempt to overwhelm the user and encourage purchase of promotion services), they have organized promotion into a step by step process, ensuring you cover all the bases and driving home that point that the only "trick" to site promotion is thoroughness. There are several lessons to learn from this site. First, the simplicity of this site's design, using limited colors and simple layout created a site that is easy to navigate, and professional looking. Secondly, the site does one thing and does it well. They have taken one service, the information you need to promote your site, and presented it concisely and in a well-organized format, foreseeing every aspect the user may or can use. While this site gets high marks for content, its comprehensiveness makes it extremely convenient. Even marketers who feel they know all they need to know about site promotion will be able to use this site as a marketing checklist ensuring nothing is forgotten. Definitely a "Cool Tool" for marketers. --Linda Wilson

December 31, 1996

Mediocrity in 1996

Last year on December 30th, we voted the now defunct Internet Marketing Mailing List as the Cool Tool of 1995. Unfortunately after its demise, nothing has really emerged to really fill its shoes. Other lists were created to take it's place (described in an article on the Who's Marketing Online site). We recommend either the IMARCOM list or the Internet Sales Discussion List. Regardless, the Internet Marketing List has left a void that hasn't really been filled.
As for picking The Cool Tool of 1996, after much discussion we felt there was no clear stand out. Mediocrity was the ascendant in 1996. We predict that some solid players will emerge in 1997. 1996 was a year of beginnings. On-line advertising started to take shape and evolve, and banner exchanges offered alternatives for site that couldn't afford advertising. There were major changes at the search engines, including Excite's purchase of Magellan and WebCrawler, and the results of these changes have not been felt. Other marketing resources were introduced but most were improved on. We feel that it is premature to declare a winner in any category. It would be like trying to predict the end of a story. The strongest contender in 1996 was lack of imagination -- the year started out with great promise but it has yet to be realized. Being optimists though we'll say the jury's out and adopt a wait and see attitude. --Linda Wilson

December 30, 1996

Three Wishes for 1997

It is difficult to make predictions for an industry where developments and change happen four times faster than in any other business. Therefore, we offer a wish list of things we would like to see in 1997.

  • Multimedia Email. Currently you can send HTML formatted mail to users of Netscape Mail, and they will be able to see the images and formatted text as the author intended. But unfortunately for marketers, email readers with this capability is limited, and therefore to send out a newsletter in HTML would annoy most readers. However, if this technology was adopted by the major email readers, marketers could send out attractive newsletters and motivational pieces to large lists of people, and use formatted email to create an image or create an impression beyond words.
  • Pay per use models. Many sites that pay for content want the user to pay a monthly fee for access to information. When a site is used regularly, this model makes sense, but there are many sites we have wanted to utilize for research on an infrequent or one-time basis, but have been able to do so because the cost for my usage is prohibitive. We would like to see more sites offer the ability to pay per use.
  • The Search Engines to Say What They Mean and do What They Say. We have researched the search engines in depth, spoke to key people at each company, and read their help files, but unfortunately the statements the search engines make about how they rank pages isn't worth the HTML it's coded with. Case in point: A few months ago a client called asking us to take a look at their META Tags. Infoseek was ignoring them and they wanted to know why. After careful investigation, it was discovered that even though the client had implemented their META Tags four months previously, Infoseek had not updated their catalog, other than to add new pages. Therefore, changes made to pages in the last four months were not reflected in their database, despite Infoseek reporting that they updated their entire catalog every 4-6 weeks. We would like to see the search engines communicate more about their heavily guarded algorithms that rank sites for relevancy and let marketers in on the big secret. We'll play by the rules just let us know what they are. --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