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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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All material on
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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 18, 1997

Weekend Reading

Here is this weekend's "must-reads".

  • WebReview
    The current issue of electronic magazine WebReview is full of "must-reads" for web marketers. The lead story is a four part feature on Web-TV, including how to design for it, a success analysis, and links to other articles. More important though is the article, What's it Worth to You, on Thomas Novak and Donna Hoffman's White Paper, New Metrics for New Media: Toward the Development of Web Measurement Standards. The article discusses alternative methods of determining the value of web advertising, in light of current disatisfaction with the existing model where advertisers pay for exposure. A complementary article, A Thumbnail History of Internet Advertising, will bring you up to speed and provide a different opinion on the value of advertising, by raising the issue of paying per click-through. If your eyes aren't blurry browse through the other articles on design issues. WebReview keeps getting better.
  • Frookee's Tips for Web P.R. from Interactive Age Digital
  • Normally Weekend Reading covers articles or white papers that have appeared on the web during the last week. However, this article by John Frook, who was the Senior Editor at Interactive Age Digital before both the print and online version ceased publication in November, is a real gem. This article on what a journalist wants from a publicist gives marketers seeking PR opportunities the chance to see what journalists look for and what is required to catch their attention. We recommend saving this article offline since there is no way to tell how long the link will still be valid.
  • Master Builders from WebMaster Magazine
    This article asks you to look at your site, not from the point of view of delivering content, but instead delivering "applications". Citing mailing lists and search engines as two popular examples, this article looks at the diferent technology that is in place to develop site "applications" and subsequently your site's traffic. --Linda Wilson

January 17, 1997

Two Good Resources

Here are two good resources you will want to bookmark:

  • Wired Source: It is easy to see that the writers at Wired would do a lot of online research and need an easy organized way to find what they are looking for. A former Wired magazine research editor has compiled a list of useful sites to use for research. The site is well organized and the sites are critically reviewed. Even if you don't find any new sites here, having all these resources at your fingertips will be convenient.
  • Digitrends Online: This Ezine is created by Southbank Marketing, one of the larger resellers of ad space online. While this site is primarily a promotional vehicle for the business of online advertsing and Southbank Marketing, the magazine is more evenly balanced than one would expect. The current issue even covers the recent addition of AltaVista's inventory into the market which is being represented by their competitor, Doubleclick. Digitrends primarily covers the current events concerning online advertsing and the site includes some interesting case studies.
  • --Linda Wilson

    January 16, 1997

    Finding Marketing Information

    We have already discussed that the Online Advertising Discussion List is a valuable resource. If you haven't already subscribed to the list you should. The list at some point discusses almost every aspect of online marketing and advertising. However, this also means that the information you need is rarely being discussed when you need it. This is also why many lists tend to go over the same ground on some issues repeatedly. The Tenagra Corporation, who took over the list in June, have archived the list and more importantly added a search engine. Now you can search the archives of this list. This search engine turns the archives into a whole new resource for marketing information. When searching for marketing information it is easy to get in the habit of going straight to the major search engines. Marketers are more likely to find what they are looking for my searching a resource like this first. Another good place to search for marketing information is Web Week Magazine. They keep a good categorized index of past articles as well as a search engine on their site to access past articles by keyword. Articles also include a search word reference to help you find further information on the same topic. Next time you are looking for specific marketing information, you might have better results if you check out these resources before going to the major search engines. --Linda Wilson

    January 14, 1997


    Our past Weekend Reading column mentioned an article from Advertising Age about evolving banner design. One of the ads mentioned in the article is from Hewlett-Packard. HP (bravely?) utilized Shockwave in a banner ad. This ad along with 9 others can be viewed at a site called Microscope. This weekly e-zine reviews the "most creative and compelling ads the web has to offer" including the Top 10 Ads of the previous quarter as judged by Rich Paschall, a former Associate Creative Director, and Steve St. Clair an Associate Creative Director at W.B. Doner Advertising. The Hewlett-Packard ad, which features an interactive game of Pong, won the number two spot. In case you are wondering, Hewlett-Packard didn't want to reach only those people that have the Shockwave plug-in. Users without the capability to view the ad were served a different banner that did not utilize Shockwave. Browse through the Microscope site before designing or updating your own banner ads.--Linda Wilson

    January 14, 1997


    If you find that you don't understand the technical people who help you with your Internet presence, you are not alone. If you find yourself wondering whether or not they're really helping you, join the club. If you're downright suspicious that they're hurting you, you could be right. Here's an example:

    Livingston, a supplier of firewall technology, has a jobs open page as a part of their website. It's nothing to write home about, but we track these things in our Company listings. Recently, Livingston changed most of the URLs on their Website. That's where the fun began.

    They have done a very solid job promoting the site and have managed to garner over 1,000 inbound links. Once the website changes had been made, they realized that all 1,000 links were now bad (because they'd changed the addresses). So, they developed a technical solution.

    Spider technology (in case you don't know) involves using a "Robot" to run around the web and check for stuff. (Net-Temps uses it very effectively to develop pieces of their resume database.) Livingston developed a spider to cruise the net looking for outdated links. On the surface, this looks like a very interesting idea. Their implementation got us thinking, however.

    We've been behind the 8-ball with deadlines and customer requirements for about 60 days now and the maintenance of the website has suffered in the interim. It's made us very aware of the incredible volume of changes to links since we haven't been keeping up with them. The Livingston spider's results began popping up in our mailboxes each Monday with a message titled "AUTOWARN" and a note that said "Please correct these links as soon as you can."

    After receiving several, we sent the spider a note (no human contact available) asking to be removed from the list. Their reply included a range of insult that left us stunned.

    Technology is easy, business and sound marketing practices are a lot harder. We'd suggest that you take the following lessons from this little story:

    • Never let your tech staff send out negative mail without approval. (It's likely to get you written up in a widely read column).
    • If you send automated notices, carefully check and recheck the language for any hints of insult.
    • Inbound Links to your web page are free ads (sometimes worth thousands of dollars). Treat them as precious resources.
    • Make the decision to change URLs on your website very carefully. The change will cost you in traffic. There are simple workarounds that allow you to keep the benefit of existing links.

    January 13, 1997

    Site Promotion Software

    If someone could devise a method to turn site promotion into the proverbial "walk in the park", then they would become rich. We know that you can hire a company to submit your site to hundreds of sites by computer. This method is often less than effective. The automatic process leaves little room for customization to ensure the best possible results from each registry. In our opinion, site promotion and registration is a necessary and time consuming part of online marketing and the results of your efforts are in direct proportion to the effort you put into your promotion. Therefore, we're immediately weary of the company that says they can put a site in the top 10 on a search engine, or drive all the traffic desired to my site.

    There is room to improve this chore and opportunities to make the task easier. PowerSolutions has released a new software package called SitePromoter that could not only help to reduce the time required in promoting your site, but also help you keep track of your promotion efforts. The software basically walks you through entering all the information you will be required to submit into their software before beginning the registration process. Then using a forms capable browser, the software provides you with links to sites where you can submit your site, instructions for each site, and the text you entered earlier. You still have to cut and paste into the applicable fields provided by the registry, but at least the task is organized and you don't have to switch back between your browser and a word processor. The site makes grand proclamations about their software increasing traffic to your site, and that it can "boost your site toward the top of the list!" Clearly this software will only organize and track you promotion efforts but you are still completing the task yourself. You also are still responsible for the copy you write and the keywords you choose, which is still a very important variable in a promotion's success. Nevertheless, marketing professionals who do a lot of site promotion will appreciate a software package that will help them organize and record their efforts. One online promotions specialist said that one of the most time consuming aspects of site promotion was tracking and recording her efforts in a spreadsheet. --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 January 12, 1997 Including:
    • Ad Placement
    • Oooops
    • Odd Bedfellows
    • Advertising Advice
    • Weekend Reading
    Week Ending January 5, 1997 Including:
    • Drowning In Mail
    • Mediocrity
    • Two Research Resources
    • Alta Vista Ads
    • Weekend: 1996
    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