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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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March 28, 1997

View (higher)source...

Attempting to access the Higher Source website in the wake of the appalling tragedy in Rancho Santa Fe was a fruitless endeavor. I suspect the server went down as every geek in the universe attempted to access the site.

Your intrepid correspondent, however, ferretted around and found a mirror site.

Like everyone else, I wanted to inspect the handiwork of the group, who created a site that was "...the [Higher Source's Web] site was a well-maintained site..." (CNN), and who were described thusly by San Diego Polo Club General Manager Tom Goodspeed:

"They really knew their business as far as computers..." The group, as we all know, designed a site for the Polo Club.

Without wishing to speak ill of the dead, I would describe the sites I found as "workmanlike" at best, and good examples of what NOT to to at worst.

In fact, the homepage is a good object lesson in what to avoid when designing a page. It features large graphics - which take an age to download, it's "Java'd" to death, the counter is superfluous, and it features that annoying ticker tape along the bottom which obscures the URL you are going to and its status.

It is unfortunate that sites such as Higher Source are being held up as examples of good web design.

They aren't. --John Blower

March 27, 1997

Germany Calling...

Precise figures on the Internet are hard to come by. Estimates vary wildly as to the number of users, their demographic breakdown and geographical location.

Nonrtheless, there is general agreement that most users and domain names are concentrated in the United States. What a suprise...

What was a surprise was the finding that Germany is number two worlwide, in both the number of users (around 2 million) and the number of registered domain names (about 350,000).

Obviously, due to a variety of factors, the German-speaking Web market will continue to grow fairly quickly and extensively.

Klaus Arnhold has collected a few German resources which will be of interest if you wish to explore this market.

There is a banner exchange, LINK4LINK, that mainly targets German sites and has become quite popular.

If you wish to submit your site to German directories and search engines there are two resources somewhat similar to SUBMIT-IT. One is to be found at the other one at . Both sites are in German language only.

Klaus' own organization, the Rheinische Post publishes a newsletter in German dealing with Online marketing. Netvertising is apparently quite popular within German advertising circles.

You can subscribe as follows: BODY: subscribe netvertising
--John Blower

March 26, 1997

Banner Advertising

Putting a banner ad on one's site strikes me as perverse to say the least. Most of them are badly designed and serve to destroy any graphical cohesion and integrity that one may have striven to instill. There's also the "Tarzan" factor - encouraging visitors to swing from site to site without discovering one's estimable content.

Nonetheless, displaying ad banners can appear to be, on the face of it, a relatively painless way of generating revenue.

In my naiveté, I had presumed that one simply contracted with an advertiser or broker to display an ad on a specified page, and received payment based on "visitor impressions" or "click-through".

That was until I discovered Web Site Banner Advertising by Mark Welch.

This is an exhaustively comprehensive overview of the ins and outs of displaying banners. It contains links to Companies that promise to pay for all ad displays, Brokers & Advertising Representatives, Companies that promise to pay per click-through, Commission-Based Advertising, Banner Exchanges and so forth. The site also contains a page devoted to the allegedly sharp practices being undertaken by the Commonwealth Network.

If you are considering displaying banners at your site - or indeed, advertising your own site through this medium - I strongly recommend a visit to Mark's site. --John Blower

March 25, 1997

6 Great Excuses to Send News Releases

According to Marie Krakow...

"To stand out in a competitive marketplace, send news releases to the media at least six times a year to build awareness of your company's identity, products, accomplishments, or community service. Here are six great excuses:

  • You've reached an important milestone, such as $1 million in sales or your tenth anniversary in business.

  • You've issued an annual report to your customers and investors. Even sole proprietors can do this and summarize in a release.

  • You've moved to a new location, or expanded your present physical facilities.

  • You've taken a stand on a significant community, national, or industry issue.

  • You've overcome some adversity or met an unusual challenge, such as quickly rebuilding after a fire.

  • You've acquired machinery that promises a major benefit, such as high-tech diagnostic equipment at a health clinic.

Explore other opportunities for new releases to build your image and your business."

I found this and a few other general business tips at the 110 Business Tips from 50 Experts site, which is appallingly designed and is a blatant pitch for the book of the same name. But it's only $10.00 and probably contains ...well, $10.00's worth of advice.

Talking of offline site promotion, I heard an interview on NPR yesterday with Tom Ferguson MD, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing a few months ago. Tom has written a book called Health Online, and I'd wager a pound to a penny that his site received a quadzillion hits after his mentions on the show...

Leave no stone unturned. --John Blower

March 24, 1997

20/20 Hindsight

According to 20/20 i-site, "In 1996 companies spent $15 billion on Internet development."

And that, "By [the year] 2000 conservative projections place the figure at $100 billion."

Big chunk o' change. But did all these magabucks make any difference to your audience's purchasing habits?

i-site claims to be "the Web's most comprehensive site evaluation service. 20/20 i-site delivers detailed, easy-to-read reports that evaluate all critical aspects of [your and your] competitors' sites".

The company will check out your site in four critical areas: Technical Analysis (HTML, gifs, links and so on), Competitive Analysis (how your site stacks up against those of your competitors), an Expert Analysis (the panel, apparently "consists of high-powered experts in the areas of advertising, marketing, sales, design and programming." Yes, well...can I be on the Panel?), and a Visitor Usage Analysis.

It looks pretty good. Each report runs between $250 and $750 - but guess what? - you can get all four for a shade under $1k.

Definitely worth a look, IMHO. --John Blower

Take a look at the Archives. We've indexed all the past issues with topic pointers.

Check out the Archives....90 Weeks of Back issues including:

Week Ending March 23, 1997 Including:
  • The Other 51%
  • We Wuz Framed
  • Bandwidth
  • Bad Design
  • Sling Shot
Week Ending March 16, 1997 Including:
  • Look Ma, No CGI
  • Banner Ads Revisited
  • Submission Wizzard
  • Labels Up to Scratch?
  • WebTV
Week Ending March 09, 1997 Including:
  • Cheap PR
  • Hard Copies
  • Ad Innovations
  • Don't Do This
  • Design Targets
Week Ending March 02, 1997 Including:
  • Web Balkanization
  • Mini Malls
  • Liars and Statistics
  • Multiple Search
Week Ending February 22, 1997 Including:
  • Direct Marketing World
  • Columbo, Not Just Yogurt
  • New HTTP Spec Speeds Net
  • All 4 One Search
Week Ending February 16, 1997 Including:
  • Finding Images
  • The Mining Co
  • Search Engine Stuff
  • Denounce
  • Weekend Reading
Week Ending February 09, 1997 Including:
  • Webmaster Secrets
  • New Search Engine Services
  • Learning From Others' Mistakes II
  • Learning From Others' Mistakes
  • Weekend Reading
Week Ending February 02, 1997 Including:
  • Purpose First
  • Ad Auction
  • 123 Domain Me
  • Publicity
  • Weekend Reading
Week Ending January 26, 1997 Including:
  • Drowning In Links
  • Ad Tutorial
  • Internet News
  • Cookies
  • Weekend Reading
Week Ending January 19, 1997 Including:
  • Finding Online Marketing Info
  • Microscope
  • Promotion Tools
  • Bad Form Email
  • Weekend Reading
Week Ending January 12, 1997 Including:
  • Ad Placement
  • Oooops
  • Odd Bedfellows
  • Advertising Advice
  • Weekend Reading
Complete Indexed Archives(19 months of marketing and design) Complete Indexed Archives(19 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