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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
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How about some Web Cards?
What, you haven't heard of them? Well, neither had I until I got some email from the developer of this new marketing tool.
A Web Card is a 4-color postcard with a picture of your home page and the URL on one side, and a marketing message on the other. You just address them and drop them in the mail.
A great way to stay in touch with prospects and a nice direct mail piece for companies you would like to turn into prospects.
The price starts at a modest $95.00 for 500 4X6 inch cards. Larger quantities are available. Visit Web Cards at http://www.printing.com/.
LinkMonster has had a complete make over.
Now you can get much better placement and take advantage of the new search engine Larry Steinberg has installed. LinkMonster is on its way to become a major directory of web sites. Go to http://www.linkmonster.com/ and make sure you are listed. It could get you a lot of traffic.
Opportunities Only Search Engine is a new site featuring listings of (surprise) business opportunities only. They're just getting started, so your free listing will not be buried under thousands of others. Worth the time to visit and submit if your site deals with any type of business opportunity. http://www.youropportunity.com/websearch/ --John Blower
The eMail said:
"O'Reilly/Songline Launches Site for Serious Web Designers
We have created a lush Web site and email discussion list for serious Web designers. The site includes programs, bug fixes, book excerpts, and industry articles, as well as special deals on our Web design books."
"Recognition at last," I thought.
I immediately zipped off to http://webreview.com/books/newmed ia/ to have a gander.
Lush? If this is lush, then my '72 Dodge Dart is a Rolls-Royce!
In fact, the site is a thinly-disguised ad for the O'Reilly series of books (remember them?).
It has a couple of internal links, which lead to puffs for books about "GIF Animation"(yes, well...) and "Shockwave".
Nonetheless, I joined their mailing list. Some other suckers with a sense of what they're about may join it and send over a few hints.
Watch this space. --John Blower
George Matyjewicz reports that:
"Jack Olmsted, Editor-Investigative Digital Journalist, of Future Media Organization asked members of his group to comment on the onslaught of press releases they received before, during and after a couple of trade shows. The goal of the group is to develop a media data base for the public relations community. We thank Jack for allowing us to reference his work.
We summarized the responses of the survey and posted them at our Automated Press Release site. The summary is ranked by the biggest complaint first.
1. Follow up calls/faxes. This seems to be the biggest complaint of the press. After sending them your press release, don't waste their time by calling to see if they got it.
2. Unclear press release. They receive hundreds of press releases daily. If yours is too long or unclear, or does not seem to apply to their publication, it will not be used.
3. Inappropriate material. The PR firm sends a release to a publication without knowing the audience or what the publication is all about.
4. Many calls/e-mails from same PR firm about the same press release. It's bad enough to follow up with a telephone call, but to have many members of the firm call is ridiculous!
5. Blank or meaningless subject line. The subject line should reflect the contents of your release. If you are sending a press release around a trade show, put the show in the subject name. Those who are using Eudora can filter the press release to the proper mailbox.
6. Vaporware. Sending a press release about a new product that is expected to be released in two months, without a URL to look at for downloading. Or a start up company with big expectations and nothing to back them up.
7. Attached files or demos. Don't send a word processing document as an attached file or as a zipped file that the contact needs to download, unzip, read into their word processor, determine the compatibility, print, review, etc., etc., etc. What an imposition!
8. Know your product/service. If you are lucky to speak with the contact, be sure you know your product or service. Don't read a pitch. If you are not conversant in the product, have a technical person available.
9. Be aware of time. If you are on the East Coast of the US., don't call the West Coast at 9:00 AM your time (6:00 AM their time). If you are on the West Coast, don't call the East Coast with a conference call at 4:00 PM your time (7:00 PM their time). If you are lucky enough to speak with the press contact, get to the point, and don't waste their time on the phone.
Also be aware of lead times if your release is time-sensitive.
10. Complete and Short Press Release. Be certain your press release is complete with a contact name, telephone number, fax number, e-mail address, company, product and, if for a trade show, the Booth number. Many companies (some major ones) do not include their reply address. Keep it short and to the point.
BE CERTAIN YOU SPELL CHECK YOUR RELEASE!
All design is an exercise in problem solving, and designing for the Web is no different.
At its simplest conceptual level, there are four steps:
This may seem self-evident, but a cursory look around the Web will reveal thousands of cases where these truisms have not been addressed or even contemplated.
And, like the simplest of ideas, devising a simple and elegant solution is extremely difficult.
In it the authors examine these four precepts in rigorous terms. Well worth a read, although be warned that it's a huge file with some humungously large graphics. --John Blower
Writing for the Web involves a lot more than simple syntax, correct spelling (guilty!) and good grammar.
Reading from a page, we retain about 80% of what we read. Read the same from a screen and the percentage drops to about 45%.
This is because of the difference bertween reflected and projected light. As well as a whole bundle of cultural imperatives.
There are a couple of things which arise from this phenomenon as regards writing for the Web.
The first is your background. A white background is not usually a good idea. It's too tough on the eyes. Better to use a very light gray. (Try #F4F4F4.)
The second is layout.
In the '60's in Britain, The Daily Mirror newspaper paid their sub-editors an enormous amount of money. Their mission was to reduce every story to under 1000 words, with no paragraph more than four sentences, no sentence more than eight words, and no word over 3 syllables.
Pretty good advice.
I just failed to follow it.
Antidisestablishmentarianism. --John Blower
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