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industry is on
the verge of
into a thousand
fragments due to
the knowledge explosion
and the proliferation
of new technologies.
There are no
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that hold sway
over the entire
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PromoteOne claims to have "written one of the most popular books on the Internet which details step-by-step how to get a web site listed toward the top of any major search engine."
Sounded pretty good.
Their site heavily promotes the book (which costs $67). But the section entitled "Tips and Tricks" contains some pretty common sense advice, which presumably has been lifted from the book. It seems to be aimed at newly-enfranchized Netizens, but still...
The "Resources" section features links to a number of tools you can use for site promotion. Rank This allows you to discover your ranking in a specified search engine, simply by typing in your URL and key words and phrases you think others will use to find you.
Another potentially useful tool is RoverBot, which collects eMail addresses for you from pages linked to a specified URL (for example, a page from Yahoo!). It's on a subscription basis, but you get a free trial worth $10 (or 250 addresses).
We found the site to be quite interesting and useful - and you can sort out a reciprocal link with them by accessing their "Links" page (thankfully, you are not required to display a banner...). --John Blower
It is our belief that, while US growth of the Internet will continue at a breakneck pace, the greatest medium- to long-term growth lies in Europe.
Currently, most European telecom companies use a "pay-for-use" charging model, as opposed to the US's "flat-rate". This acts as a considerable disincentive to Internet usage.
However, with the opening up of competition amongst national and supra-national telecom companies in Europe, we expect this model to change, sparking unprecedented growth of Internet use in these markets, particularly in the UK, France and Germany.
That leaves a tranche of "fringe" countries, which, when taken together, constitute a considerable actual and potential market.
If you wish to get in on the ground floor, here are some Search Engines and Directories you may wish to check out, with a view to both finding potential customers and registering your own site.
Be warned - many of them are in the vernacular, but are mostly pretty easy to work out!
Norway: Kvasir (http://kvasir.sol.no) with both a subject oriented index and a raw search engine in paralell. Kvasir will soon expand into Sweden, and possibly Denmark.
The EuroBusiness Centre:
The Ultimate Web Publisher's Guide is a fairly comprehensive and critically selected set of design resources.
The site is divided into sections covering:
Essentially, it's a list of links in each section with no comments attached.
Nonetheless, we followed a few and have to agree that the drek has been sorted and jettisoned.
If you need a spot of inspiration for page design, you could do a lot worse than check out this site. --John Blower
Do You Need a Media Kit?
Media kits are used in the "real world" to give potential advertisers information about your publication, be it broadcast or print: a rate card, demographics, circulation, samples.
But do you need one if you are selling ad space in the New Medium?
Rob Bethge of Venture Forward (who buys $0.5m/month) thinks not:
"Old school media buyers need media kits, because they need media kits. The web savvy buyer doesn't. A web based "kit" which gives the basics: rate card, demo, and volume is all they need. Pass on the printed media kit. Get it webbed up! OK, have the files in Word so you can fax it out, but that's all you'll need for a while. Printed kits cost money.
"What will get and keep your advertisers are:
Rob Frankel of FRANKEL & ANDERSON agrees.
His position is that, if your competition is using a full-blown, full-color Media Kit, and this is something your budget doesn't stretch to, simply don't bother.
The basic point here is to be aware of your audience (so what's new?). If you are trying to convince traditional "offline" buyers to purchase online, you will probably need a Kit of some sort. This is a hard sell.
On the other hand, if your potential buyers are "wired", they will probably respond to a succinct eMail with some cogent information and an invitation to visit your site.
As Frankel points out:
"Personally, I go right to the site, figuring that if they're sharp enough to get me there -- and I like what I see when I get there -- they know their stuff..."
The consensus, then, from both the buying and selling ends of the equation, seems to be "NO". --John Blower
Perhaps the major problem for Web designers using HTML as a design and layout device is the inability to accurately predict what the final page will look like across a variety of platforms and browsers.
Of course, HTML was never intended as anything more than marking up content. Which is the basic problem.
The answer is Cascading Style Sheets.
Anyone who has used a layout program - like Quark - or a WP application - like Word - is familiar with the concept.
Essentially, you define the format and layout of text, and apply those parameters to sections of text or complete documents.
It was only a matter of time before this concept was applied to Web authoring.
In fact, Cascading Style Sheets, known as CSS1, became a W3C recommendation in December 1996. Microsoft made a commitment to CSS1 and partial support was introduced in Internet Explorer 3.0 - neither the implementation nor the standard was complete at the time of release, however.
Internet Explorer 4.0 has expanded support for CSS1 and now Netscape Communicator 4.0 has begun to support CSS1.
Despite the recognized value of style sheets, the Web design community seems wary of using them, partially because of the inconsistent support for style sheets on different platforms and different browsers.
Yet it seems clear that style sheets are the future for Web publishing, and that CSS is a mechanism that Netscape and Microsoft can agree upon. There are extensions to CSS in the works which cover positioning of HTML elements in page layouts, style properties for printing Web documents and the use of downloadable fonts.
The subject is covered exhaustively in Web Review, whose article includes an interview with Chris Wilson (former NCSA Mosaic team member and now a member of Microsoft's Internet Explorer team), as well as a Tutorial and a Resource Bank. --John Blower
Take a look at the Archives. We've indexed all the past issues with topic pointers.
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