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Talking the Talk
Participating in discussion groups or monitoring newsgroups concerned with Web marketing and promotion can be a confusing business for the newcomer.
Much of the talk concerns "CPM"s, "CPO"s, "clickthroughs" and so forth. Webvertising, it seems, has its own vocabulary and grammar (we noticed a site the other day which used the noun "office" as a verb. 'Nuff said...).
And, of course, if we're ostensibly in the business of Web marketing and promotion, none of us wants to look a ninny by putting our hand up in class and asking "What does CPM mean?"
A cheat sheet is at hand. Well, more than a cheat sheet, more a comprehensive glossary of "Web Advertising Terminology, Traffic, Statistics and Usage".
In addition to the stuff about advertising and promotions, there's also a section devoted to how to read your access logs - which, to us at least, seem (like the drunk and the lamppost) to support rather than illuminate.
There are down-to-earth explanations of all those entries which seem algebraic in construction. And also a good discussion of the essentially meaningless nature of Web statistics.
The Primer is part of the larger Adresource site (formerly SI Software), which "presents resources designed to maximize the effectiveness of your Web advertising, marketing and promotion efforts..." and, as such, is well worth a visit. --John Blower
A Modest Proposal
The recent Internet "brownouts" serve to point up the fragility of a Web infrastructure that we are rapidly coming to take for granted.
Admittedly, last week's outage was caused by human error at Network Solutions, the company which controls the addressing system for the entire Internet.
It can be argued, quite persuasively in our opinion, that NSI's monopoly of this service is an affront to any free-market economy. Indeed, both AlterNIC and name.space are challenging it in the courts.
Adding insult to injury is NSI's attempt to claim "ownership" of the TLD's "com", "org" and "net", suffixes it holds in the public trust.
Still, the real problem is that the 'Net is simply becoming overloaded, rather like the road systems in most "developed" [sic] countries. Too many people, not enough bandwidth.
We would modestly propose that the time is right for a measure of government control to allow infrastructure to catch up with demand.
Of course, this would be a temporary measure, and would take the following form:
The overseeing body could be administrative rather than legislative, and be under the direct supervision of the Vice President... --John Blower
Oft-overlooked media for site promotion are the plethora of eMail newsletters, discussion lists and ezines.
According to Liszt, there are an astonishing 71,000 content publications and discussion lists on the Net.
There are a number of ways of exploiting these media, ranging from placing ads in publications themselves - although it's fair to point out that only a tiny proportion accept paid ads - to participating in online discussions and using your signature file to promote your site.
Many owners of discussion lists are somewhat conservative, and hearken back to the "old days" when commercial advertising on the Net was taboo. So using this device calls for sensitivity and subtlety - traits we are certain our readers possess in abundance.
If you are a business on the Internet and you are not taking advantage of placing targeted text ads in eMail newsletters and discussion lists, then you are missing out on one of best forms of targeting a niche marketing on the Net. This medium is highly targeted by definition, and can produce better response rates than bulk eMail and banner advertising combined.
On the other hand, if you own a discussion list, or an eMail newsletter you may be missing out on a simple and unobtrusive source of revenue that could help offset your publication costs.
A company in Germany, HEI Gmbh has developed a system of extending and defining HTML tags.
heitml (pronounced "Hi"-TML) "makes dynamic content and database applications possible simply within the HTML world, without CGI and without external scripting or programming languages."
heitml runs on the web server and dynamically generates HTML. It is claimed to be compatible with current internet standards and with any web browser. It allows full access to databases without unneccesary CGI complexity.
This is an interesting idea, and could go a long way to releasing common-or-garden developers from the slavish requirements of CGI scripting.
The heitml site is attractive and easily-navigable, and contains a comprehensive overview of the product, a library of tags and examples of the system in action. --John Blower
Mark Me Up!
The lingua franca of webmasters has undergone a makeover.
HTML 4.0, the next generation of the web's publishing language, has just been released by the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3) and has already been accepted by Microsoft, which will make the next version of its Internet Explorer browser compatible with it.
Netscape will doubtless follow - ignoring HTML (hypertext markup language) would be like suddenly deciding that Urdu is actually much more practical than English - and users will soon benefit from an array of improvements, including keyboard shortcuts built into page controls, read-only documents that cannot be copied and more friendly interface for blind users. --John Blower
Take a look at the Archives. We've indexed all the past issues with topic pointers.
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