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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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Clean Up your Database
Despite the proliferation of eMail for routine and non-routine communication ("Make $$$ Fast!!!!" and "Live Nude Girls!!!" spring to mind), it is apparent that for many companies large and small, SnaliMail will still be the staple for billing, brochures, flyers, catalogs and other basic communication tools.
Using a database is fraught with problems. If entered by humans, there is the danger of transposed digits in Zip Codes, mis-spelled names and addresses and the consequent non-delivery of potentially vital documents.
The result? Undelivered mail resulting in lost sales, delayed cash flow and wasted postage. The loss to businesses collectively is in the billions of dollars.
If you display banner ads on your site, and have the impression that your hits are being underestimated, you're probably right.
Indeed, a company in Colorado, MatchLogic believes that the caching of Web pages on proxy servers causes drastic undercounting of ad impressions. It has even completed a study--verified by Ernst and Young--showing that page views are undercounted by a whopping 76 percent on average.
Hmm! While we are certain that caching contributes mightily to the undercounting of ad impressions, we have to raise our eyebrows at 76%
Michael Tchong, editor of Iconocast, an eMail marketing newsletter agrees, noting that studies carried out by AOL put the underreporting due to caching at around 30%. Which certainly strikes us as more credible.
In any event, the solution, according to MatchLogic, is its new service, TrueCount, which it claims gives more accurate counts.
For the study, MatchLogic, an online ad management services firm, charted an actual ad campaign conducted across 219 different Web sites over seven consecutive days. The company said it was confident it used a representative sample of sites, including some that had pages that were heavily cached and some that had pages that were not cached.
If MatchLogic's findings hold up, they could wind up increasing ad inventory as sites discover they've actually been delivering more impressions than they thought.
At the same time, though, advertisers could balk at paying more for the same number of impressions they had been getting previously, thereby pushing down the cost per thousand impressions (CPM).
MatchLogic's TrueCount is able to count impressions accurately by receiving notification from a proxy server each time a certain page is requested out of cache. TrueCount's processor can then tell the server to pull a new ad for that page either from the original site, or from the cache if the ad is already there. --John Blower
Jangled by Java?
Despite its current shortcomings, it looks as if Java is here to stay, if not in the current version, then certainly in the not-so-distant future.
If you want some pointers, and you live in the Bay Area of California, you may be interested in Java(tm) Express, a one-day seminar designed to teach people about Java while raising money for worthwhile SF Peninsula charities. It happens on Saturday, November 8 at Apple's R&D campus in Cupertino, from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm.
Java(tm) Express will cover two major topics:
an overview of Java technical and business issues;
Attendees will need to be familiar with the concepts of object-oriented programming but do not need to be experts. The seminar is targeted at the thousands of programmers who will need to learn Java but haven't had the time.
The seminar will demonstrate 100% Pure Java code that could be written for any platform, as well as development tools and Java programs running on both Windows 95 and Macintosh.
Here's a brief outline of the day:
The Business Side of Java - The Gang of Four vs. Bill - what does it mean? What is the lawsuit all about? Who will make
money from Java? Why are large firms all investigating or already using Java? When will shrink-wrapped Java applications be
Careful with those Digits
Regular readers of this column will know that we are of the opinion that concerns over the security of transactions on the Web are - like the rumors of Mark Twain's death - greatly exaggerated.
Nonetheless, we are also aware that many consumers have the perception that such transactions are insecure. This perception is now acting as a significant drag on the development of full-blown e-commerce.
We also suspect that many merchants and site developers are not fully cognizant of the processes and procedures necessary to secure transactions.
James Sablatura of Houston-based Simply Secure has launched a new web site geared toward helping companies reduce the risk of conducting business over the Internet.
The site offers business owners a tutorial highlighting Internet technology that enables even the smallest of businesses to handle online credit card transactions safely.
The tutorial explains in simple terms the basics of setting up and maintaining a web site using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology, the Internet standard for encrypting credit card.
By its own account, Simply Secure provides a method for businesses of all types to handle Internet orders easily and safely. The company specializes in providing a low-cost solution to help online businesses create or upgrade their current order forms to use accepted Internet security techniques.
If you're considering setting up secure ordering for your goods or services, and want a quick tutorial on what's involved, this site is well worth a visit. --John Blower
World Wide Local
The notion that the Web is "global medium" is a widely-held misconception. The idea that you can reach a "world-wide audience", whilst true in theory, rarely holds up in practice.
In fact, as we have long maintained, the Web's greatest potential lies in pulling together "local" communities.
As a purveyor of goods and/or services, this is probably where your market lies.
The proof of the pudding lies in the fact that , as reported in USA Today, one man started the Harrison Community Network when he emailed a list of Harrison residents and received positive feedback from over half of them.
According to a survey conducted by Arlen Communications, 51 percent of online users will seek local content.
However, be aware that such networks only work if they are a result of grass roots activism.
As an example of what doesn't work, we would cite the town of Mill Valley, which has had two "virtual communities" grafted on to it.
They were, it seems, imposed on what seemed to be a "ripe community" by outsiders. Virtually Mill Valley hasn't been updated since April 1996…
Careful where you go. An astute marketer will want to hook into vibrant, living localities where the desire to be online comes from the bottom up.
In other news:
Yahoo says that Internet volume is doubling every 90 days and that by the year 2000 there could be up to 800 million discrete pages.
Where will you be? --John Blower
Take a look at the Archives. We've indexed all the past issues with topic pointers.
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