Find out more
About IBN



8 Corners of ECommerce

Register to receive
e-mail when
this page changes.

Email address

Hall Of Fame
8 Corners of ECommerce

Types of Links

Red Herring
H C I Readlist
Webstyle guide
The Pilot
Daily Webnews
I A Daily
Professor Pete
Ad Tutorial
Advert World
WebMaster Mag
HT Marcom
A1 Index
Submit It


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


All material on this
website is the
property of IBN
(The Internet Business Network)
You may download
a copy for personal
use. Redistribution
without permission
is strictly
All material on
this site is
© 1995. 1996. 1997 by IBN



Click OK to receive our occasional Newsletter

November 27, 1997

Good Site Design Practices

In a newsgroup to which we subscribe,, we came across these principles of good site design, thoughtfully compiled by Tobias C. Brown, with assistance from Alan J. Flavell, Sue Jordon, and Susan Lesch.

"1. Write for multiple Web browsers to provide easy access to the widest possible audience.

The World Wide Web is a multi-platform, non-browser specific medium. It should not matter whether people browse your web pages using Netscape Navigator 4.02, AOL Browser 3.0, Lynx 2.7, or NetPhonic's Web-On-Call.

Each browser ought to render your informational web pages without problems. If a Web page is designed properly, blind individuals using text-to-voice or Braille web browsers can easily access and review your work.

2. Condense textual content to fit the time and attention constraints of today's busy Web users. Take a look at Thoughts on Web Style,

3. Use small (byte-wise) graphics so graphics load more quickly in graphics-capable browsers.

It is not advisable to use GIFs for everything. It's of the first importance to make the right choice between JPEG and a palette-based format. Avoid blindly choosing GIF and then trying to rescue yourself from the resulting problems.

JPEG image compression Frequently Asked Questions

4. When using graphics, provide textual alternatives for image disabled or text-only web browsers and indexing agents.

Use of ALT texts in IMGs .

5. Run Web pages through a validator to test their compliance with HTML standards.

Modify pages until they validate, because compliant pages have a better chance of being rendered by various Web browsers, as the writer intends.

However, if you intend something that is impractical with HTML, it will be no less impractical for being syntactically valid.

Work with the strengths of HTML rather than trying to batter it into a WYSIWYG page design system.

Kinder-Gentler Validation

WebTechs Validation

What You See Is Not What Others Get on the Web

6. Run pages through Lynx View or Lynx-me or, best of all, view them using a browser like Lynx, to see how the "text-only" world sees your documents. Make documents Lynx-friendly.

7. Spell check your documents.

8. Establish a routine to help you locate and fix broken internal and external Web site links.

Doctor HTML

8. If your web site URL or eMail address will change occasionally, consider using a service that provides eMail forwarding and URL redirection.

9. Submit your Web site address to an appropriate newsgroup for a critical peer review.

10. Promote your Web site by adding your URL to search engines and directories. To ensure that people can easily find your Web site, it may be necessary to modify your pages to take best advantage of current search technologies."

Thank you Tobias et al.

November 26, 1997

Relevant Knowledge

By monitoring the surfing habits of a randomly selected "media panel that is representative of the entire Web population" Relevant Knowledge claims to produce the most comprehensive and reliable statistics about the Web to date.

We know that Web statistics are notoriously unreliable, if only for the essentially decentralized nature of the Web.

Nonetheless, we found the Top Ten sites for October quite interesting, if only because they tended to support our theory that site traffic "cascades" from a small number of key destination sites.

Rank Site Visitors (000's)
1 Yahoo! 17,208
2 Netscape 13,945
3 Microsoft 13,022
4 Excite/Webcrawler 11,793
5 AOL 9,968
6 Infoseek 7,622
7 Geocities 7,080
8 MSN 6,487
9 Lycos 6,071
10 CNET 4,940

  Obviously, having a link from one of the sites listed above will do wonders for your site traffic. The question is really, however, whether or not it's the right kind of traffic. As a recruiter, for example, you may wish to attract high-level MIS profesionals to your site. In which case, you would probably prefer a link from (for example), TechWeb.

Think quality rather than quantity.... --John Blower

November 25, 1997


We received an eMail from Digital ShowBiz of Penzance in England a few days ago.

It alerted us to a couple of "semi-free programs to search for leads, watch your competition, discover PR disasters in the making and "keep an eye on things"."

My antennae went up. "Semi"-free? As one with an interest in language, I was intrigued. I mean, something's either free or it isn't. It's a bit like describing someone as "semi-follically-challenged". (Hey! I'm in California...).

Anyway, I trolled off to the site to take a look.

In essence, these two applications are:

  • siteSee - a high speed high precision search engine. No indexes, no maintenance,no cookies;
  • linkCheck makes sure every link works.

They're coyly described as "ageware". This means that, after you download 'em, they work for ten days then gradually stop working. Unless you buy a licence.

To be fair, the licences are modestly priced at between $89 and $129.

Do they work? Well, like so many other applications, they're not available for the Mac, so I can't say...

Check out the download section of this rather wordy site to see what other products, as well as the two mentioned here, are available. --John Blower

November 24, 1997

Hits, Visitors and Stats

Assessing a site's popularity through the compiling of statistics has become a veritable cottage industry. Whole edifices of numbers are built to demonstrate that one site is more popular than another.

As in all media, Web stats are often a blend of wishful thinking and hyperbole. They are often backed up with complex analyses of "hits/day", "page requests/day" and so on.

But do these numbers mean anything?

There are a number of reasons why the interpretation of statistics from most common stats programs is fundamentally flawed. The reasons range from the phenomenon of "caching" at a number of levels, to the "misuse" of legitimate stats.

Jeff Goldberg of the Cranfield Computing Centre at the University of Cranfield in the UK has published a paper on the ins and outs of using and interpreting site statistics.

The paper is somewhat old in Web terms, but it nonetheless dispels some popular misconceptions in this area and, as such, is worth a read. --John Blower

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

Check out the Archives....130 Weeks of Back issues including:

November 23, 1997
  • Easy Shopping
  • Great Content Wins
  • "Skinny" Graphics
  • Site Design
  • Net Mailer
November 16, 1997
  • Another Email Tool
  • Using Print
  • Free Site TuneUp
  • Oh, Dear
November 09, 1997
  • OLAF
  • Whose Advantage?
  • Close - No Cigar
  • Curioser and Curioser
  • Is Anybody There?
November 02, 1997
  • Narrowcast
  • Chatter
  • SOHO
  • Whose Domain?
  • Hungry in Hungary
October 26, 1997
  • Cheap Is Dear
  • Relationships
  • H=1 W=1
  • Relevant Measurement
  • Breach Of Security
October 19, 1997
  • Java Jangle
  • Clean Your Db
  • Caching In
  • Careful With Those Digits
  • World Wide Local
October 12, 1997
  • Buckets o' Blood
  • Index Your Site
  • Links and Traffic
  • View From Above
October 05, 1997
  • An Eye Out
  • Get A Grip
  • Wanna Be A Web Boss?
  • Bits 'n Pieces
  • Net Mechanic
September 28, 1997
  • Using Email
  • Sigs
  • Dot Not
  • Fulcrum
September 21, 1997
  • Using Email
  • Sigs
  • Dot Not
  • Fulcrum
September 14, 1997
  • Getting The Word Out
  • Want an Award?
  • Linking
  • Domain Name Conundrum
  • Find and Be Found
September 07, 1997
  • Wrinklies Online
  • Search Engine Blues
  • Sex Sells
  • Standards Guide
  • 7 Laws of Online Ads
August 31, 1997
  • Press Releases
  • Design Criteria
  • Online Seminars
  • Internet Myths
  • Narrowcast
August 24, 1997
  • 7 Cs of Successful Websites
  • Whisper It Not Aloud
  • Relationships
  • Real Call
  • More Email
August 17, 1997
  • PIU
  • Another Search Engine
  • SOHO
  • Dancing with the Gorilla
  • Deep Throat
August 10, 1997
  • Internet USA
  • Nation of Spammers
  • Lifetime Values
  • ENode
  • Tovarich
August 03, 1997
  • Too Good To Be True
  • Who's Pushing Whom
  • A Recent Poll
  • Sidebars
Complete Indexed Archives(32 months of marketing and design) Complete Indexed Archives(32 months of marketing and design)

Contacting Us
Call, fax, write, email. We'd love to talk about your project.

All material on this site is © 1995, 1996 by IBN (The Internet Business Network), Mill Valley, CA 94941