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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


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March 20, 1998


Billing itself as "the complete on-line career magazine for the Indian IT professional", Winjobs is much more than a simple matching service for job seekers and potential employers.

India, of course, has a justified reputation for producing high-quality IT professionals - the sub-continent was, after all, the birthplace of the science of mathematics.

It's an intersting and well-designed site. Content ranges from an article on the city of Pune (just south of Bombay and previously best known as the world headquarters of Bhagwan Sri Rajneesh), as well as profiles of Bangalore, Calcutta, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai, to a poll on who Indian IT professionals believe should be their next Prime Minister.

Full access to the site is through (free) membership, obtained by filling out a simple, well-designed form.

We like this site because it has, first and foremost, interesting content relevant to its audience. Navigation is easy and intuitive, and the site, as a whole downloads quickly. We must also admit to a bias as to its being written in British English...

Good job, Winjobs! And if you are a recruiter seeking well-qualified candidates...

--John Blower

March 19, 1998

Not Guildy, M'Lud!

Pages which sport the legend "The author is a member of the HTML Writers' Guild" immediately arouse our suspicions.

Weren't Guilds "medieval associations of craftsmen or merchants" (OED)?

Yes, we thought so...

And judging from the general quality of pages bearing the HTMLWG "Badge of Shame", someone is raking in a few bucks for doing nothing more than flattering the egoes of the insecure.

And so it is with good old Joe Barta, whose shingle proclaims the provision of "professional web design - Quality web and site design for business, groups and individuals". Unfortunately, his URL - - proclaims him a rank amateur.

The site itself is loaded with cheesy cartoons and rotating banners from the Internet Link Exchange - although there's nothing wrong with that per se.

It's really the degradation of the art/science of site design that Joe's site represents that gets our collective goat. The skill set required to be a successful site designer and architect is eclectic and hard to find, requiring, as it does, both left and right brain disciplines.

However, with the advent of WYSIWYG HTML editors, it sems that every geek with $19.95 to spare is now a "professional website designer". The results litter the Web in increasing profusion.

The moral is, as always, "you get what you pay for"...

--John Blower

March 18, 1998

Death & Taxes...

are, apparently, the only two certain things in life.

Neither is avoidable (unless you know something we don't...).

So the howls predicting the "death of Web commerce" which arise whenever the notion of taxing Web transactions strike us manifestations of the somewhat sinister ideology of "techno-libertarianism", propounded by the enormous brains and egoes at WIRED.

Let us play "Devil's Advocate" for a moment.

Like everyone else, we do not relish paying taxes, either Federal or State. We accept, however, that taxation is a necessary trade-off in quality of life issues. The majority of Californians, for example, seem content to pay higher taxes - on the whole - than residents of New Hampshire. And if one objects to paying California taxes, well, the American way is to vote with one's feet.

On the face of it, over the longer term, we see no real reason why Web commerce should not be subject to some kind of levy, in much the same way as many US residents (and all Europeans) pay a sales tax. We may not like it, but we pay it.

Now, the nature of the Web raises all kinds of problems, particularly in terms of jurisdiction - where would transactions be taxed? In the "state" of origin? Where the vendor resides?

At the end of the day, these are political questions which require ploitical answers. In the US, at least, the Clinton administration seems lukewarm to the concept, although there is considerable pressure from state governors to move forward with the idea.

As we noted at the start of this article, death and taxes are constants.

It's not a question of "if", but simply "when" and "how"...

--John Blower

March 17, 1998

A Solution?

We have consistently argued that attempts to resolve the fundamental problem of the inadequacy of the Domain Name System (DNS) by - for example - simply increasing the number of suffixes is a bit like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

Now, via Michael Tchong's consistently top-notch Iconocast newsletter, we learn that imagination has at last been brought to bear on the problem by the good folks at centraal.

Here's how it works:

"Concept -- When a user visits a search engine, and types "Bambi," the string is immediately parsed by a centraal "resolver," which compares it to a "Real Name System" (RNS) registry, now said to contain more than 500,000 brand names, slogans, etc., compiled by centraal.

Arbiter -- centraal has hired Bill Washburn to arbitrate the fair use of names in the RNS system. In the above example, Bill would have to decide whether the Bambi search would take you to or an adult site.

Rich records -- RNS uses XML technology to attach additional properties to each URL, including owner, location, etc. This data will be sold to research firms.

Revenue model -- centraal pays participating search engines a penny for each search that uses the RNS system. centraal gets $40 year for each brand name registered. The company will also charge a premium for very high- traffic names. Through April 6, registering a name is free. The current registry will be superseded as brand owners enlist their own names.

centraal is currently in discussion with major search engines and browser manufacturers and expects to make an announcement real soon. The company is in the process of securing their first round of outside financing. If centraal succeeds, it may just have addressed one of the most vexing problems of the Internet".

You can try the service out at:

It seems to work for fairly common brand names, but like all Web innovations, will need to reach a critical mass before it really takes off.

But at least someone's thinking about this...

--John Blower

March 16, 1998

Lost In Space

"L1" is the spot in space, some one million miles from Planet Earth, designated by US Vice President Albert Gore as the position for a satellite which will beam a constant image of Earth back to ourselves. The image will then be disseminated via the Internet.

The general notion is that the ability to gaze upon ourselves in a somewhat larger context will somehow promote a spiritual introspection and a keener sense of the planet's fragility.

What a terrific idea!

We are certain that the project will go a long way towards ending world hunger and promoting peace and understanding amongst warring factions.

And that it will be only a question of time before US corporations begin to beam their logos on to the planet to ensure global exposure ("Planet Nike" anyone?).

White House spokesperson Mike McCurry was asked to comment on the idea. "Awesomely cool," he replied.

Mr McCurry would do well to remember that his comments are seen as those of the institution of the Presidency of the United States. We would suggest that he change his TV channel from MTV to something slightly more uplifting. Like PBS.

"Awesomely cool"?

Nah! Totally, like, ya know, rad...

--John Blower

LinkExchange Member

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

Check out the Archives....180 Weeks of Back Issues including:

March 16, 1998
  • Local Markets
  • DevShed
  • Hold That Thought
  • Peapod
  • Web Bloat
March 09, 1998
  • Tags
  • Trademark Domain
  • Transactional Analysis
  • Smart Art
March 02, 1998
  • Domain Chaos
  • Cunning Stunts
  • Malls
  • CyberSitter II
Feb 23, 1998
  • The Times
  • Meta Small
  • Correction
  • Flabbergasted
Feb 16, 1998
  • Nobody Told Them
  • The 5 Cs
  • One Seek
  • Take No Prisoners
Feb 09, 1998
  • Martha Stewart
  • Tenagra Awards
  • Interactive Email
  • Zero 1
  • Media-ocrity
Feb 02, 1998
  • Were They Thinking?
  • Great Recruiting Design
  • Link Info
Jan 26, 1998
  • What's In It 4 Me
  • Global Reach
  • Deadly Sites
  • Accomodating Design
Jan 19, 1998
  • It's Local
  • Dodgy Data
  • Luncheon Meat
  • Elementary?
  • Novices
Jan 12, 1998
  • Communities
  • Is It Worth It?
  • Luncheon Meat
  • Web Rings
  • Marketing With Titles
Jan 05, 1998
  • Holiday Greetings
  • Website Garage
  • AArgh!
  • Year End Forecasts
Dec 21, 1997
  • Surveys
  • Communications Arts
  • Daily Brief
  • Click Trade
Dec 14, 1997
  • NPR
  • Whose Eyeballs
  • Cool Tools
  • Hamsters
Dec 07, 1997
  • Color Of Money
  • Resources
  • Search Engine Tuneup
  • Nice Makeover
  • European Design
Nov 30, 1997
  • Site Design
  • Statistics
  • Semi Free
  • Thanksgiving
  • Visitors
Nov 23, 1997
  • Easy Shopping
  • Great Content Wins
  • "Skinny" Graphics
  • Site Design
  • Net Mailer
Nov 16, 1997
  • Another Email Tool
  • Using Print
  • Free Site TuneUp
  • Oh, Dear
Nov 09, 1997
  • OLAF
  • Whose Advantage?
  • Close - No Cigar
  • Curioser and Curioser
  • Is Anybody There?
Nov 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
Complete Indexed Archives(36 months of marketing and design) Complete Indexed Archives(36 months of marketing and design)

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