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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 27, 1998

Incentive to Surf?

The notion that you can generate traffic to your site by offering incentives to surfers is by no means new.

Perhaps the best known name in this game is CyberGold, whereby surfers earn actual money in tiny increments for visiting specified sites and performing a variety of functions, like filling out surveys and so forth.

Now there's the MyPoints Millionaire Sweepstakes from MotivationNet, who run the MyPoints Surfer Incentive Program. Essentially this is the Web equivalent of earning airmiles.

Participants in the MyPoints Program can earn "free" points which are redeemable for merchandise for the many things they do on the World Wide Web - from visiting Web sites to clicking on incentivized ad banners, responding to e-mail offers, downloading software, enrolling in online programs, making purchases and completing surveys. The points they earn are combined into one secure and private account.

Current MyPoints Program partners include Barnes and Noble, Carnival Cruise Lines, Computer Discount Warehouse, Edmund Scientific, Investor's Business Daily, Marriott Hotels, Marshall's, Olive Garden, One Hanes Place, Overton's, Red Lobster, Runtzheimer International, Salons/Spas USA, Sara Lee Direct, Spiegel and T.J. Maxx.

Well, "earning" a million of pretty much anything sounds pretty good to us. It's less tempting, however, when one learns that a "HelloSet Office Rover" headset runs to 35,000 "ponts".

Will this type of incentive program work? We suppose that if you're an avid supermarket coupon clipper, you may well find this program appealing.

We, on the other hand, prefer solid, easy-to-locate content and information.

Perhaps we're just old fashioned...

--John Blower

March 26, 1998


"Technorealism" sounded like a course in how to program your VCR, so we took an afternoon off to learn how to stop that annoying 12:00..

In fact, it turned out to be a half-day conference sponsored by Harvard University Law School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society. The conference comprised two panels, each led by a moderator, debating different aspects of the emerging Technorealist "philosophy", which acts as a kind of counterweight to both the lunacy of the "cyber-libertarians" and the stuffy, European "statists".

So what is it? Well, the Technorealists have come up with a kind of "manifesto" (more like position statements):

  • Technologies are not neutral.
  • The Internet is revolutionary, but not Utopian.
  • Government has an important role to play on the electronic frontier.
  • Information is not knowledge.
  • Wiring the schools will not save them.
  • Information wants to be protected.
  • The public owns the airwaves; the public should benefit from their use.
  • Understanding technology should be an essential component of global citizenship.

Nothing to argue with there (although we did point out the semantic illogicality of "information" wanting "to be protected"..).

Nonetheless, the panels went through the motions of debate, aided by an audience of some 175, which included - amongst other notables - Mitch Kapor and that other bloke who used to write songs for the Grateful Dead...

So what? Well, whilst we find the group's "guiding principles" sensible to the point of blandness, we do believe that the emergence of the Technorealist camp signals a coming-of-age of the New Medium.

This is A Good Thing.

For if the movement can gain sufficient momentum and garner political and economic clout, a coherent approach to the New Medium - one which acknowledges the role of government and a pragmatic view of eCommerce - may emerge to the benefit of all who participate in the New Medium.

--John Blower

March 25, 1998


Jobcorner is a new entrant into what is becoming a somewhat crowded field, that of resume dop-off/job matching database sites.

The site itself is clean and easy to use, although it's quite apparent that the folks at Compact Computing Limited (no URL provided), who designed the site, use 21" monitors, thus necessitating sideways scrolling for lesser mortals like us.

The front page sports the standard search engine interface (although we could live without the animated buttons...). There are links to:

  • Candidates (sic) Corner
  • Agencies Search
  • Search Help and
  • Who We Are

We scooted over to Candidates' Corner, whereat it became apparent that this site is not what it appears. The first clue came in the request to submit one's CV (Curriculum Vitae) by email, fax or snail mail. This was followed by a request to fill out a long form, containing fields for all the information contained in a resume...

The form also made it apparent that this site was aimed at recruiting computer and IS professionals to work in Europe, specifically the United Kingdom.

Jobcorner is based in Morden, Surrey, which is a suburb of London. Whilst this information is available at the site, it needs digging out.

The organization could profit from making its intentions clear on page one. As it was, we spent about 15 minutes in Candidates' Corner before realizing that there was no way for Jobcorner to find us a contract copywrting position in the USA.

As a general rule, we recommend stating what you can do for your site visitors in clear, unambiguous terms right from the get-go. Otherwise, it's unlikely that first-time visitors will become repeat visitors.

--John Blower

March 24, 1998

Intellectual Property

It was only a question of time before there developed a formal market in domain names. Here it is.

A.I. Laboratories, a Ridgewood, New Jersey "intellectual property and product development company" is the first to list Internet domain names for sale or lease in the "sellers" section of the Intellectual Property Exchange.

These domain names offer opportunities to represent financial and legal services, such as and; fun and game sites, such as and; and culinary sites such as and

A.I. Labs has chosen the Intellectual Property Exchange, Price Waterhouse LLP's new intellectual property trading web site for its ability to provide equal access and a commercial venue for individual intellectual property owners and small firms like itself. Besides the Board of Trade, where one can buy, sell, trade and license intellectual property assets, the Intellectual Property Exchange has a number of other free services, such as News, Q&A, Royalty Rates and a selection of Attorneys.

If you are interested in purchasing or leasing the enormous brains which inhabit our organization, you can avoid the middleman by contacting us direct...

--John Blower

Click On Our Sponsors

March 23, 1998

Fat Image Blues?

Our jihad against fat online graphics continues by our alerting you to GIFWizard.

GIFWizard is an online service that reduces the file sizes of your Web site images so that your Web pages will load faster. Which is A Good Thing...

They will even scan your entire site for bloated GIFs, animated GIFs and JPGs, create reduced file size version of those graphics and check for broken links. You can also check graphics one at a time by entering a URL or uploading a file from your machine.

The Site Scan service comes at a price, as follows:

  • Personal Homepagers ($14.95)
  • Hobby/Small Business Webmasters ($49.00)
  • Graphics Designers ($99.00)
  • Corporate Webmasters ($399.00)

Which seem pretty reasonable in the context of acquiring the knowledge and application to do it yourself...

There's also a library of 400,000+ image thumbnails, which you can scavenge for images when inspiration deserts you.

Well worth checking out.

--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 23, 1998
  • A Solution?
  • Lost In Space
  • Taxes
  • Guild, Schmild
  • WinJobs
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