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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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April 3, 1998


Intelisys Electronic Commerce provides a cradle-to-grave service for those companies and organizations wishing to meet the challenges of buying or selling non-production goods using internet technology.

The Intelisys site is, on the whole, well-designed and utilitarian. It loads quickly and easily, and the homepage features "news and events" concerning the company and its products.

Navigation is facilitated through legible buttons located in the left-hand frame, which also featured a button to enable visitors to disable Javascript - an option we liked.

The section "About Intelisys" we found a mite verbose and jargon-laden. Perhaps the company could consider hiring a copywriter to give the text that needed "distance"...

We could also quibble about the extensive use of photographs of the management team - no one looked like Sophia Loren, as far as we could discern.

All in all, a satisfying and well-designed site. Well worth checking out if you're serious about e-commerce, or simply as an example of good design and architecture.

--John Blower

April 2, 1998

ClickZ Plus

Regular readers of this column will be aware that we are great fans of ClickZ in both its Web and eMail manifestations.

We have also remarked upon - and recommended - the sage advice dispensed by the venerable Charles Sayers' site, Who's Marketing Online, which provides "hands-on tips, reviews, and resource listings for professionals new to online marketing".

Now the two have joined together through the acquisition of WMO by ClickZ.

"Our goal is to establish ClickZ as the ultimate resource for anyone interested in doing business on the Internet." said Andy Bourland, Publisher and CEO of the ClickZ Network, "We are building a business to business network of online resources focused on internet advertising, marketing and commerce. WMO's substantial content archive, written with attitude, from an 'in-the-trenches' point of view is a perfect fit."

Who's Marketing Online has also redefined its editorial focus, offering five daily tracks for online marketing professionals: Media Buying, Media Selling, International Online Marketing, E-Commerce and Site Publishing. "Each track will have it's own base of subscribers" said Ann Handley, Editor in Chief of the ClickZ Network. "These are the topics our readers are most hungry for greater information on. We hope to be the source they turn to for the information they need."

Charles Sayers, the former publisher and content developer for Who's Marketing Online, will join ClickZ as the company's VP Marketing and will continue to create content for the publication as well as for several other ClickZ publications focusing on electronic marketing, advertising, and e-commerce.

Should be good. We hope so...

--John Blower

April 1, 1998


Pericom is a UK-based producer of connectivity software. Pericom Jobs-IT is the division which functions as the company's recruitment arm.

The recruitment site is worth a look, as it is a fine example of the triumph of form over function. Here's why:


The homepage consists almost exclusively of images, supplemented by a Javascript which headlines current jobs. These elements render the page extremely slow to load. We were connected at 24,000 bps at the time of viewing, and download time was in excess of thirty seconds.

The substitution of graphics for text elements also renders the page all but invisible to search engine spiders, despite and excessive number of "keywords" in the page's METAtags.

The page also contains the rubrick:

"This site is best viewed in 800x600 with at least a third generation browser"

Which strikes us as rude to say the least, and is potentially off-putting to a significant section of the site's presumed audience.


Navigation is via five large graphical buttons, each featuring the somewhat annoying "onmouseover" phenomenon.

And this is where things get confusing. Hitting the button marked "Pericom PLC" tansports the visitor to a "splash" page, which in turn, takes one to yet another page - which contains what precious little information that is provided in the form of yet another textual graphic.

And there's no way to return whence one came....

CV Registration

It must be said that the CV registration form is a snap to use, allowing as it does the visitor to cut and paste the document into the box provided.

We suspect that this site will not be amongst the most well-trafficked in the recruitment arena.

Which is rather a shame, because, despite its annoying rotating icons, it's really quite attractive. But totally inappropriate for its function...

--John Blower

March 31, 1998


Courtesy of the inestimable Hal Pawluk, we receive this dispatch:

"ASPs did Cleopatra in and may be doing the same thing to your Web site when it comes to search engines.

In this case, though, ASPs are Active Server Pages. If you're using them to publish information on the fly, you should know this means there's nothing for the search engines to index because the pages are created on demand for each visitor. And if a search engine does happen to catch one of these ephemeral pages, it won't be able to follow links to the rest of your site since ASP applications require cookies which the search engines don't use.

One solution is make certain that your web wonk sets up your sever to store static pages (keywords only or full pages) for search engines to index. Another is to use the ASP caching filter available for IIS 4.0 which does the job automatically.

For more info, check out Infoworld's 'Client/Server - Test Center RX' by Laura Wonnacott."

--John Blower

March 30, 1998

Purists vs. Pragmatists

Within a newsgroup to which we subscribe, a fierce debate rages between the "Purists" and the "Pragmatists". Although to dignify some of the exchanges with the word "debate" is a misnomer at best...

The significance of the exchange, however, overlays current notions of web design, use of HTML as a layout tool, and the whole idea of "viewability".

We plant ourselves firmly in the "Pragmatist" camp.

In one way or another, we have been associated with the revival of Italian Futurist Theatre.

IFT was instigated by a the son of a Milanese millionaire called FT Marinetti between about 1910 and 1920.

Marinetti saw it as an act of rebellion against the standard, three-act, proscenium arch theatre of the time. It comprised series of vignettes which reflected, he and his collaborators felt, the reactions of people to an increasingly mechanized world.

It also demanded a certain level of participation by the audience.

It was, of course, a total failure during its brief existence. Audiences were unable to conceive of a theatre which did not invite them to enter a (literally) fantastic world. Critics frowned upon the movement. Theatre, they declared, should not be used to reflect the REAL world; rather it should comfort the viewer by positing a world of "what ifs".

The critics were purists - in much the same way that the critics at the Paris salon at the end of the last century rejected Impressionism as impure and an improper use of the medium.

Theatre and painting are media for the expression of ideas. The use to which the media are put are sometimes shocking, sometimes frightening. And if some brave souls overstep the bounds of what is "acceptable", what is an "appropriate use" of the medium, some poor souls will get upset.

Jackson Pollock, we're sure, was roundly castigated for his technique. Doubtless, some critic implied that he wasn't supposed to use canvas in that way.

The canvas, the paint, the stage - all are tools. As such, they can be used in any way anyone who takes the time to learn how to use them wishes to use them.

Usually the result of a different - or radical - use of tools is abject failure. But, occasionally, the results open our eyes to a new way of seeing mundane artefacts (cf: Warhol).

HTML is a tool. To slavishly follow the directives of "standards" is to be a Sunni Moslem - forever locked into Mohammed's interpretation of the word of god, as expressed in the Koran.

Some of us can be said to follow the principles of 'Shia Islam. We recognize the essential tenets of our "Koran", but feel the need to interpret those tenets in terms of the world we see around us.

The level of "discussion" which has evolved in the "Schlake vs The Purists" "debate" is perhaps indicative of the passions which are aroused when a convention is challenged in uncompromising terms.

If it works for you, use it. Damn those who say you're not allowed to!

--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 30, 1998
  • GIF Wizard
  • Intellectual Property
  • Job Corner
  • Technorealism
  • Surf Incentives
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