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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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All material on
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© 1995. 1996. 1997 by IBN



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May 1, 1998

The Ambassador of Selling

So you've read all the books on site design and architecture, your graphics are suitably skinny, your prose has been shaved to within an inch of its life, your METAtags are faultless and your keywords fit to a tee. Promotion was a hassle, but has been carried out willingly - nay! enthusiastically!

But does your site do its (presumed) job of selling your product or service?

Alan J Zell, the self-styled "Ambassador of Selling", will let you know.

"While many of the people developing websites for themselves or for others have the technical and artistic skills necessary to build a website, they often don't know how to apply good selling techniques to the medium.

"Other web site critique programs are pointed to technical and graphic problems and solutions, and not to why the site was developed . . . to make sales. Hence, the Attitudes For Selling Web Site Critique Service aims to help identify common (potential) pitfalls of web site development, and to identify ways to increase the effectiveness of the site from a sales point of view," said His Excellency.

Mr Zell will provide you:

  • A printout of the site;
  • Identification of those areas that get in the way of making the sale;
  • A report describing which areas are anti-sales and why;
  • Suggestions of changes and why and how these changes will help lead to more sales;
  • A review of changes and additional suggestions if needed.

Mr Zell has been in the selling business for 28 years. The Attitude For Selling's website was voted one of the top 25 web sites by

Oh yes - prices start at $450. Unless you're a non-profit...

--John Blower

April 30, 1998


It seems to us that there is a renewed - and very welcome - focus on website content abroad in the land.

This is evidenced, in part, by the emergence of the Online Writing discussion list (which we have mentioned in this column). The list is, by all accounts, enjoying incredible popularity, to the extent that participants are now limited to two posts per day.

Now there is Contentious, a site run by the list moderators.

The site aims itself not at the HTML-wielders but those who actually generate the textual substance of sites.

Editor Amy Gahran suggests that the geek community simply doesn't recognise writing skills to be indispensable to online success, a position with which we find it difficult to disagree. This Web monthly will also deal with payment and copyright issues and offer advice on the unique demands of the medium.

There are examples of "fluffy" vs "meaty-but-lean" sites - some surprises there - as well as profiles of Web authors as a distinctive breed.

We recommend a visit to this site to see what is required of writing in the New Medium. Remember - it ain't print...

--John Blower

April 29, 1998

CyberWar "Unlikely"

The European Commission has said its differences with the United States over who will govern the Internet in the future are moving towards a resolution.

Speaking at the seventh annual World Wide Web conference (WWW7) being held in Brisbane, Australia, the EC's Information Market Policies director Frans de Bruine said he now thought there was no chance of "Internet wars" developing.

Last month, the EC Industry Commissioner Martin Bangemann had said in a response to a US Green Paper on the issue:

"We don't want Internet wars, but we need to reach an agreement on how we are going to use this tool. The more we have different rules the less the Internet will work as we would like it."

Europe objected to suggestions in the Green Paper that trademark issues and other disputes relating to the Internet should be subject to US jurisdiction. It also said American companies could control the issuing of new domain names for Internet sites.

The European Commission wants international private sector participation and global organisations involved instead.

Mr De Bruine added that the United States was supportive of the European idea of a Global Internet Charter, which he said would provide a coherent framework for policies but was not an attempt by Europe to regulate the Internet or set up a new international body.

--John Blower

April 28, 1998

What's that Tag?

HTML is in a constant state of flux, with new browser-specific tags being devised with each reiteration of the two major browsers.

In general, it's a hassle keeping up with them all.

No more. The latest version of Ron Woodall's excellent HTML Compendium has just been posted (dated February 1, 1998).

This resource lists pretty much every tag ever devised and provides indicators of which versions of which browsers support it.

The site itself is well-designed, offering the user a variety of mirrors depending on their geographical location, and, more importantly, a choice of framed or non-framed versions.

Bookmark this site and return regularly for updates!

--John Blower

April 27, 1998

But is it a Trademark?

The symbol TM is pretty well unversally recognized as denoting a registered trademark.

But perhaps no more.

That well-known centre of planetary Internet activity and innovation, the Republic of Turkmenistan, has claimed the suffix ".TM" for domain names lodged in its national registry.

The registry is operated by household name NetNames, the celebrated "global domain name registry".

Turkmenistan is the latest outpost of digital culture to swell its coffers (and presumably, the coffers of their registration organizations) by offering domain names for the standard $50/year. (Others include:

  • Bhutan (.bt)
  • American Samoa (.as)
  • Niue (.nu)
  • Tonga (.to)
  • Cocos and Keeling Islands (.cc))

Now, there's nothing inherently wrong with anyone anywhere offering weird and woderful domain name suffixes to anyone who wants them.

However, it does tend to make things more than a trifle confusing, and serves to point up the total lack of imagination and leadership current in the doamin name quagmire.

The Internet was never inhtended to carry the amount of traffic it currently does - and will increasingly. The DNS was never designed to carry the proliferation of organizations it does.

As we have pointed out in the past, the DNS is in need of a fundamental rethink.

NetNames and their Central Asian chums are merely compounding a confused and confusing situation.

Oh yes - we tried to register "". The Turks were having nothing of it. They told us that:

Important: This domain is not registered but because of its similarity to a famous trademark or company name it has been marked so it cannot be automatically registered. If you have a legal right to use this name and wish to register it for your use, please email with details.

--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:

April 27, 1998
  • George Lois
  • Dallas
  • Newsgroup Marketing
  • Pay 4 What You Get
  • Taking AIIM
April 20, 1998
  • Pragmatists
  • Asps
  • Bad Job Site
  • ClickZ Plus
  • Intellisys
April 13, 1998
  • Spring Break
  • Coming Of Age
  • Weblinks Co.
April 6, 1998
  • Pragmatists
  • Asps
  • Bad Job Site
  • ClickZ Plus
  • Intellisys
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