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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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May 07, 1998


Reveries Digizine concerns itself with "what drives marketing people".

We find the presentation more than a trifle gauche, but if you're seriously interested in current ideas on the state of marketing and advertising, the site is well worth a visit.

The section entitled "Revenues" is where "the sharpest minds in marketing talk about how they grow the net revenue line...for their clients", and features articles by Eric Bindelglass (a former vice president and general manager of the Quaker Oatmeal cereal business), Howard Steinberg (ex-Pepsi who also worked at Playtex), and Jim Brandhorst (former Coca-Cola and RJ Reynolds marketing executive).

The other sections of the site (revelations | reverb | revving | reviews | revisions), stretch the "beginning with REV..." idea, but contain some interesting ideas and articles.

Now, we're none too keen on the overall site design, and the site source contains enough redundant code to keep a couple of dozen homepages afloat.

Still, it's another good example of good content giving an otherwise undistinguished site a winning edge.

--John Blower

May 06, 1998

This Should be Simple...

It may be us, but it appears that the kind of information gathering for which the Web should be ideal is, in fact, becoming more difficult.

We're thinking here specifically of obtaining prices on airfares and car rentals.

We are, of course, aware of the vagaries of airfares over any given period, and the plenitude of "special offers" on car deals.

Nonetheless, we suspect that we are like most people, inasmuch as we seek "ballpark" figures on both these services for budgetary purposes. We're quite happy to ferrett out discounts when we have a rough idea of how much we're in for.

In the case of the airlines, the problem seems to start with finding a homepage! For example, a simple search for the Delta Airlines page, yielded a plethora of pages - but nary a one directly to Delta on page one. The same, in general, holds true of other major airlines.

Maybe the site operators need to figure out META tags...

In general, however, the major problem sems to be that the site operators asume that you want to buy straight off the bat.

This, we suspect, is rarely the case. But the notion that a visitor goes to such a site to part with cash is pervasive.

The misconception here is simply that. Most users, we submit, visit airline and car rental sites for research purposes.

The lesson here is "user-centricity". When putting your site together, it is imperative to put yourself in the position of a potential user. Carry out surveys; observe naive users. Listen to what they tell you.

The trick is to discard what it is that you wish to tell your actual or potential audience. Instead, enter the medium with the notion that you are going to respond to what your visitors want and need...

--John Blower

May 05, 1998

Alone No More...

The act of writing has always been an isolated activity. Scribes from Bunyan to Balzac to Blower have toiled in solitary splendor, picking up and discarding vocabulary until selecting, with unwitnessed triumph, the mot juste for the task at hand.

Now that we are "content providers", however, suffering in silence is susceptible to succor in the form of Online-Writing, a new discussion forum which caters to writers, editors and content developers (freelance and staff) working in online media.

Participants discuss writing and editing not only for all kinds of Web sites, but also e-mail publications, intranets, and any other venues that may appear in the future.

Besides writers and editors, Online-Writing also would probably be useful and interesting to people who hire or supervise content creators for all sorts of online media projects.

You can sign up for the list by visiting their page, or by sending e-mail to with "subscribe online-writing" in the body of the message.

--John Blower

May 04, 1998

Nice Niche...

...dreadful execution.

With the current labor shortage stretching into the forseable future, particularly in the high-tech field, it's interesting to see someone facilitating the filling of the employment gap with qualified foreign nationals.

After all, with the exception of the United Kingdom, European unemployment seems to be in double digits (depending on who is doing the counting). And it's a given that all European educational systems teach their students the English language to a greater or lesser extent. (BMW, for instance, recently decreed that all management meetings be conducted in English.)

OpenJobMatch aims to fill that niche.

In terms of content, the site is a good one. Subject areas covered include immigration and visas, relocating overseas, resume writing tips and so forth. So the site's goal of becoming a "one-stop-shop" for foreign nationals would seem, on the face of it, reasonable.

It's unfortunate, then, that the whole raison d'être of the site is endangered by dreadful design.

The design snafus start with yellow links on a gray background, married to a generally bilious overall color scheme and "enhanced" by animated gifs. Link conventions are cheerfully ignored throughout the site, so it's difficult to figure out what and where the links are.

Wake up, OpenJobMatch! Here's a good idea with tons of potential - but not with this design.

--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:

May 04, 1998
  • Tags
  • Trademarks
  • No War
  • Contentious
  • Sales Ambassador
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
Complete Indexed Archives(42 months of marketing and design) Complete Indexed Archives(42 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