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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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July 11, 1998


Christopher Wilkes, under the nom-de-plume (or perhaps that should be nom-de-guerre) RageBoy, is the producer, editor, features writer, cook and chief bottlewasher for EGR. Which stands for Entropy Gradient Reversals...

There are a number of things we like about this site. The first is the quality and insight of RageBoy's rants about the new medium. We like his style.

His article for msn, Secrets of Shameless Self-Promotion, is full of commonsensical and effective tips and tricks as to how to promote your site.

And we found The Power of Stupidity - Part Two by Giancarlo Livraghi (whose background includes an impressive career in conventional advertising, and who happens to be one of the founders, and the first chairman, of ALCEI - Electronic Frontiers Italy) an intriguing philosophical treatise.

But what we liked best of all was the fact that the site breaks all the rules of conventionally "good" site design and architecture. Mixed fonts and colors, animation, an endlessly scrolling homepage, screeds of unbroken text and so on and so forth.

And yet we continued to wade through it.


Simple. Great content.

We'll be back to this one time and time again. In fact, we've become the 1,718th subscriber...--John Blower

July 10, 1998


We've always found the link tracking option "link:www.yourcompany.com/") available at several search engines (we tend to favor HotBot and Alta Vista - you may feel differently...)to be particularly useful. We can keep track of who is linking to us, and, more importantly, who is linking to our competitors.

Which is all well and good. But such services require us to keep careful note of the linking sites - which can be problematical.

Here comes LinkInfo from Pinnacle Publishing of Seattle. This is a service which tracks and reports on the statues of links pointing to any given site.

So what's diffrent? Well, in addition to tracking the total number of in-links, LinkInfo tracks the number of sites that have stopped linking to the URL in the past week, and the number of sites that have added links to the URL in the past week. LinkInfo also tracks links into a any other sites the user specifies - like a competing Web site, for instance.

Each week the following reports are provided to LinkInfo subscribers: executive summary detailing numerical trends, a full listing of sites linking to the specified URL, a full listing of sites that have dropped links to the specified URL, a full listing of sites that have added links to the specified URL, and a comparison grid between sites linking to the URL and linking to the competitor's site. These listings are complemented by graphs highlighting the in-linking trends of the URL.

LinkInfo costs $199 a year, although if you hurry, charter subscriptions are available for $149.

If you're serious about pro-actively marketing your site, this service is probably worth checking out (the site has sample reports in graphical format).

--John Blower

July 09, 1998

Moore is More...

Moore Staffing & Computer Training "provides temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct hire placement services and computer training services to people and companies in the Merrimack Valley and in Southern New Hampshire".

What a delightful site!

Bright, colorful, good (small) graphics, easy navigation, this site is a delight to use.

Navigation is via the left-hand sidebar and a box on the right-hand side of the homepage.

Wherein lies the attraction.

The utility of the site lies in its ease of use for potential candidates. There's a listing of all available positions. Candidates can submit their background details through a simple-to-use form, or their resume by eMail (acceptable formats are defined).

The site as a whole is focussed on a distinct geographical area, which lends it strength as a resource for both candidates and employers.

We believe this site is well worth checking out, not only from both sides of the "employment equation", but also as an object lesson in good site design and architecture.

--John Blower

How to Create a Deadly Website

Creating a super site is simple. All you have to do is go to a decent book shop and pick up any of numerous titles which will give you step-by-step instruction on how to do it.

(You don't even need to fire up the car - just point your browser to Amazon, and an even greater choice awaits you.)

What's really difficult, however (and something no book will instruct you in), is how to put together a site which is guaranteed to send visitors to their bookmark file within seconds of hitting your site.

So, as we start a new year, dear readers, here, for easy reference, are a few pointers on how to deter visitors from ever penetrating the really interesting stuff at your site.

Remember, your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to:

  • Drive away users;
  • Obfuscate what your company does;
  • Look like a rank amateur.

Drive Away Users

A good start is to present users with a long registration form before allowing them entry to the site. The form should ask questions like income, number of siblings, pre-existing medical conditions etc. Ideally, users should require a password which will be eMailed to them.

Include some background music in an obscure audio format which requires users to download a plug-in, quit, install, re-boot etc.

Use plenty of proprietary tags, and include lots of "Best Viewed with....." graphics;

The "homepage", when finally reached, should feature a huge graphic in millions of colors. Anything under 100k is inadequate. ALT tags should be omitted, as should "H=" and "W=" tags.


This is more difficult than it sounds, requiring as it does the use of complex, industry-specific jargon (liberally spiced with words like "awesome" and the prefix "cyber-"), the grammar of which should include an unnecessarily large number of dependent clauses, which are preferably provided by the Research & Development Department in conjunction with the Director of Marketing, all of which tend to upend the existing paradigm , but only within the context of an aggressively post-modernist organization, despite the need to explore and develop an evolutionary (as opposed to revolutionary) business model which takes into account the restrictions of the New Medium.

Don't forget a "Mission Statement", "Our Goals", and "Our Vision". And the obligatory statement from the Chief Executive along with an unflattering image (see above).

Never include any contact information. Unless it's on level 8 of your site.

Look Like an Amateur

Needless Capitalization Is a Good Start, But Don't Forget; the Unnecessary punctuation And. Particularly Not The exclamation Points!!!!!!!!!

Bad spelling is more difficult than it appears, but homonyms usually escape spell-checking. "Its" and "it's" are good ones as are "they're" and "their".

Be reckless! With the degradation of written American, it can actually be quite difficult to come up with prose which is riddled with spelling errors which doesn't look OK to the average user.

Adverbs are fertile ground. "We do it good and quick" is the kind of thing we have in mind. But don't, under any circumstances, use the word "hopefully". Chances are, in attempting improper usage, you will stumble upon the correct usage.

Use frames in profusion, no less than five per page. If frames are beyond you, use tables - the bigger the better!

And remember - never, ever integrate your web efforts with any of your other publicity of promotional material....

--John Blower

July 07, 1998

Take No Prisoners!

A chance encounter at the Martini Club took us to Integrated Systems' website.

Despite our being warned off, we found the site to be useful, informative and easy to use.

We could quibble about the request to send resumes to "careers@isi.com" (it's a bit impersonal), but the instruction not to send one's resume as an attachment is a clue that this company knows what's what.

The Web is about fulfilling users' perceived needs. In the case of ISI, this includes an admirably clear explanation of what the company does, and, on the homepage, an invitation to further one's career with them.

Notice the use of the word "career". ISI isn't looking for people who want a job. They see themselves as being instrumental in furthering one's professional development.

Being based in Sunnyvale, California, ISI is operating in a marketplace rife with a shortage of qualified candidates. To this end, applying for a position with them is made easy.

We understand that most of ISI's recruitment is carried out over the Web. It would be interesting to see how the company responds to an application.

--John Blower

July 06, 1998

The Five Cs

The ingredients of successfully marketing and promoting a Website are probably know to all of us by now.

However, Alan Sarkissian suggests a handy aide-memoire - which he leaves open to amendment, addition or modification:

  • "Content - this should be self-explanatory. It represents your offer online. And remember - content is king. Without meaningful content, your site is unlikely to generate more than a smattering of casual visitors;

  • Context - refers to what is being offered online being relevant to one's target audience(s) for the site;

  • Community - refers to the creation of an online environment that one's site visitors feel they are part of through being asked to contribute or participate in; the development and maintenance of a relationship (as you do with offline marketing practice);

  • Continuity - refers to whatever is being offered online coinciding with your offline marketing imagery, objectives and presence also; AND

  • Change - refers to the simple fact the what is being offered has to change enough so as to not bore the hell out of your target audience(s) and be seen as proactive as well as enticing to your casual site visitors."

--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:

July 06, 1998
  • Web Bloat
  • Utility / Futility
  • Transactional Analysis
  • Site Design Principles
June 29, 1998
  • Gone Fishin'
  • Search Tech
  • Mediocrity
  • Creating Deadly Sites
  • The Lenox
June 22, 1998
  • Want An Award?
  • Offline Promotion
  • It's Local
  • SOHO
  • Deep Throat
June 15, 1998
  • WebTV Design
  • Communities
  • Lifetime Value
  • Too Good To Be True
June 08, 1998
  • Logos
  • SearchZ
  • Gadget Gurl
  • Good Site Design
June 01, 1998
  • The Monkey Scratches
  • The Gorilla Speaks
  • Net Medic
  • WebTV?
May 25, 1998
  • European Design
  • Boys Of Summer
  • Relationships
  • Cheap is Dear
May 18, 1998
  • WinJobs
  • GifWizard
  • Tao of Design
  • Parry
May 11, 1998
  • Nice Niche
  • Scribes
  • Simple
  • Reveries
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
Complete Indexed Archives(49 months of marketing and design) Complete Indexed Archives(49 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