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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 16, 1998



Peapod is one of a growing army of "home-oriented" service organizations (which seem to be particularly prevalent in the Boston area).

Essentially, the company contracts with local supermarkets, receives your order online, and delivers the goods to your door. This is the kind of service for which the Web is tailor made - you can place your order at any time of the day or night, specify brands and so forth.

Convenience is the name of the game, which makes this type of operation a boon for working parents, those with irregular schedules, or simply those (like us) who can't bear the thought of actually going to the supermarket.

Of course, one pays a premium for this kind of service, so we would ask ourselves whether or not Peapod will survive once the current rosy economic picture loses its lustre...

Interestingly enough, we found the Peapod site through a promotional floppy.


On the face of it, one would have thought that accountants would have recognized the utilitarian function of the Web and have been in the forefront of using it.

After all, for most of us here in the US, the need to communicate with an accountant is but once a year. And, in general, such information as needs to be conveyed doesn't need a face-to-face.

We picked - at random - a firm based in California. Their site was an execise in futility - it looks as if they have a site "because they should".

Instead of offering up-to-the-minute tax hints, a ready-reckoner and the invitation to receive files via FTP on a secure server, we have nothing more than a rather amateurish online brochure.

The company would have spent its money better by concentrating on traditional advertising and promotion, offering FTP to its existing client base and slowly establishing a web presence through regular, timely updates of information.

Utility is the key to successful exploitation of the New Medium.

--John Blower

July 15, 1998

New Kid...

Logix, Inc is an executive search firm based in Waltham, MA. (In fact, the firm has been around since 1982, although their site has only just appeared in the "What's New" announcement services.

They are obviously a low-key - but effective - kind of organization.

Their site is pleasingly minimal. Page size is, on the whole, kept to a minimum, and contains solid information on the search process, particularly as it relates to small businesses.

In fact, the major quibble we have with the site is the use of scanned articles from conventional media, although it is fair to point out that they have been reduced as far as possible. However, for those with slower machines and/or connections, this could lead to an aborted visit.

On the positive side, however, the information is divided into small, easily-digestible chunks, and tends to follow a logical progression.

Unfortunately, the clear and unambiguous contact information on the first two levels of pages inexplicably ceases thereafter.

This is a significant omission. It's tempting to believe that visitors will always enter your site through the "front door". In point of fact, this is rarely the case. Contact information (and navigation buttons) should, therefore be consistent in both position and nomenclature throughout the site.

All in all, then the chaps at BayColony have done a proficient and workmanlike job for their client, Logix, Inc.

But that ticker tape has to go...

--John Blower

July 14, 1998

What's In It For Me?

We recently found ourselves at the homepage of Zenith Media Germany (don't ask us how....).

In fact, when we got there, we wondered why we'd bothered. We'd been distracted by a telephone call, and, on returning to the screen, were somewhat bewildered as to what could have brought us there.

You see, the homepage has seven large buttons on it, labeled as follows:


  • About Ourselves
  • How We See Ourselves
  • Our Philosophy
  • Our Strengths
  • Our Working Principles
  • Our Vow; and
  • Contact Zenith

We wondered what this had to do with us.

After all, once the initial excitement of indiscriminate surfing wears off (after about six months in our experience), users tend to use the Web to find specific information, goods or services.

Bluntly, no matter how how attractive your site, revolutionary your business model, unique your product(s) or service(s), if your homepage doesn't state, in no uncertain terms, what you can do for the user, it is simply not fulfilling its function.

There's simply no time or space for convoluted "Mission Statements" or words of wisdom from the guy with the big stock options.

Your homepage should answer the user's question, whether or not they are framing it consciously:

"What's in it for me?"

Oh yes, Zenith Media is "an independent media agency and a 100 % subsidiary of CORDIANT PLC, London".

But what do they do?

--John Blower

July 13, 1998

Global Reach

According to Global Promote, 1997 saw the number of Web users whose first language is not English grow from 10 million to 30 million. This is about one-third of the world's entire online population.

Indeed, Europe's total population of 525 million includes around 17 million people online whose native language is not English (of which around 6-7 million are on the Web), and it is growing at some 15% per month.

Asia is clearly the largest Internet user growth area. Although many of these users learn English in school, they prefer to surf the Web and find information in their native languages. A recent analysis of the server logs of ShopUSA, a Japanese and English language shopping site, revealed that nearly 99% of the visitors from .jp domains (Japan) immediately clicked the link to the Japanese language version of the site.

So how to communicate with all these people? The "English Method" of communicating with non-English speakers - enunciate very clearly and raise one's voice - is, fortunately, not an option.

Which is where Global Promote comes in. They combine translation of Web pages with Web site promotion in all languages that are appropriate for online marketing.

Through "a unique network of highly skilled Internet marketing specialists throughout Europe and Asias, a client's Web site will be localized and heavily promoted in the countries chosen".

Global Promote uses the following techniques to build Website traffic:

  • Referencing the Web address in local language indexes
  • Online and offline public relations: press releases for the Web site in each language desired, to the press available in that language
  • Making mention of the new site's address in the Newsgroups, mailing lists and newsletters published online in the target language(s)
  • Strategic linking to other sites of complementary subject matter
  • Banners: targeted placement of banners on popular Web sites in every country or on sites having a similar subject to the client's site

Whilst we see "localization" as a trend to follow in the coming year, we also like the notion of inclusiveness on a global scale that sites like Global Promote seek to foster. --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 13, 1998
  • 5 Cs
  • Take No Prisoners
  • Deadly Sites
  • Link Info
  • EGR
  • Great Recruiter
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
Complete Indexed Archives(49 months of marketing and design) Complete Indexed Archives(49 months of marketing and design)

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