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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
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over the entire
Michael Strangelove

Advertising is
one of the minor
arts, so don't
be intimidated
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Keep it fun.
Robert Bly

is more
it seems.
John Gall

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is its own
John Gall

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do a few things
really well than
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a lot of things
If you can't
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to your
scale back
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John Sumser


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July 24, 1998


Administering a survey is a great way of gathering information on site visitors in order to tweak your product/service and site to better serve them.

(Of course, this si predicated on the assumption that your site is providing value-added content to its visitors, otherwise there is no incentive for the survey to be completed.)

The mechanics of designing and posting a survey page can, however, be burdensome for the technically-challenged.

SurveySolutions for the Web is a complete package which simplifies the design, delivery and results management of surveys.

The package is Microsoft Office Compatible, and "builds on your familiarity with business software to streamline designing, conducting and analyzing Web and e-mail-based surveys".

You can download a 30-day evaluation copy of the package from the Perseus site - which is attractive and easy to navigate. The full version costs $149 (electronic) or $179 with disks and full documentation.

--John Blower

July 23, 1998

Web Position

At the end of the day, a major source of site traffic must be search engines. (We are of the opinion that their utility has become severely circumscribed recently, and that this process will continue. Still, for the time being...).

In point of fact, being in a SE index will do little to promote your site traffic - unless you are on the first three pages (how many times have you been to page 20 in Alta Vista?).

Web Position Analyzer is a promotional spider which "utilizes Artificial Intelligence (AI) to read the content of your web pages and makes dynamic additions to your postings.  It greatly improves the quality of registration and places you near the top of categories in most of the search engines."

Not only that, but it allows you to monitor positioning of your site in the major (and some minor) SEs - as well as that of your clients or competitors.

You can download an evaluation copy, which comes packed full of information about how SEs rank sites, hints on keyword usage and how to best use this useful gizmo.

The full version is undergoing a major upgrade, and is currently unavailable. Net Submitter Professional costs $100, with a year of upgrades costing an additional $50.

After you have registered your evaluation copy, you are offered the opportunity to subscribe to MarketPosition Newsletter, which will help you through the SE maze.

We also liked the fact that the folks at WebPosition followed up with an eMail offering free advice and help if any problems were encountered using the application.

Go for it!--John Blower

July 22, 1998

Cutting through the Clutter

As hardware prices drop through the floor (at least here in the US), so the specifications of the average "newbie's" starter-kit rise to unprecedented levels. (This is based upon a correspondent's completely unscientific observation of the thousands of dollars' worth of hardware leaving a CompUSA store on a recent Saturday.)

The behemoths being purchased in profusion feature the ability to support all the latest and greatest multi-media gew-gaws. And, of course, the ability to access the Web through a couple of mouse clicks (credit card in hand) is a given.

But having accessed the Web, where does a "newbie" go? Well, probably in the first instance, to either the Gorilla or the homepage of the ISP whose CD they picked up in the store.

Novice traffic then cascades down from these sites, in most cases to the sites of established players, corporations with household brand-names. And these sites will probably feature effects supported by our novice user's new machine.

This phenomenon will tend to shape the novice's expectations of what a website does and what one looks like.

So what can smaller fish do to make their sites attractive to those whose expectations have been shaped by the full multi-media monty?

The answer lies in simplicity.

In much the same way as twentieth-century abstract art evolved as a reaction to the Baroque complexity of the visual art of the Victorian age (we are thinking here of Mondrian and Picasso as prime exemplars), so we believe that simple, elegant design will, in the end, win out.

But when approaching site design and architecture, keep in mind these two fundamental principles:

  • Content is King
  • Simple is difficult - complex is easy...

--John Blower

July 21, 1998

What's New?

As part of our ongoing process of monitoring recruitment-oriented sites, we subscribe to a number of agents which monitor the appearance of new sites and report back via eMail.

Whats New?, for example, reports back weekly on new entrants in a wide variety of fields. In the field of Jobs and Employment, What's New? reports an average of 30 - 50 new sites a week.

A lot of these new sites, it's fair to point out, are MLM-oriented and are blatant pitches for other spurious "get-rich-quick" schemes.

Nonetheless, that leaves a healthy number of new recruitment-oriented sites joining the 25,000+ already out there.

Cresta Recruiting is one such new site. It bears the hallmarks of some thought having gone into the design and architecture. Images are suitably minimalist, and the site has a clean look and feel. Job descriptions are comprehensive, and the copy is appropriate for the audience. And Cresta has adopted the practice of including full contact information on every page, something which eludes many.

We would venture to suggest, however, that Michelle Cresta re-examine her META TAGs - they do not appear to be particularly user-oriented.

We wonder what Cresta's plans for site promotion are.

In other news, Digby Clarke alerts us to his new site Recipes for Life.

It's straightforward advice for those facing life crises, presented in a tabbed notebook format. The site is a mite graphics-heavy for our taste, and that "splash page" serves no apparent purpose. Nonetheless, if you feel the need for reassurance that you are "normal", Digby's site is worth an off-duty visit... --John Blower

July 20, 1998

Iran 2, US 1...

The Society of Iranian Professionals is an organization whose "mission" [sic] is "to improve opportunities for, and promote the recognition of Iranian professionals from a wide range of disciplines and professions."

Founded in 1982, SIP claims to have no political or religious preferences.

Based in the Bay Area of Northern California, SIP aims to:

  • Provide an environment for communication among Iranian professionals in all disciplines
  • Support Iranian professionals in achieving and maintaining excellence
  • Support Iranian professionals in achieving and maintaining excellence
  • Stimulate the interest of Iranian students towards industry
  • Provide effective career counselling and job placement activities for its members
  • Promote liaisons with other cultural, professional, and scientific societies

The organization not only acts as a clearing-house for the collection of the resumes of Iranian professionals, but the site actively solicits advertising.

So what? you ask.

Well, your correspondent - who spent a year in Iran in the mid-70's and who last visited the country just before the Islamic Revolution - is aware that many of the emerging middle-class at the time attended school in the US, gaining qualifications across a variety of occupational areas. And that many of those same professionals who returned to Iran, fled to the US as exiles before, during, and after the Revolution.

In other words, here is a group of US-qualified professionals who are linguistically accomplished, and, for the most part, culturally integrated.

Recruiters who wish to reach this geographically-specific group may wish to investigate the possibilities of using the SIP site as a medium of communication, either through advertising or sponsorship.

--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 20, 1998
  • WIIFM (Wiffem)
  • Global Reach
  • New Kid
  • Utility / Futility
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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All material on this site is © 1995, 1996 by IBN (The Internet Business Network), Mill Valley, CA 94941