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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


All material on this
website is the
property of IBN
(The Internet Business Network)
You may download
a copy for personal
use. Redistribution
without permission
is strictly
All material on
this site is
© 1995. 1996 by IBN



C l i c k   o n c e   t o   r e c e i v e   o u r   o c c a s i o n a l   N e w s l e t t e r
September 18, 1996

Negotiating Website Agreements

The August Computer Law Observer by William S. Galkin, Esq covers the basics of a Website deveopment and maintenance agreement. We've added it to our archives with permission.

The Computer Law Observer is distributed monthly for free by Challenge Communications. To subscribe or unsubscribe, simply send an e-mail request to

September 17, 1996

Good Brochure = Bad Site

Take a look at Itraffic (the web media planning organizaton). "Great brochure makes crummy website" should be the subtitle of their package. If rule #1 of marketing is "focus on your customer", we wonder if their online presence helps or hurts them. Well, we don't really. They'd be better off with no website. Though their client list is impressive, this showing leaves us unconvinced about their prowess.

The lesson here: sometimes it's better to have no net presence.

September 16, 1996

Web Evolution With A Bite

We love watching a good thing get better. Media Central Digest, a weekly publication of Cowles-Simba keeps pushing the new-sites digest formula to greater heights. Always delivered with a biting wit, an appropriate level of sarcasm and a quick bit of insight, Media Central Digest covers the evolution of the Web as a medium. Recent issues have focused on the increase in Web production values.

We're using it to show clients why the web, a supposedly populist media, has such a rapid increase in the basic cost of entry.

September 15, 1996

Jobs For Web Developers

The Internet Developers Association Jobs Listings include a number of interesting opportunities for designers.

September 14, 1996

What's That Sound?

We're excited about our new advertiser, Thunder Lizard Productions. The company puts on a series of conferences each year. We're particularly enthused about Web Advertising '96 which will be held in New York at the end of October. The conference covers

  • Finding the best sites for your ads
  • Measuring and analyze ad response
  • Creating Web banners that pull
  • Increasing "click-through" response rates
  • Generating traffic for free through search engines and links lists

September 12, 1996

What Is Success?

We still tell our clients that the best way to start is by imagining the simplest formula: a website designed for one specific individual. The question to ask is: What does your website look like if it only needs one specific viewer to succeed? How do you market it?

By giving this thought experiment weight at the beginning of your design or redesign, you can avoid the natural tendency to focus on yourself, your products or your company. The web offers an interesting direct access to the mind of your customer. If you work from their needs out, you'll begin to create a design that offers a reason for your customers to return.

Customer centered design, with a simple information architecture, is difficult. What is obvious to you and your company is not inherently obvious to your customers. The work required to translate your insight and value into terms your customer can understand is slow, frustrating and painful. It moves forward with leaps of insight after hours of heads banging against the wall. It doesn't come because you want it (though that's an important starting point). It comes through vigilant pursuit of the customer's heart.

September 10, 1996

Danger: Grumpy Editor On Prowl

Recently, we had a chance to review a remarkable document called WebTrack/Adspend published by Jupiter Communications. It was remarkable for its inadequacy. On the one hand, if you're trying to scope out the big players who buy ads, you'll get the company names (but not their media buyers). On the other hand, if you want a comprehensive review of the online ad market, spend your $1295 annual subscription fee elsewhere. They've missed the marketplace completely. A cursory review reminded us of 25 major sites making real money in advertising that they completely missed. And, our take on the web has a decidedly narrow focus. But, if you want to make your ad money the hard way, start with WebTrack/Adspend. You'll get a solid list of the URLs of known big advertisers.

September 9, 1996

I Owe My Soul To The Company Store

As if it were some marvel of technology, the Link Auction has opened a link purchase / auction plan that will satisfy the truly desperate. They guarantee a floor price of $0.01 per click-thru and hint at the possibility of an auction rate of about $.06 per "CT". Like a click isn't worth more than a buck. Sheesh. But, if you're about to be kicked out of your house and need a quick exchange of cash for hits, you might want to check them out.

Hmmmm let's see. If your site does 100K visitors per day and their ads get an outrageous 5% click rate, you'll net between $50 and $250 per week. (If you sell at their floor price, and your click rate was a more reasonable 2%, you'd get $20). It wouldn't cover your ISP bill but could make your landlord happy. Unless the wolf is at the door, however, we suggest you pass.

Rick Hauser wrote to let us know that a more up to date version of The Netwatch Top Ten Agents is available as Agent Knowledgebase Associates, Inc. Top Ten. Thanks, Rick.

September 8, 1996

There's A Man Who Leads A Life Of Danger

For some reason, we keep thinking of them as Secret Agents. They're not! Personal Agent technology (websites and tools that help you find what you want) are coming of age. We're familiar with the inner workings of several (our client's) and find the state-of-the-art to be primitively engaging.

To get yourself up-to-speed, we suggest a look at the following summary level sites:

In the long run, tools that help users to navigate the huge piles of data on the Web will supplant the current role of search engines.

Take a look at the Archives. We've indexed all the past issues with topic pointers.

Try Freeloader

Check out the Archives....54 Weeks of Back issues including:

September 07, 1996 Including:
  • AT&T Business Network
  • Placing
  • Comparing Ad Brokers
  • Direct Email Marketer's Association
  • Lots of Tidbits
  • Much, Much More
August 24 1996 Including:
  • Search Voyeur
  • Who's Making Money
  • Simplicity In Design
  • New Thinking
  • Design For Navigation
  • International Usability
  • August 17 1996 Including:
    • Regional Yahoos
    • Big Dreams
    • Copy Editors
    • Cool Net Statistics Presentations
    • Browser Search
    • Give It Away To Keep It
  • August 10 1996 Including:
    • Useful Page Tools
    • Web Nuggets
    • Tropical Jim: Web Hero
    • Snafus And Apologies
    • Bright Spots At Apple
    • Mediums Are Not Markets
  • August 03 1996 (two weeks) Including:
    • Net Business Daily
    • The Project Oriented Economy
    • The Importance Of Customers
    • Computer Law Observer
    • 8 Corners Of ECommerce
    • Who's Doing Business
  • July 20 1996 Including:
    • Paying Viewers To See Ads
    • Grumpy About Apple
    • More Net Statistics
    • How Not To: I-Watch
    • Godzilla Uber Alles
  • July 13 1996 Including:
    • Multimedia Web
    • Selling Ads
    • An SIG Pidgin
    • News From The Front
    • Absolut-ly Fabulous
    • Tripod Redux
    • Jobs For Web Designers
  • July 06 1996 Including:
    • Makeovers R Us
    • JAvaScript Tip Of the Week
    • Microsoft Viruses
    • Sega Surfing
    • Jobs For Web Designers
    • Informant
    • IDML

    Contacting Us
    Call, fax, write, email. We'd love to talk about your project.

    All material on this site is © 1995, 1996 by IBN (The Internet Business Network), Mill Valley, CA 94941