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Web Development Articles
(April 2002)



Click-and-Mortars Finally Click! (ClickZ, April 30th)
It's been said that the Web can't appeal to human senses like a real-world retail store can, and that this deficiency hinders upselling and impulse buying. Here, ClickZ' Martin Lindstrom finds evidence this is changing as etailers find ways to appeal to more senses.

US Net Users Get the Local Scoop Online (eMarketer, April 30th)
A survey commissioned by the Newspaper Association of America and conducted by MORI Research presents data indicating that 48% of US internet users go online for local news - 62% of whom obtain the news from local newspaper websites.

Macromedia Readies Macromedia MX for Production (ServerWatch, April 29th)
Macromedia Monday unveiled Macromedia MX, an integrated collection of tool, server, and client technologies developed to function as a single environment. This product line represents the first fruit of Macromedia's merger with Allaire, being the the first major release since the company merged in March 2001.

Register.com Powers Lycos Domain Registration (internet.com, April 29th)
The world's second largest domain registrar snares a contract with Terra Lycos that will see the portal resell the registrar's products to its millions of users.

Webby Awards Announce Nominees (internet.com, April 29th)
Once a year, the luminaries of the web (and a few dedicated upstarts) are celebrated for their contributions to the online landscape. This year, three new categories have been introduced to reward those behind some of the web's fastest growing and/or most heavily trafficked web properties. A concise list of all major nominees is included beneath the article.

VeriSign Value Plummets (internet.com, April 26th)
Wall Street analysts are suddenly redefining the term 'value' and find the domain registrar lacking, with 11 firms downgrading the stock after a lukewarm first quarter. Meanwhile, layoffs, billing problems and other hassles plague the oft-criticized monopoly, as highlighted in this additional Internet.com article.

The E-Commerce Evolution (E-Commerce Guide, April 25th)
E-commerce may finally be growing wings and taking flight. Soaring consumer sales in the U.S. broke records left and right and topped $17 billion in the first quarter of this year, thanks in part to the travel sector. Nando Media has published an article that explores these promising indications in detail here.

Dot-US Opens for Business Today (NewsBytes, April 24th)
Starting today, U.S. Internet users can begin registering web addresses in America's sovereign 'dot-us' internet domain. Today will also see the switch flipped that will make the namespace live and visible by the web-going public. Prior to this, only U.S. trademark holders were invited to register the domains through a 'sunrise' period similar to those initiated by Afilias and NeuStar during their recent roll-outs of the .biz and .info domains.

Feedback Without the Bite (E-Commerce Guide, April 24th)
Customer feedback need not be painful; it can often produce commentary on how well your site is performing. Hopefully a good portion of customer communication will be fan mail but inevitably, there will be some e-mail from customers who are unhappy with your service or are having problems locating information. This article addresses how such correspondence may be managed in order to achieve the most satisfactory result.

Consumers Rank Trust Above Low Prices (CyberAtlas, April 23rd)
Global e-shoppers indicate that honesty, respect and reliability are more vital to a satisfactory business transaction than traditional notions of product and service.

The Master Speaks! (ClickZ, April 23rd)
No, the article title is not referring to returned ClickZ founder Andy Bourland, but rather martial arts instructor Master Shin. After examining the business model, incentive programs and various pricing plans under which the Master operated his practice, Andy Bourland has developed a set of guidelines in sync with the Tae Kwon Do analogy that he believes will help web publishers and etailers effectively monetize their product offerings and relationships.

Magazine Readers Prefer Paper (internet.com, April 23rd)
Two studies have found that people still prefer the tactile feel of a glossy magazine over their web-based counterparts - and would be far less likely to pay for web content in equal measure to the costs associated with a visit to the local newsstand.

How to Find Clients (WDVL, April 22nd)
Lee Creek takes a look at some effective techniques smaller Web design companies can employ in locating and securing clients.

The Post-Web World: Connecting with Connected Consumers (ClickZ, April 22nd)
Sean Carson examines the opportunities present in the wired world - regardless of whether the web remains central to this or fades into relative obscurity in terms of media consumption time.

Using E-Business to Play Catch-Up in Asia (eMarketer, April 22nd)
North American businesses retain a strong edge over their Asian counterparts, but the Asia-Pacific is showing signs of becoming more competitive. Steve Butler assesses the intercontinental differences.

Growing Pains for Amazon's Used Goods (CNET, April 22nd)
A wave of glitches at Amazon.com's storefronts over the past week is just the latest problem for the company's burgeoning used-goods business.

Etch-A-Sketch Maker Draws FTC's Ire (internet.com, April 22nd)
Demonstrating that it means business when it comes to online privacy for kids, the FTC marked the second anniversary of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by cracking down on the Etch-A-Sketch Web site and sending warning letters to 50 other sites.

Did Microsoft Miss the E-Commerce Boat? (E-Commerce Times, April 22nd)
Microsoft may have hampered its own candidacy for e-commerce stardom by compiling a track record of customer alienation, security breaches and underhanded land-grabbing, Morningstar's Kathman said.

Rescue Strategies for Faltering Small-Biz Sites (E-Commerce Times, April 19th)
This article describes the dangers associated with becoming an also-ran in a highly competitive etailing space. The article also notes strategies that smaller players may adopt to give them a niche edge over the bigger brands so as to carve out a sufficient market for themselves.

Hollings Wants Consumers to Opt-In to Online Privacy (internet.com, April 19th)
U.S. Senator Ernest Hollings introduced legislation Thursday aimed at beefing up online privacy for consumers that would require online businesses to get user permission to disclose certain information. The bill calls for users to 'opt-in' before allowing sites to share with third parties sensitive information such as political or religious beliefs, credit card information or sexual orientation. Less sensitive information, such as buying preferences, could be shared with third parties unless the user specifically asked (opt-out) the site not to disclose the information.

W3C Opens Korean Office (internet.com, April 19th)
Adding to its international presence, the Cambridge, Mass., Web standards group opens in a technology hotspot.

Effectively Managing Subscribers (ClickZ, April 19th)
It's easy to point fingers at competitors - until you find you're guilty of the same transgressions. At least finding out what the competition's doing wrong is an opportunity for you to get it right. This author in particular has found value in the effective management of every step of a customer's interaction with his email newsletter - including even the unsubscribe process, which can turn a potential loss into an opportunity.

Creating a Buzz with Marketing Gimmicks (HitBoxCentral, April 18th)
Submitting to search engines, tweaking pages, submitting articles to ezines, trading links, and publishing your own ezine or discussion list are all very good methods of traffic building. BUT (you knew this was coming) nothing can compare to the traffic that can be generated by a good marketing gimmick.

Mind on the Job (australia.internet.com, April 18th)
An ambitious Penn State study made of users of the Excite search engine between 1997 and 2001 (ending approximately when the engine called it quits as a search provider) has provided a great deal of information concerning the ever-shifting trends in web usage. Amongst the most dramatic changes were a shift away from pornography and towards business and finance as the most popular search topics. The survey also found that web users of today are far less likely to look beyond the first page of results gathered by a search engine, and are looking for relevance and depth, rather than breadth in their searches.

Representing the Kids of America (ISP-Planet, April 18th)
U.S. legislators have dished up the same old 'dot-kids' bill that ICANN wouldn't swallow last year - this time as a subdomain residing within the new .us namespace. Naturally, the 2002 version of the legislation that seeks to create a child-safe name space on the web remains just as unpalatable to the online community as it did in 2001.

Good News for E-Biz (CyberAtlas, April 18th)
E-commerce will reap the benefits of a growing U.S. population of Internet users that are increasingly more comfortable online. eMarketer predicts that one-half (over 60 million) of Net users over the age of 14 will purchase goods and services online by the end of 2002, and the figures will increase steadily.

5 Ways to Take Orders (E-Commerce Guide, April 17th)
The more methods you have for taking orders, the more orders you can potentially receive. Convenience is a major factor when people are shopping online so it would be in your best interest to accommodate as many methods for order processing as possible.

Putting HTML on iTV (internet.com, April 16th)
Interactive television software firm OpenTV has launched new technology designed to make it easier for TV networks and producers to create iTV applications. Using the system, developers will be able to develop content for interactive TV using web-based framework and programming languages as familiar as HTML and Javascript.

Finally, Agreement on P3P (internet.com, April 16th)
The W3C has finally made P3P an official recommendation, and in doing so has provided the XML-based privacy specification with with the credence required to see it become a standard in practice. Coinciding with this announcement was the launch of a service from the NY-based Consumer Union that will rank sites according to their level of disclosure of privacy and advertising policies. For more on that, see this Internet.com article.

Tuning Out That 90s Show (ClickZ, April 16th)
Is your corporate site's copy stuck in the 90s? Think bloat, arrogance and a plethora of buzzwords that serve little purpose other than to confuse potential clients. If so, then it's time to update your content for the modest millennium with copy asserting that the client's needs are central to your business. This article features several tips to help you through the transition.

BizRate Re-Rates US B2C Market (eMarketer, April 15th)
Specialist market researcher BizRate recently changed its US online retail sales estimate for 2002 from $45.2 billion to $51.5 billion.

Java for Complete Beginners (Java Boutique, April 15th)
Tutorials aimed at complete beginners to Java programming. Part 1 covers what you will need, a description of the main parts of the Java SDK, and walks you through, (what else), HelloWorld.java.

Kids Crave Easy Surfing (CyberAtlas, April 15th)
Children don't exhibit any more patience than adults do when it comes to Web site usability, citing quick engagement, interactivity, and consistent navigation among their needs. Despite some frustration, kids still chose the Internet as their number one medium of choice.

Usability Testing in Practice (WDVL, April 15th)
The practicalities of Web site usability testing have remained a mystery, because very little has been published about it on the Web - until now. Or, so this internet.com property would have you believe. There is, of course, that little site UseIt.com that's been around for a while. ;)

Consumer Trust in Online Content 'Alarmingly Low' (NewsBytes, April 15th)
Even the most experienced Internet user's level of trust for e-commerce Web sites is far lower than their trust of the federal government, new research has found. Just 29 percent of those surveyed for a report on online consumer attitudes said they trust Web sites that sell goods and services, while 58 percent said they trust offline newspapers and television news. Fifty-five percent said they trust banks and 47 percent claimed to trust the federal government. Additional stats from the report in question may be found in this eMarketer article.

Google Unveils Web Search Engine Query API (InfoWorld.com, April 11th)
Launched as an experiment to gauge just how it may be used in third-party applications, search engine leader Google has provided developers with access to an API that allows them to query the company's database of 2 billion web documents via the developers' own computer programs. Just two example applications to come from this are email and IM-based search retrival processes as profiled within this EletricNews.net article and this InstantMessagingPlanet article.

Companies Practice Privacy Online (eMarketer, April 9th)
Progress & Freedom reports that 90% of US websites collect personal identifying information, 87% of which post at least one privacy disclosure.

You Too Can Be a Radio Station (internet.com, April 9th)
Streaming media outfit RealNetworks Inc. has launched a turnkey subscription solution that will allow content producers and licensees to operate their own pay-per-view audio or video services online.

Apache 2.0 Goes Live (internet.com, April 8th)
The Apache Group Saturday capped three years of development and one year of beta with its release of the first generally available version of Apache 2.0 - the long awaited full-version upgrade to its hugely popular server software.

XML Efforts Need Focus, GAO Says (FCW.com, April 8th)
Despite multiple initiatives to define common federal standards and requirements for Extensible Markup Language, the lack of central XML guidance could derail interoperability within government, according to a General Accounting Office report.

Adobe Supports XML with FrameMaker 7.0 (InfoWorld.com, April 8th)
Continuing its commitment to providing publishers with the ability to create once for any platform, Adobe's latest release of FrameMaker not only allows users to export to HTML and Adobe's proprietary PDF format, but to XML.

Open Directory Project Launches ODP Forums (SearchDay, April 8th)
A group of editors from the Open Directory Project have started an unofficial public forum to discuss issues and share information about the Web's 'third' major search directory.

What Does Microsoft's .NET Mean for E-Commerce? (E-Commerce Times, April 5th)
In addition to making the shopping process easier for Web buyers, .NET is likely to make Web site development more affordable for e-commerce companies, Giga's Bartels said.

AT&T, IBM Launch P3P Tools (internet.com, April 5th)
Aiming to bring about the widespread acceptance of Platform for Privacy Preferences standard, two tech giants have released free tools that assist both consumers and marketers in understanding and using P3P to their benefit.

Flatten Your Web Site (InternetDay, April 5th)
In the multidimensional world of the Internet, one of the pitfalls when building a Web site is to forget that not all visitors come in via the front door, your home page. They may never visit that page if they've entered your site via a subpage listed somewhere on the search engines. This article addresses the concern and highlights some effective navigation strategies that can encourage users to explore other areas of interest within the site's architecture.

Make the Most of Every Lead (E-Commerce Guide, April 5th)
Almost every Internet user who initiates contact with your e-commerce site is a potential paying customer. Sometimes all it takes to turn browsers into buyers and one-time customers into repeats is a few gently persistent and subtly persuasive reminders that your site is still there.

Sun Smokes Big Blue with Snarky Website (internet.com, April 5th)
Sun unveils BigBlueSmoke, a Web site that blends humor with technical details to fire back at IBM's competitive attacks as the server war kicks into high gear. However, analysts are at odds about its technical accuracy.

E-Biz Spending in 2002 (eMarketer, April 4th)
Forrester reports that average e-biz budgets budgets among global companies have declined by $12 million between 2001 and 2002, likely in connection to an overall shrinkage in IT budgets.

Smashing the Myth of the Press Release (InternetDay, April 4th)
Somehow, the press release has taken on a magical reputation as the alpha and omega of publicity. Wanna become rich? Send out a press release. Wanna become famous? Press release. Want to get on the cover of Newsweek? Press release. It's become a cruel joke wherein the tool has apparently become the solution.

Computing Group Asks ICANN to Scale Back Mission (Newsbytes, April 3rd)
One of the world's oldest and largest computing organizations - the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) - has joined a chorus of critics calling on the body that manages the Internet's addressing system to scale back its role in creating global Internet policy and to extend focus on its core technological responsibilities.

Five E-Commerce Trends to Watch (E-Commerce Times, April 3rd)
University of Michigan researchers who track online customer satisfaction said recently that e-tailers made consumers happier than offline retailers during the do-or-die Q4. In addition to identifying this trend, they noted the arrival to the stage of multichannel retailing, effective consumer customization, the thinning of mid-size etailing ranks and - finally - a tangible shift towards profitability in the sector.

The Battle Over Web Radio Continues (Salon.com, April 3rd)
The fallout from a ruling that web radio streamers must pay a fraction of a cent royalty to the RIAA for each song that they download to an individual user has continued to cloud the industry. Here, a web radio pioneer responds critically to an assurance from the RIAA that 50% of the royalty payment will go directly to the artist. Meanwhile, the RIAA is striking back with claims that webcasters are engaging in propaganda campaigns to cloud the issue. For more on that, see this Internet.com article.

Paid Inclusion: Ready, Set, Index (InternetDay, April 3rd)
If you are responsible for ensuring that your Web site is prominently placed in the major search engines, then you will want to familiarize yourself with the many paid inclusion services being offered.

The World Map of E-Commerce (E-Commerce Times, April 2nd)
The E-Commerce Times reflects upon findings from several researchers to see where e-commerce penetration is now, and where it is likely to progress during the next five years.

How to Pick the Right Web Host (CNET News.com, April 2nd)
Comb any of the big web hosting directories available online, and you'll find hundreds of thousands of services that promise to support your fledgling website - from the first line of HTML code to the day you decide to set up a shopping cart. How do you narrow the choices? Before you sign up with a host, ask yourself the fundamental questions as revealed in this feature.

Five-Minute Internet Market Research (InternetDay, April 2nd)
Marketer James Brausch reveals a tremendously simplistic - and reportedly valuable - formula that he has developed to quickly and easily gauge the level of supply, demand and potential profitability afforded to a particular market online.

Teoma vs Google, Round Two (SearchDay, April 2nd)
In the wake of Teoma's high-profile public debut and its tagging as a possible 'Google killer', SearchDay has taken up the task of comparing the two and highlighting just what sets Teoma apart from the leader in keyword search.

Linux App Writer Wows Skeptics (Wired News, April 2nd)
On Tuesday, IBM released the source code for SashXB, a scripting language that allows people with basic programming skills to create Linux applications by working with simple website-style code such as HTML and JavaScript, and thus far the system has been greeted warmly by even the most skeptical of developers for its ease of use and for the flexibility that it affords.

How Small Players Can Win Big Online (E-Commerce Times, April 1st)
This article outlines strategies defined by analysts the Meta Group pertaining to how small e-tailers can achieve comparable - or greater - success than their big brand counterparts.

A Modest Treatise on Privacy Policies (E-Commerce Guide, April 1st)
Unless you speak native legalese, have a dictionary, and a lot of patience, you probably won't understand most e-commerce privacy policies. As such, this article evaluates whether the benefits of having a legally-precise but virtually unreadable privacy policy really outweighs the value of a policy that is concise and understandable.

What's the Logline for Your Website? (InternetDay, April 1st)
Joe Flood compares the process of conceptualizing a corporate website to the processes behind marketing an idea-driven movie, with the goal of developing a tagline description for the site that connects intimately with the property's target audience.


 
 
 

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