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Web Development Articles
(December 2001)

Did Shoppers' Plans Deliver Holiday Revenue? (eMarketer, December 28th)
eMarketer reflects upon the expectations for increased consumer activity in the online sphere, and deduces whether or not the expected increases in feestive shopping revenues were realised.

iWon Completes Excite.com Takeover (CNET News.com, December 28th)
After annnouncing that it had snared the assets of the Excite search portal from mega-failure @Home for a mere $10 million, the union betwen iWon and InfoSpace have successfully completed the migration of Excite's various features to its own servers and technology, with few delays or downtime.

Sold to the Highest Squatter (ISP-Planet, December 27th)
This article looks at the evolution of the domain name dispute resolution process as pertains to combatting the cybersquatting threat.

Survey: Consumer Confidence in Web Rises (internet.com, December 27th)
Proving that the web has firmly embedded itself in the national psyche, and standing as testament to the ever-improving focus on service, security and order fulfillment by e-tail players, Yahoo/ACNeilsen's consumer confidence index has shown that connfidence in making transactions online continues to grow in leaps and bounds.

Yahoo!'s Mama (SearchDay, December 27th)
Yahoo! was certainly a pioneering effort, but not the first directory of websites to grace the cyber-world. This article introduces a virtually archaic listing of sites that preceeded Yahoo by two years.

It's a Happy Holiday for E-Tail Sales (CNET News.com, December 26th)
Bucking the expectations of many analysts in the e-tail space, it seems that this year has been an overall success for online B2C plays, with many leaders reporting solid growth in traffic and revenues on the back of holiday hype surrounding Harry Potter, video game consoles and other Hollywood spin-off merchandise. For more on the record sales recorded byy many e-merchants, check out this USA Today article. Even further information about the positive results, and their comparison to a disappointing season of offline spending, may be found in this E-Commerce Guide article.

Yahoo! E-Commerce Sales Up 86% (internet.com, December 26th)
Confirmation of the above suggestion has come from the major independent web portals, with Yahoo! announcing a staggering 86% year-over-year sales increase through its revamped shopping channel; with competing bargain-oriented plays Terra Lycos and DealTime noting similarly impressive gains. In a related article, MSNBC notes that Amazon.com's sales volume increased by 23% during the key period. Read the MSNBC article here.

How to Effectively Promote Your Website (InternetDay, December 26th)
Cheryl Rickman here presents a very rudimentary introduction to website promotion, with an emphasis placed on ezine advertising.

Porno Paymaster CCBill Hacked Hard (The Register, December 21st)
Credit card processing technology player (preferred by the adult community, but also used by mainstream subscription-based properties) CCBill has released a warning to its customers that thousands of their servers are suspected of having been compromised by hackers, who acquired the usernames and passwords to each server to plant eggdrop bots on the machines - and possibly to access a wealth of credit card data.

E-Tailers Finally Shedding Image As Crash Dummies (E-Commerce Times, December 20th)
It would appear that the worst is behind e-tailing startups, with much of the competitive noise of the boom subsiding, and established players proving that they've learned from past mistakes in serving up what seems to have been a relatively flawless holiday shopping season.

Britney Rules, But Barbie's Still Got Legs (internet.com, December 20th)
This article presents a round-up of the most popular search terms and areas of interest as tracked on AOL's web properties this year - providing a good sample from which to gauge which subjects most interest general web audiences in this day and age.

Last Minute Shopping Goes Online (CyberAtlas, December 20th)
Unusually, stats out of Jupiter Media Metrix have indicated that the web's popularity as a Christmas shopping medium failed to wane even in the days leading up to the big event - suggesting that even online shoppers like to procrastinate. Thankfully, many e-tailers this year offered overnight delivery options to appease some fears about delivery delays.

A Bright Spot in a Bleak Holiday Retailing Season (NY Times, December 19th)
In yet another change of tune in the e-tail analysis scene, recent indicators suggest that this Christmas season will indeed reap dividends for online retailing outlets, with far greater increases measured online than in any other media.

Managing the Content Management Jungle: A Survival Guide (Intranet Journal, December 19th)
With websites and intranet systems becoming increasingly large and complex, the task of maintaining and organizing content can be too challenging to bare unless assisted via technology. This aricle presents a basic guide to evalating your content management software needs.

Google Sees Profit In Product Images (CNET News.com, December 19th)
Departing somewhat from the core search engine grounding that made the company into a household name amongst the net-wise, Google has been beta testing a print catalog navigation tool aimed at expanding its revenue base.

NeuLevel To Try New Plan For Contested Names (internet.com, December 18th)
This article highlights NeuLevel's revised plan for dealing with contested domain names, following the finding that their previous pre-registration scheme was an illegal lottery format.

Make Your Site Stickier Than a Fruitcake (E-Commerce Guide, December 17th)
Site stickiness has long been associated with a perceived increase in the likelihood that a visitor will convert to a customer. This article includes a few tips as to how to develop a sticky site - while also highlighting some pitfalls to avoid.

Measuring and Tracking Search Engine Success (SearchDay, December 17th)
This edition contains advice as to how best to measure and track one's search engine positioning, and the effects of such. It also features a supplementary story about upstart WiseNut's success in securing the contract to power Lycos Japan's search engine ahead of Google.

Experts Say Decision Could Undermine Online Journalists (NY Times, December 14th)
A recent Federal appeals decision could undermine online publishers' freedoms concerning hyperlinking, according to some privacy advocates who believe that the wake of the DeCSS case leaves a large gray area over the ramifications of linking to websites that contain illegal material.

The 411 on Dot-Info Disputes (Wired News, December 14th)
When it became apparent that both trademark holders, and speculators who hold non trademarks, were abusing Afilias' 'sunrise' period to register .info names unfairly and ahead of the market-at-large, protests began. Now, a few months down the track, the effects of such protests and challenges are being felt, with many would-be landgrabbers forced to hand over their stock of names.

Search Engine Marketing for the Holidays (Internet Day, December 14th)
Though it's arguably a little too late to put any of these strategies into practice prior to the arrival of Christmas, the search engine placement tips contained within this article are worth a look.

Solutions for Lackluster E-Commerce (E-Commerce Guide, December 14th)
Here, the former VP and Creative Director of BlueLight.com takes a look at the most effective methods of managing online product information and e-commerce systems.

November's E-Commerce Rise Smallest of 2001 (Newsbytes, December 13th)
Expectations held by many for a bumper e-tailing season this year have been put on hold with the release of new figures suggesting that American consumers may have lost some interest in shopping online this Christmas. Following sharp year-over-year increases in e-spending during September and October, indications were that November and December would similarly prove stronger than those figures reported a year prior, but November's total inched rlatively marginally higher than its year-ago notch, dampening many estimates for this crucial season.

New Search Tools (CNET, December 13th)
Though the search engine wars have cooled down tremendous since the dotcom crash, CNET finds that a few small players have successfully created web-scouring products that pack quite a punch.

Bullish Forecasts Led To Data Centre Glut (australia.internet.com, December 12th)
This article highlights the logic behind the rapid consolidation in the web hosting and data centre market worldwide, with special attention paid to the fate of former-giant Exodus.

About.com Scraps Free E-Mail, Webhosting (internet.com, December 11th)
Citing deep losses and a continuation of their strategic departure from the 'portal' scene, Primedia's About.com is shuttering its free email and free hosting products, and encouraging clients to switch to paid 'premium' services instead.

Overture Adds Excite.com (internet.com, December 10th)
A prize that once belonged to FindWhat has been handed to their greatest competitor upon Excite's portal sale to iWon. The search service will now be powered in part by the paid-for-placement search player Overture.

Search Engine Results That Pay Off (E-Commerce Times, December 7th)
With Yahoo!' announcement that it will soon carry paid search results, the pay-for-placement search market has not only been legitimized, but its reach dramatically expanded. This article looks at the promise presented by this opportunity, while also noting that marketers would be wise to balance their paid placement plans with traditional optimization aimed at increasing one's ranking in free engines.

Afilias Makes Changes to Sunrise Policy (internet.com, December 6th)
Just as it seemed that customer complaints weren't enough to change Afilias' treatment of the 'sunrise' period developed under the auspices of protecting legitmate trademark holders, the group responsible for managing the new .info namespace has announced that it will take action to undo some of the turmoil created by false registrations, conflicting or generic registrations and cyberesquatter assaults on its database.

HomeSite 5 (WDVL, December 6th)
Here, Lee Underwood presents an at-a-glance review of Macromedia's latest release of the popular HomeSite HTML editor.

Taking Curl for a Whirl (Wired News, December 5th)
Created by a group of tech luminaries including the Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the Web (well, the other father of the Web if you believe Al Gore's version of history ;)), Curl is a new web programming technology that promises to speed web pag development and delivery times dramatically. The technology's other great pitch-point is that it will be capable of handling a variety of functions that would previously have required the deployment of several disparate web technologies, such as HTML, Perl, Flash and Java. The technology's drawback is the fact that users will have to download a plugin in order to experience the Curl difference, and this may threaten the promising format's future unless its developers manage to court a big distribution partner such as AOL.

IM Your Way to E-Commerce Riches (InstantMessagingPlanet, December 5th)
This enlightening article highlights the findings of a variety of investigations into shopping cart abandonment, and concludes that e-tailers could significantly boost their conversion ratios by integrating instant-messaging technology into their sites to keep potential customers in constant contact with sales and support staff.

Client 101: How to Write an RFP (ClickZ, December 5th)
The Web's infancy has meant that often times clients aren't sure of exactly which questions to ask when developing a request for proposal of a design project. This article gives such clients a general guide to the most important points, and may also assist designers in shaping their initial contact with a prospect.

E-Tailers Pay a High Price for Free Shipping (BusinessWeek Online, December 5th)
This commentary by Heather Green looks at the high costs associated with the once-popular gimmick of 'free shipping' as offered by several revenue-hungry but cash-burning etailing startups.

Surviving in Today's Search World (ClickZ, December 5th)
Search Engine Optimization professional, Paul Bruemmer, brings to light the paths to profitability of the surviving players in the highly contested search engine market in this article.

Can Fun Still Sell E-Commerce? (E-Commerce Times, December 4th)
The early days of e-commerce saw many retailers pulling gimmicks, games and stunts out of every corner in a bid to attract attention, establish brand recognition and drive sales. With the demise of the days of intra-office foosball championships, though, the fun factor seems to have been replaced by an increasingly mature and purpose-driven Net. This article analyzes whether or not e-tailers should consider breathing a little life into their e-commerce facades, or whether such aspects would prove more distraction than gripping novelty.

E-Tailers Need to Find the Golden Mean (E-Commerce Guide, December 3rd)
A Boston Consulting Group Survy of e-commerce trends has found that while customer acquisition costs appear to be dropping across the e-tail board, conversion rates are also curiously declining, suggesting that promotions, price comps and other hooks may have been sacrificed as the economy moved South. The report suggested that brick-and-click retails, in particular, carefully manage their online presence so as to keep customers happy, reduce returns and drive offline sales as well as those confirmed in Cyberspace.

Standard, Plain-English Privacy Policies Wanted (WashingtonPost.com, December 3rd)
In response to concerns voiced by both consumers and advertisers about the possible use - or misuse - of private data, web publishers have been encouraged to have privacy policies devised and made clearly avalailable on their sites. More often than not, though, these documents are weighed down by legalese that make the task of reading (and understanding) them too daunting for most users, according to a survey conducted by the Privacy Leadership Initiative. The push, therefore, is for a the establishment of a set of standards to guide a plain-language 'checklist'-style policy.

EBay, Amazon, Others Balk at Microsoft's Internet Standard (Newsbytes, December 3rd)
Though P3P has been on the agenda for some time, giving smaller website operators plenty of time to ensure that their cookies and privacy policies contain such machine-readable details pertaining to how the firm treats consumer information, large companies who need to modify thousands of cookies and the like are hesitant to adopt the standards that they claim will have little positive effect on consumer perception of e-tailing sites.


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