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Web Development Articles
(January 2002)

7 From Seven: Featuring Walter Shild of Genex (ChannelSeven, January 31st)
In contrast to many players in the space, Genex, a fast-growing design shop serving the entertainment sector, didn't even put a sign on its building for the first few years of its operation. In this ChannelSeven interview, chief executive officer Walter Schild talks with ChannelSeven about how a low profile can and a light touch have earned one quiet little design shop some of the top blue-chip accounts.

Web Domain for Coops, '.coop', Now Up and Running (Reuters, January 30th)
The first of three new restricted top-level-domains on ICANN's palate was opened for registrations on Wednesday. The .coop domain space is intended to serve business cooperatives, such as unions, collectives and other member-owned groups.

Amazon More Friend Than Foe for Small E-Tailers (E-Commerce Times, January 30th)
This report gives a great overview of the basics surrounding Amazon.com's current business plan, while suggesting that this presents significant opportunities for other e-tailers who would otherwise be compelled to compete with the giant.

OASIS Reveals New ebXML Specs (internet.com, January 30th)
Development of the extensible business extensible markup language (ebXML) continues as a consortium of businesses release Wednesday updated specifications to the ebXML Registry Services Specification and ebXML Registry Information Model.

The Art of E-Commerce Web Design (InternetDay, January 29th)
Over the last few years, too many e-businesses have launched with unfocused goals and, as a consequence, awkwardly designed Web sites that quickly falter. This article attempts to minimize such failures by highlighting a few essential design considerations.

Overture, AOL in European Deal (internet.com, January 29th)
AOL Time Warner, in an effort to solidify the revenue base of its recently wholly-acquired European subsidiary is set to deliver syndicated search results from pay-per-click search engine Overture to the users of its portal. The deal gives Overture's many clients access to a far expanded audience.

Serving Customers Online (ClickZ, January 29th)
A recent report by Jupiter Media Metrix revealed data suggesting that customer inquiries sent through online channels rarely attract timely or adecquate responses. This article offers a few tips as to how best to keep one's prospective clients satified through solid communication.

Have You Hugged a Customer Today? (E-Commerce Guide, January 29th)
Forget the data mining, number crunching, high technology tools for a moment and personally thank some of your valued customers. With simple expressions of appreciation, you can convert a one-time customer to a long-term loyal shopper.

Hey, Who's In Charge? (InternetDay, January 28th)
This commentary emphasizes the importance of conveying a real human presence on your website's 'contact us' page.

The Best of Intentions (E-Commerce Guide, January 25th)
While there's a lot to be said for the usefulness of recommendation engines and advanced order-fulfillment systems on an e-commerce site, there's equal value in knowing when not to overdo it when trying to satisfy the customer, suggests the author of this article.

AT&T Sells Small-Biz Web Hosting Service to Interland (Newsbytes, January 25th)
Acquisition-hungry hosting player Interland has added a significant number of accounts to its roster of small-medium enterprise web hosting clients via a deal to snap up many of AT&T's web hosting assets.

Australian Start-Up Goes Back to the Drawing Board (australia.internet.com, January 24th)
Seeking simpler deployment and management of content-rich and dynamic websites, a late-blooming Aussie net player has developed a server system that incorporates mail, web and name services in a single plug-n-play device, complete also with database, community and content-management services.

Amazon's Free-Shipping Gamble; Will Rivals Ante Up? (E-Commerce Times, January 24th)
Shortly after announcing its first quarter in the black, Amazon.com has made an aggressive bid to increase its market share and tackle one of the leading factors of shopping cart abandonment by reinstating its offer of free shipping on orders valued a over $99. Incidentally, a recent eMarketer report has revealed that some 4% of e-tailers presently offer unconditional free shipping, while an additional 30% offer free shipping with conditions attached.

Content Management - The Magic Behind the Web (WebReference, January 24th)
This feature presents an argument for the adoption of effective content management systems within wired organizations of all shapes and sizes.

Don't Play Monopoly With Your Business (InternetDay, January 24th)
This two-part article presents a series of tips aimed at providing new web publishers and e-business managers with a few ideas as to what their website should address. Part II may be found here.

Yahoo! Launches Premium Search (internet.com, January 23rd)
Just yesterday we reported that divine had acquired search tech and content service Northern Light in an all-stock deal. Well, this transaction is already paying dividends, with Yahoo! agreeing to license the service's Special Collection. This will provide the search giant with access to millions of pages of research content that it will make available to its users under a 'premium' - ie, paid - service.

Online Surveys Are Seductively Easy (ClickZ, January 23rd)
Thinking of seeking feedback from your subscribers or the visitors to your website? Well, unless you have experience in effective survey design and methodology, the results can be biased. This article, while not comprehensive, provides a guide to some issues of note in maximizing the accuracy and value of your survey.

Managed Web Hosting - The New Selection Criteria (ASPNews, January 23rd)
Managed hosting providers must offer physical security, network and server redundancy, 24x7 support and managed services just to survive. But to succeed, they must additionally meet a new set of criteria that focuses on viability and credibility.

Home Page Essentials (InternetDay, January 22nd)
Effective homepage design is obviously essential in setting the right mood and presenting the right information to one's audience at-a-glance. This article looks at what are some of the most important elements to include - and which are best excluded - from your website's entrance page.

Amazon Makes Some Real Money (internet.com, January 22nd)
Surprising on the positive side for a change, e-tailing giant Amazon.com announced this week that it had posted its first profit - under generally accepted accounting principles what's more. The result was buoyed by a favorable currency exchange, and of course by the holiday shopping season, but remains a promising sign for the company - and the industry as a whole.

Netscape Takes Aim At Microsoft (internet.com, January 22nd)
Suggesting once more that it was the helpless victim of the anti-competitive actions of the Redmond giant, and not a self-destructive developer of second-rate browser technology that was beaten by a better product, the well-funded AOL subsidiary is sueing MS for antitrust violations. Looks like the war isn't over quite yet...

divine Buys Northern Light (internet.com, January 22nd)
Shortly after search technology and content player Northern Light announced that it would turn its back on thte consumer search market and instead focus on servicing its enterprise clients, the firm has been snapped up by software company divine in an all-stock purchase.

A Junkyard of Bad E-Commerce Ideas (E-Commerce Times, January 18th)
E-businesses must focus on key customer service areas such as delivery and convenience, if they want to avoid having their business plan cast into the junkyard of bad e-commerce ideas, suggests this article.

Shorten That Text! (WDVL, January 18th)
People are not only more impatient online than off, but are less likely to challenge themselves to read larg blocks of pixelated text in order to extract info. As such, this article notes the value of shortening your copy and breaking blocks of text with elements of interest in order to hold your users' attention.

Is Your Domain Name Optimized? (InternetDay, January 17th)
This article highlights the substantial gains that can be made to one's search engine ranking by purchasing keyword-rich domain names.

Afilias Begins Bulk Challenge Process (internet.com, January 17th)
Managers of the .info TLD have sent a list of 700 suspect entries to WIPO in the first major round of investigation into names suspected of having been registered in bad faith during the space's sunrise period.

Using Color on the Internet (E-Commerce Guide, January 16th)
This article serves as a superb primer to color pinciples, with an emphasis on finding combinations of colors that combine harmoniously in commercial web work.

Web Site Ergonomics and User Tests (Intranet Journal, January 16th)
As humans becoming increasingly united with computing interfaces, ergonomics research has progressed beyond mere physiological conditions to examine how screen layouts, colors and other design elements affect the user's perception and usage of computers. This article features a wealth of information of value to web interface designers.

FAST and Fresh (ClickZ, January 16th)
ClickZ contributor Paul Bruemmer takes a look at what it is that makes the FAST/AllTheWeb search platform, and the company behind it, tick.

New Products, Services May Help Web Publishers (Reuters, January 14th)
Surviving web publishers, acknowledging that 2002 is unlikely to prove prosperous for the economy and advertising markets in general, are finding that expansion into the provision of commercial services and subscriptions, as well as forming partnerships and alliances are key to security in an increasingly do-or-die environment.

Customer Data? We Don't Have Any Customer Data (ClickZ, January 14th)
Here, Mark Sakalosky outlines the many virtues of effective web log analysis.

It's 'me' Time for U.K.'s Net Users (MSNBC, January 14th)
Following a similar move made by ICANN with the introduction of the .name TLD, the organization responsible for overseeing the UK's domain name space has introduced a ccTLD designed to service the needs of presonal net users. Indviduals will now be able to register names nder the .me.uk extension.

Ask Jeeves Wraps Its Arms Around Octopus (internet.com, January 14th)
Shortly after successfully integrating Teoma's indexing technologies into its Ask.com search offering, Ask Jeeves has acquired search technology company Octopus for an undisclosed sum with the intention of integrating the tech into its new JeevesOne service, which will be aimed at the enterprise market.

Apache 2.0: What's New and Who'll Benefit? (internet.com, January 11th)
Apache has long established itself as the dominant web serving platform, and so the impending release of version 2.0 - which is obviously the first full-point upgrade in the application's history - is eagerly awaited. The new versiono boasts many improvements, most notably enhanced portability and compatiblity between platforms and the introduction of flexible Multi-Processing Modules (MPMs).

The Gold Standard of E-Tail Web Design (E-Commerce Times, January 11th)
This article notes information collected by the Giga Information Group concerning effective e-commerce design.

Mastercard's Response to the Online Payments Quandary (E-Commerce Guide, January 10th)
Shortly after Visa announced the introduction of its 'Verified by Visa' secure transactions program designed to smooth over some e-commerce hurdles, Mastercard has released a similar - though ultimately far more flexible program that similarly addresses these issues.

Market Saturation: The Next Big Hurdle for Online Retailers (E-Commerce Times, January 10th)
With the rate of growth in web penetration gradually coming to a standstill in the United States, and the demographic population of the web thus becoming truly representative of the offline consumer numbers, the limits have finally been established within which etailers will be forced to operate in days to come.

Even Santa Shops Online (eMarketer, January 10th)
Well, it may not have actually been the big guy himself making all the purchases, but the final e-spending reports covering the crucial holiday season have beeeen released by Goldman Sachs, Harris Interactive and Nielsen//NetRatings. This article summarizes the findings.

Northern Light Takes Dim View of Public Search (internet.com, January 8th)
A tech-rich upstart in the public search engine market a few years back, Northern Light proved an accurate gateway to online documents (both webpages and other catalogued data) that was favored by many. Those users, however, will soon be left in the dark as Northern Light switches off its public search engine in favor of licensing its technology to the institutional market.

Going Back to the Basics to Start the New Year (ClickZ, January 8th)
As you start 2002 rested and renewed, it's the perfect time to refresh your memory about the ABCs of e-mail marketing. This article outlines the AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) principle as it pertains to email marketing.

Holiday Shopping and Satisfaction Scoot Up in 2001 (eMarketer, January 8th)
According to the December 2001 report from Retail Forward, though 88% of US internet users shopped online during the 2001 holiday season, fewer users actually bought gifts online (70%). Nevertheless, good news was certainly reflected in the field of customer gratification, with the proportion of online shoppers who were satisfied with the experience leaping from 55% in 2000 to 72% in 2001.

Converting Searchers to Customers (SearchDay, January 8th)
Getting visitors to your web site is only half the battle. To be victorious, you need to convert visitors into customers by making purchases, signing up for services, or otherwise fulfilling your goals. At a session called "After They Arrive," industry experts Nick Usborne of NickUsborne.com and Michael Sack of Inceptor, Inc. discussed the dos and don'ts of converting visitors to customers.

When Good Data Is Bad Business (ClickZ, January 7th)
While the collection of data can prove commercially valuable to ad-supported companies, in cases wherethe collection and analysis processes would prove expensive and limiting, alternative methods of acquiring such data should be considered.

VeriSign Preps Wait List For Coveted .coms (CNET News.com, January 4th)
Progressing somewhere between the Snapnames service that quickly snaps up domains following their expiry, and the long-rumored auctioning of names by NetSol (spawned by the irritating fact that NetSol tends to hold onto coveted names well beyond their expiry date), VeriSign hopes to introduce a service that will, in effect, allow domain name speculators to stamp their name on domains that are presently occupied, and will be awarded that name if and when its current occupant fails to pay their renewal fees.

E-Commerce Across Platforms: PC Wins Hands Down (eMarketer, January 4th)
Despite all the hoopla surrounding the coming ability to make secure transactions through internet-connected phones, PDAs and interactive television networks, research out of Gartner and Forrester suggests that PCs will remain the dominant e-commerce platform throughout the near-medium term future.

US Users and the 2001 Holiday Shopping Season (eMarketer, January 3rd)
According to a recent report from Pew Internet & American Life Project, 26% of US internet users, or roughly 29 million people, bought 2001 holiday gifts online - up from just 20 million people who did so in 2000.

Value Sites Win, Customer Service Loses (CyberAtlas, January 3rd)
A post-holiday report card from Jupiter Media Metrix found that customer service e-mails are still falling on deaf servers, while Nielsen//NetRatings revealed that value retailers, predictably given the state of the economy, saw the biggest increases in traffic over last year.

More Women Shopped Online for Holidays (internet.com, January 2nd)
For the first time, the number of women shoppers to make purchases online has outnumbered the number of men who did so during the holiday period. This finding by the Pew Internet & American Life Project is likely to alter how web marketers perceive and treat their audiences. A further article from internet.com, however, further complicates the matter by revealing that although women are more populous online, men still spend more time exposed to online media, and consume a greater number of webpages than do women on average, suggesting tthat it may be harder to reach women online. For more, see this article.

2001's Most Wanted Search Terms (SearchDay, January 2nd)
As the year that was comes to a close, SearchDay highlights the most popular search terms/topics for 2001 as reported by some of the most popular search engines.

The Voice of E-Business (E-Commerce Guide, January 2nd)
This article contains an invaluable checklist to guide your management of an in-house call center in order to repesent your company in the best possible light.


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