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Web Development Articles
(March 2002)



Adapting Sites for Wireless Apps (eMarketer, March 29th)
Evans reports that compared to its developer survey conducted 6 months ago, the percentage of developers who now say they will be devoting 50% or more of their time to wireless applications grew from 19% to 24%.

8 Suggestions for Revitalizing a Stale Site (E-Commerce Guide, March 29th)
Feel that your site is starting to go a little grey in the temples? This article features a checklist of tips that may be employed to freshen up a site, quickly and inexpensively.

Teoma Preps Relaunch, Wants to be Google-Beater (The Register, March 29th)
Six months after having been purchased by Ask Jeeves, Inc, the much loved Teoma search service is preparing to relaunch its own website in the hopes of becoming a pure-play search provider that eventually attracts a larger following with consumers and licensed technology customers as present search engine pin-up Google.

Who's Cheering for E-Commerce Now? (E-Commerce Times, March 28th)
Forrester analyst Kelley told the E-Commerce Times that e-tail is becoming part of consumers' daily lives, but is seeing its distinction from traditional retail shrink.

Why Script? (WebReference, March 28th)
Kenneth Tibbetts makes an argument for why developers should still use client-side scripting on their websites in place of server-side processes.

Small Biz Benefits from Internet Tools (CyberAtlas, March 28th)
The Internet has been instrumental in helping small businesses to operate, while also contributing to their individual successes. However, those that rely heavily on the Net should have a solid disaster recovery plan.

Classified Information (E-Commerce Guide, March 27th)
With millions of Internet users looking for employment, products and various tangibles, a classified advertising section on your e-commerce site could help attract traffic, build community and create content. You may even be able to pick up some used merchandise for yourself too.

Improve Your Rankings By Improving Your Links (InternetDay, March 27th)
Link popularity, which refers to the number of links pointing to and from related sites, is considered by many search engine experts as the most important element of a site's relevance in search engines. This two-part feature outlines the differences between varying link types before suggesting a few techniques that may be employed to locate appropriate link partners. Part II may be found here.

Site's Tightening Web Privacy (internet.com, March 27th)
Findings of a study conducted by the nonprofit Progress & Freedom Foundation have revealed that online privacy practices appear to be tightening to further safeguard consumers and to support ethical opt-out procedures. The study found that there have been marked improvements in the industry since it was virtually lampooned by the FTC in 2000.

Product Review: Photoshop 7.0 (WDVL, March 26th)
Will Photoshop 7.0 be worth the wait? Without a doubt! Adobe has outdone themselves with this latest version of Photoshop, according to WDVL's Linda Cole.

Dot-Info Operator Buys Registry (NewsBytes, March 26th)
In an effort to streamline its operation and to better manage growth, Afilias LLC - the company assigned the task of managing the newly-launched dot-info domain space - has successfully acquired the firm that had been providing the technical back-end services to keep the domain running smoothly from rival Tucows Inc.

Making the Leap from Free to Fee (ClickZ, March 26th)
Andy Bourland returns to his online home to espouse the benefits and risks associated with transitioning premium online services to access via paid subscription. He also touches on other revenue streams that online publishers may adopt to supplement their ad revenues, such as syndication models and the like.

29 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website (InternetDay, March 26th)
This article briefly compares the simplicity of announcing a website in years gone by before outlining 29 basic strategies that may be adopted to raise a site's profile in the infinitely more competitive online environment of today.

Dot-EU Proposal Clears Latest European Hurdle (Newsbytes, March 26th)
Having been adopted by the European Union's Council of Telecommunications Ministers, it seems as through all systems are go on plans to launch dot-EU as a top level domain to set European businesses apart from their dot-com US counterparts. At this rate, organizers expect to have the domains available for purchase before the end of this year. That's assuming they don't run into the kinds of problems that made ICANN's new TLD rollouts such a farce.

Study: Consumer Confidence in Internet Declines (internet.com, March 26th)
Yahoo! and ACNielsen find a slight drop in consumer confidence in online media and commerce during the first quarter of this year, but point to several promising trends. Related to this, eMarketer has looked at what effect - if any - improved customer service could have on boosting confidence in this additional article.

E-Commerce in the United States (eMarketer, March 25th)
Steve Butler inspects the US Census Bureau's surveys covering 2000 e-commerce revenues in the manufacturing, wholesale trade, services and retail sectors. Manufacturing topped the charts, but services and retail posted the most growth.

Increase Your Sales With These Five Buying Stimulators (InternetDay, March 25th)
Author Bob Luduc has devised five powerful buying stimulators that should be considered when designing ads, web pages and other sales messages in order to entice more sales. None of these require specific additional expense on your behalf.

In a World Full of Choice: Simplify (ClickZ, March 22nd)
Although this article by Pamela Parker unfortunately degrades into a spiel about the publication in which it's presented before the half-way mark, the study findings noted in its introductory paragraphs highlights a valuable lesson. That is, contrary to accepted business wisdom, a study conducted by cres at Columbia and Stanford Universities has found that fewer choices will sometimes make a client more likely to buy, and increase the customer's satisfaction while doing so.

Zero-Budget Personalization Makeover, No. 1 (ClickZ, March 21st)
A small site rents vacation houses in Italy. Can it get personal with its existing technology? ClickZ contributor Jack Aaronson says: Yes.

PayPal Takes Aim at Developers (internet.com, March 20th)
In a very clever move aimed at expanding its reach beyond the auction set that made the company's product a market dominator, the newly-public payment facilitator PayPal has commissioned a product that enabled web developers using Dreamweaver or UltraDev to integrate PayPal's facilities into their creations. In doing so, PayPal is striking a blow against other third-party credit card processors such as Authorize.net, iBill, Revecom and 2CheckOut.com that had secured much of this market.

The Golden Age of E-Commerce Profits (E-Commerce Times, March 19th)
While some doubted that this would ever occur, the E-Commerce Times has previewed the financial standing of several e-commerce plays (including both clicks-and-mortar outfits and pure-play internet companies) to find that a great number have reached profitability of late in response largely to market pressures and a ruthlessly restrictive investment environment. This article outlines some of the steps taken in the move towards the black.

Webby Awards to Laud Site Traffic (internet.com, March 19th)
Stepping out from its former design and buzz-centric award scheme, the Webbies are set to introduce three new categories that award the 'best sellers' of the Web. That is, those internet properties who hold either the greatest unique audiece or the fastest growing traffic in particular markets during a May Sweeps month will get awards along with the design and content crowd. While this move clearly has 'ad potential' written all over it, the Webby organizers and measurement firm Nielsen//NetRatings have suggested that the employment of special ad promotions or popup-based campaigns will see sites rendered ineligible for the awards.

Online Publishers Debate Free vs Paid Content (internet.com, March 19th)
Finally it would seem that web publishers are starting to realise that the 'free vs fee' debate was off-base, and that there will always remain a value in each. Publishers must, the CEO of NY Times Digital has stated, instead concentrate on fostering those aspects of their business that show the greatest profit potential. For him, that's a combination of free ad-supported content, syndication, classifieds, paid services and email marketing. For others, the balance may be shifted to favor one product in particular. Risking everything to transition to a subscription model, though, is not always the best response to a slow ad market.

Web Branding: Take It Personally (ClickZ, March 19th)
Corporate site not conveying your brand's personality and essence? Take a look at what teens and pop stars are doing online: branding done right.

'10 Best Bets' to Boost the E-Commerce Bottom Line (SmallBusinessComputing.com, March 19th)
The Direct Marketing Association identified the top ten things that online retailers are doing to boost their bottom lines.

Comparison Shoppers Let Their Fingers Do the Walking (eMarketer, March 19th)
A recent BizRate survey (what's important to note here is that BizRate itself operates a comparison shopping service) determined that 43% of US online shoppers say that they sometimes use comparison shopping bots when shopping online and 34% say they use the bots most of the time.

Old Minds, New Media (ABC News, March 19th)
This brief feature looks at the psychological obstacles that have kept the over-80 set from embracing new media, while suggesting how these barriers may be tackled to improve the accessibility and usability of computing environments so as to reach the greatest possible audience.

No New Behemoths (BusinessWeek Online, March 18th)
This commentary/analysis asserts that those net pioneers who were able to establish their brands and audiences quickly have not only become the present giants (think Yahoo, AOL, Amazon, eBay, MSN) in e-commerce, but will remain that way as they strengthen their positions and mindshare to the chagrin of hopeful startups. The article concludes, then, that the best short-term course of action for any retailer looking to expand its online presence without competing with the biggies is to establish partnerships and licensing arrangements with them.

Using Music on a Website (WDVL, March 18th)
Music can be a very powerful resource for a web site. Choosing the right format is crucial to making it work. Lee Creek lays it out and explains some of the common problems encountered when adding music to a site.

No New Behemoths (BusinessWeek Online, March 18th)
In yet another significant move by a lossy operation looking to stem its cash bleed by dishing up premium services to paid subscribers only, CNN has announced its decision to phase out free online streams of its video content and to restrict their access to only those who are willing to pony up the ante.

How to Pinpoint Stellar Sellers Online (E-Commerce Times, March 18th)
While common perception has it that small and affordable items (or digital goods) are the best products to sell through online channels as a result of the apprehension many consumers have with purchasing items whose shipping costs or lack of a physical sample prove prohibitive, successes in melding strong brands, personalized services and niche marketing around big-ticket products have proven that e-tailers needn't limit themselves according to such preconceptions.

Netgrocer.com: An E-Commerce Success Story (E-Commerce Guide, March 18th)
The staff over at E-Commerce Guide recently sat down with Lisa Kent, the President and CEO of online grocery service NetGrocer to learn what has been the key to their success. Their case study/profile is presented for your perusal here.

An Internet-Age Copyright Ruling (internet.com, March 15th)
A recent court case involving copyrighted images and an image search engine represents a coming of age for Internet jurisprudence. It establishes several precedents, including the acceptance of certain image duplication practices as 'fair use' and the framing or inline linking of images and other content as a breach of copyright. Attorney Stephen Filler explains.

Spoofing: Identity Crisis (ClickZ, March 15th)
What can bring your brand, corporate image, and tech infrastructure to their knees before you know it's happened? Spoofing. (And you thought spam was bad.)

Oops! Your Website Is Out of Date (E-Commerce Times, March 15th)
Keeping a website's content, product listings, prices and links fresh can be an arduous task whose rewards seem minimal. Nevertheless, the process is essential insofar as maintaining customer loyalty, trust and conversion rates is concerned.

As the Search Engine: Paid Placement vs Paid Inclusion (SearchDay, March 14th)
Unsure of the difference between paid placement and paid inclusion programs, and how they affect search results? SearchDay speaks to FAST's Stephen Baker to clarify this and related issues.

Waiting for the DOM (WebReference, March 14th)
Though great strides have been made towards the ultimate goal of a single DOM for all browsers, some implementation differences still remain. WebReference here provides some browser-specific scripting gotchas to watch out for.

Surfing Online to Fly (eMarketer, March 14th)
In a particularly promising indicator for the market given the overall downturn in ticket sales since Sept 11th, PhoCusWright reports that the major US airlines generated roughly $6.8 billion from online ticket sales in 2001 - a rise of over $1 billion from 2000.

Good Coding Skills Are Not Enough (CodeGuru, March 14th)
This informative feature claims that to succeed as a programmer, you will need more than a solid set of technical skills.

As the Internet Comes of Age, More of Us Are Paying for Content (E-Commerce Guide, March 14th)
One of the more successful subscription-based content sites, ConsumerReports.org, is on its way to signing up one million paid subscribers. Is this a sign that "fee" start to replace "free" all across the Web?.

Worldwide Businesses Branching Out Online (eMarketer, March 13th)
According to a recent survey from Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) Information Technology, more companies in the US (93%), Japan (60%), Singapore (61%), Denmark (75%), France (36%) and the UK (86%) are using the internet to deal with customers than they are for internal purposes.

E-Publisher Wins Big Round (Wired News, March 13th)
In just one of the multiple David and Golisth battles fought over electronic rights in the Internet age, a small e-publisher has won a first round in its battle with tree-killing giant Random House. The dispute centers around the distribution of rights to old (but still copyrighted) written works. The e-publisher has obtained publishing rights from the authors or estates of said works, but Random House challenged this by asserting that electric reprint rights were implicit within their original (circa 1960) contracts.

LookSmart to Buy WiseNut (internet.com, March 12th)
Amid growing competition in the paid listings space, old-hand LookSmart has snapped up the promising privately-held startup in an all-stock deal amounting to some $9.25 million. The transaction aims to solidify LookSmart's position as a chief rival to Google and Overture in the paid-listings space, while seriously enhancing the relevancy of LookSmart's search results, which could give it a boost with consumers and partners.

Top Tech Jobs for 2002 (NewsBytes, March 12th)
With so many techies still free of employment following the dotcom-led crumble of the sector, many seem ready to expand their talents so as to pursue emerging opportunities. This article looks at those few that promise the most activity during this coming year.

Web Services Security in the .NET Framework (15 Seconds, March 12th)
The proliferation of Web services and their universal acceptance makes them vulnerable to security threats. This tutorial feature examines the security features in .NET and explains which methods are best for which Web services scenarios.

Courts Silence '.USA' Marketer (internet.com, March 12th)
Proving its newfound determination to cut down on deceptive spam mailings - with an emphasis on those useless 'patriotic' items promoted in the wake of Sept 11 - the FTC has successfully shut down the operations of a group who were duping consumers out of their money with the promise of offering .USA domain names. That extension has not been approved by ICANN or any other governing body, and thus while the addresses may exist on a remote server somewhere, they cannot be seen by the general web populace, making them worthless.

IM a 'Key' in eCRM - Study (Instant Messaging Planet, March 11th)
As consumers are expecting faster responses to their internet inquiries, instant messaging request management is becoming a crucial element in the online customer relationship management mix.

They're Customers, Not Mind Readers (E-Commerce Guide, March 11th)
This article posits that online shoppers are easy to please - as long as the e-tailer makes the effort.

The Evolution of Rollovers (WebReference.com, March 11th)
From JavaScript to CSS2, this WebReference article chronicles the development of rollover creation techniques used on the Web since 1997. Includes practical examples.

Ten Ways to Reduce Chargebacks and Fraud (InternetDay, March 11th)
Merchants' concern about online credit card fraud and chargebacks is rising at a significant rate. This article features several tips aimed at assisting merchants to minimize such occurrences, and the costs associated with administering the trouble.

Yahoo! Becomes Bigger Host (internet.com, March 11th)
Introducing GeoCities Plus and Advantage Web Hosting packages, Yahoo! GeoCities expands its pay-for offerings to meet the needs of both consumers and small businesses.

The Pareto Principle: Applying the 80/20 Rule to Your Business (ClickZ, March 11th)
The Pareto Principle asserts that it's likely a small portion of your business is generating the bulk of its productivity and profitability. Your job, therefore, is to identify and leverage this. Here's how.

Case Study: RealNames Keywords Yield Real Results (eMarketer, March 8th)
RealNames Keywords bested Forrester's Online Retail Index for order size in almost every category in 2001. Keywords were used 140 million times in January alone. Editor David Berkowitz examines what could be a new trend for marketers and net users.

Higher Income Households and Shopping Online (eMarketer, March 8th)
Scarborough finds that 69% of households with income of $75,000 or more accessed the internet at home, compared to 27% of those households with annual income of $25,000 or less. Other findings included the report that by the end of 2001, 25% of at-home internet users spent between $100 and $499 online and 23% spent over $500.

E-Commerce: back and Bigger Than Ever? (E-Commerce Times, March 8th)
While making the point that e-commerce should never rightly be described as 'back', since it never really went anywhere. Rather, several companies without sustainable business models received funding that should have never occurred, and stole the media spotlight. That aside, general sentiment concerning the present and future outlook for e-commerce is looking up following several positive earnings reports, and the release of a wealth of optimistic data.

Using ALT Tags to Maximize Your Marketing (InternetDay, March 8th)
The use of ALT tags in Web site design is no secret, but these tags are useful in several ways other than providing information in place of an image.

Designing a "My" Area (ClickZ, March 7th)
When bringing users into an 'inner sanctum' where they'll be asked to reveal personal information, make sure they feel safe doing so.

House Panel Approves Kid-Friendly Internet Domain (Reuters, March 7th)
.kids was one of the more promising proposals delivered to ICANN back when they accept a round of submissions that resulted in a few new domains - such as .info and .biz - being given the green light. Unfortunately, .kids was knocked back for various reasons. The concept behind the push, however, has been given a chance to live on as a sub-domain of the newly released .us space, whereby sites devoid of material inappropriate for youngsters would be able to establish a presence at a .kids.us domain. A Congressional panel gave the nod Thursday to a bill that would see this come to fruition.

Different Age Groups Shopping Online (eMarketer, March 6th)
Older shoppers are getting more active online -- shoppers between the ages of 35 and 54 (56%) say they shopped more online in 2002 than in 2001, compared to people between the ages of 18 and 34 (42%) and those who are between the ages of 55 and 70 (50%).

SpeakThis Lets Your Website Speak to Your Visitors (Internet Product Watch, March 6th)
An innovative new audio tool supports the W3C's Aural Style Sheets, giving webmasters the opportunity to provide an audio track of their web pages, which allows visitors to both read and hear site content.

Drawing Charts with JavaScript (WebReference.com, March 6th)
Add dramatic impact to your Web presentations and visually present your data in a way that words can't easily replicate!

SEC Dictum Spells Opportunity for Communications Professionals (PR Insight, March 6th)
Put your ear to the corporate floor and you can almost hear the groans about the Security and Exchange Commission's Feb. 13 pronouncement. The corporate Web site, the SEC said, should carry all significant announcements made by public companies as soon as they are filed electronically with the commission. As a result, web developers, PR personnel and others involved with corporate communication should be kept busy. (Might be time to give those content management systems another look)

How the Bricks Conquered the Net (E-Commerce Times, March 6th)
Brick-and-mortar mainstays have not only successfully filled the void left by failed pure-play e-tailers, but have forged ahead in recent months. E-Commerce Times puts much of their success down to the strength of their brands (which is even more critical in an environment in which trust and privacy are core selling points), and their multi-channel offerings.

Zero-Knowledge Knows a Little About P3P (internet.com, March 5th)
Don't have your website's P3P-compliant privacy policy established? Have no idea what P3P is? Well, this article gives the basics about the W3C standard recently integrated into the security functionality of MS Internet Explorer v6, and as this article reveals, a company called Zero-Knowledge Systems has rolled out a free (while in Beta) tool that enables a person to test and track their Web site's P3P compliance.

What Makes eBay Invincible? (E-Commerce Times, March 5th)
The answer to that question is a large number of factors, according to analysts. This article uncovers the major dictators of the company's success in a market still dominated by unprofitable enterprises.

Ten Things You Need to Know About Linking and Link Popularity (SearchDay, March 5th)
Understanding linking and link popularity is crucial for achieving high search engine rankings - and avoiding penalties for abusing the often-times unspoken rules. This article contains a succinct checklist of recommendations that may guide your linking strategy.

Macromedia Unveils Latest Release of Flash, ColdFusion (ServerWatch, March 4th)
Macromedia Monday unveiled Flash MX - the latest version of its hugely popular Flash development environment. The new product brings with it the ability to integrate a wide variety of rich-media elements into a Flash animation, including streaming video, application components and accessibility. This article also discusses a few of the most significant additions that are expected to be shipped in the company's ColdFusion MX product later this Summer.

Fraud Continues to Haunt Online Retail (CyberAtlas, March 4th)
Online fraud losses for 2001 were 19 times as high, dollar for dollar, as fraud losses resulting from offline sales.

Fame Can Be Fleeting (E-Commerce Guide, March 4th)
Positive acknowledgment from the press could suddenly foist your e-business into oncoming traffic. But is it prepared to capitalize on the onslaught?

What Sells Best Online (E-Commerce Times, March 4th)
The biggest successes in e-commerce thus far have largely been those companies whose roots were anchored in the sale of simple commoditized products that ship easily. This report uncovers some of the biggest products matching this description, while bringing to light a few possible emerging markets.

It's Not the Price, It's the Value (ClickZ, March 4th)
Locking yourself into price competition is a losing proposition. If you're providing value, your customers may even be willing to pay more.

For Veteran Net Users, Quality Counts (USA Today, March 4th)
As the Net's novelty factor begins to wear off for many of its users, their patterns of use have been found to change from a quantity-base to an experience focused on quality. Users are found to make less frequent emails to friends and family, and blindly surf between sites less often, while becoming increasingly purpose-driven in their web use and intimate/functional in their email communications.

Vulnerabilities Found in Popular Web Scripting Language (eSecurity Planet, March 1st)
A vulnerability in the PHP scripting language, which is commonly used in Web site development, could enable attackers to execute code that crashes or disrupts Web servers. Time to slap on that patch!

Shipping Product: The E-Commerce Albatross (E-Commerce Times, March 1st)
E-tailers often live or die by their shipping processes. The "last mile" to consumers' doorsteps is arguably the most critical phase of online commerce. For a long time, e-tailers faced one shipping hurdle after another -- and often fell flat on their faces. This article highlights some of the greatest hurdles, while suggesting strategies that may alleviate consumer apprehension.

Yet Another Vice Generating Revenue Online (eMarketer, March 1st)
Move over online porn, here comes electronic gambling -- Informa Research predicts that worldwide e-gambling revenue will hit $14.5 billion by 2006. As testament to this, Playboy's CEO announced this week that the company expected that its online gaming division would help drive the lossy Playboy.com into the black. For more on that, see this Reuters article.

Seven High-Powered Selling Tactics (InternetDay, March 1st)
As the title suggests, this article highlights a series of simple, but often overlooked, strategies designed to increase your sales-based revenues.

ICANN's ccTLD Quandary (internet.com, March 1st)
The US-based organization assigned with the task of managing the highly popular .com, .net and .org TLD spaces announced Thursday that they had acquired the support of Japan's JPNIC and will now oversee the .jp country-code TLD. The decision comes in the wake of a unanimous decision made by the operators of the various ccTLDs to withdraw their support of ICANN, and has been criticized as insubstantial due to JPNIC's operator also happens to be an ICANN director.


 
 
 

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