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Web Development Articles
(May 2002)

AOL Test May Renew Browser War (Wired News, May 31st)
Just as web developers began to breathe a sigh of relief that they may no longer have to design for a handful of different browsers - each with their own personalities - AOL has hinted that version 8 of its software will be based on Netscape's Mozilla software, rather than Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser. Though AOL's installed user base is still relatively low in a worldwide context, their influence could be enough to spark off another round in the browser wars.

Rising Startups of E-Commerce (E-Commerce Times, May 31st)
The E-Commerce Times looks at which startups of the net's past have ingrained themselves sufficiently in the landscape to ensure survival and which are likely to attain such a status in years to come.

Online Sales Keep On Growing (internet.com, May 30th)
The government says that U.S. retail e-commerce sales for the first quarter of this year were an estimated $9.849 billion, up about 19 percent from the first quarter a year ago but down from last year's holiday-packed fourth quarter estimate of $11.2 billion.

Is Your Site Getting The 'Internet Death Penalty'? (EarthWeb, May 30th)
A recent survey revealed that most Web sites are not meeting readers' expectations. Here are five ways to tell if your Web site is helping or driving away your business.

Critics Charge ICANN Experiment Has Failed (internet.com, May 30th)
Few groups associated with the net have come under as much criticism as ICANN - the association responsible for managing the U.S. root server system. Now, critics are arguing that only dramatic change - such as that likely to occur if ICANN loses its sense of security and has to bid against other groups to maintain its role - will see ICANN address its controversial policies. Even those unkeen to see the crucial post go the the lowest bidder argue that massive reform is needed within ICANN's ranks, with growth and external regulation one option under consideration, as this Internet.com article attests.

Cyberchondria is Spreading (CyberAtlas, May 30th)
Surveying the net usage patterns of several hundred wired consumers throughout the U.S., Germany, France and Japan, Harris Interactive has found that health-related online activity is on the rise, with more users actively searching for information about particular illnesses.

Epinions: An E-Commerce Success That Almost Wasn't (E-Commerce Times, May 29th)
This article charts the adaptive decisions made by Epinions in a bid to transform its ad-dependent business into one whose revenues are derived primarily through e-commerce referrals. The case study notes how Epinions has unified the community aspects that made eBay so popular with a comparison shopping engine designed to appeal to time-starved online shoppers.

VeriSign Faces New Aggressive Marketing Lawsuit (internet.com, May 29th)
A class action suit comes on the heels of a controversial direct marketing campaign launched by the domain registrar.

OASIS Signs Off on New Web Specs (internet.com, May 29th)
The e-business interoperability consortium approves a directory services markup language, an ebXML registry service, and the ebXML Registry Information Model.

The Search Engine Spam Police, Part 1 (SearchDay, May 29th)
"We hate spam!" Representatives of LookSmart and the Open Directory Project offer guidelines and advice for webmasters to avoid the wrath of editors and get successfully listed in these crucial web directories.

ICANN President Announces Retirement Plan (internet.com, May 28th)
Controversial Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) President and Chief Executive Officer Stuart Lynn announced Tuesday his intention to retire when his term is due up next year.

8 Convenience Factors (E-Commerce Guide, May 24th)
With an increasing number of consumers utilizing the global marketplace of the Web, convenience has become one of the primary factors for spending digitally. This article highlights a checklist of eight design and usability factors that should be taken into consideration by anyone considering the operation of an e-commerce website.

An Offer You Can't Refuse (ClickZ, May 24th)
Set someone at your store's doorstep and hand them dough to buy anything they want. Think you have a guaranteed sale? Think again. As this article attests, usability remains king in ensuring that conversions may be made in as straightforward a manner as possible.

Amazon Tests Catalog Sales (internet.com, May 24th)
Muscling in on one of Google's new markets, the giant retailer has quietly launched a beta operation that lets its users purchase goods from a variety of print catalogs.

Paid Online Services a Tough Sell: Jupiter (internet.com, May 22nd)
A new research report from Jupiter Media Metrix says consumers are even less interested in forking over money for online services than they are paying for content online.

Netscape - Down But Not Out (internet.com, May 22nd)
Picking itself up off the canvas for another round, the company launches a preview version of its next-generation browser, which comes bundled with AOL IM and internet radio functions.

WHOIS Inaccuracies Hampering FTC (internet.com, May 22nd)
The Federal Trade Commission needs better WHOIS information to track down internet scams, but are registrars ready to act?

Controversial CARP Ruling Rejected (internet.com, May 21st)
The United States Copyright Office on Tuesday rejected an arbitration panel ruling on Webcasting royalty rates, a decision that brought smiles to the face of Internet radio executives nationwide. CARP has earlier proposed a fee structure (effective retroactively) that many in the biz felt was prohibitive, and would result in the untimely death of most independent internet radio stations.

Internet for All (E-Commerce Guide, May 21st)
Making your site more accessible to impaired Internet users won't compromise your content or creativity, nor should it be an expensive endeavor.

PayPal Access on the Fly (internet.com, May 21st)
PayPal signs a deal to incorporate an instant-buy function for e-commerce in Topica's e-mail publishing solutions.

Google Ushers Web surfers Into Its Labs (CNET News.com, May 21st)
Maintaining the perception of being a technological leader in the search engine market, Google has invited its users to test some of the products and services it has in development in order to gauge which of these are likely to attract markets. One of these has raised quite a stir in online advertising circles by including popup-blocking features in its application that many assert goes beyond Google's core interests and into a realm of irresponsibility.

.Kids Finally Finds a Home in the House (internet.com, May 21st)
The .kids debate continues to rage within US political ranks, with many keen to establish a domain space in the net landscape that promises to protect children from the more unsavoury content that may be found online. While many still see the pitch as a doomed proposition, the likelihood of the space being created has increased after finding support from the US House of Representatives.

UK SMEs Cheer E-Commerce Solutions (eMarketer, May 21st)
Actinic finds that 63% of UK small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) implement or invest in e-commerce solutions to boost sales. Only 16% do so to catch up with competitors.

E-Commerce Technologies That Came and Went (E-Commerce Times, May 20th)
This article describes some of the much-hyped e-commerce technologies of the boom period that have since faded from the radar.

Mapping Your Quest for Mobile Success (M-Commerce Times, May 20th)
Two Accenture experts give you a feel for the terrain and the road ahead before you take off on your next mobile commerce venture. A must-read for those wishing to avoid the technology tar-pits.

GoLive Tips from the Top (Intranet Journal, May 20th)
Using GoLive to power your website or intranet design? This article presents a collection of nine tips and tricks that every developer should know - direct from Adobe's GoLive development team.

UK SMEs Profit from E-Commerce (The Register, May 17th)
Three out of four business-based Web sites in the UK make a profit, according to research by ecommerce software supplier Actinic.

Can "Deep Linking" Lead to Deep Trouble? (internet.com, May 17th)
Recent legal rumblings call into question the legality of linking to pages within Web sites.

End-to-End Efficiency (E-Commerce Guide, May 17th)
It takes more than a pretty Web site to make it in e-tailing; the back office functions have to be competent and organized in order to keep order fulfilment at a level that satisfies one's customers.

Assessing Apple's Enterprising Server Gambit (Datamation, May 17th)
Apple Computer is touting its new server as its doorway back into the enterprise, but analysts say the Xserve alone won't be enough for most IT executives to bring Apple back in out of the cold.

Yahoo! to Pipe Premium NYTimes.com (AtNewYork, May 16th)
Yahoo! and the New York Times Digital are uniting in an effort to expand their range of premium (read: fee-based) online services. As part of the deal, searches on news.yahoo.com may bring up archived New York Times articles that may only be read once a $2.50 fee has been exchanged for access. Presumably the two firms are working on a revenue-share basis.

Educate Your Customers (E-Commerce Guide, May 16th)
Turning your customers into repeat buyers is no easy feat. Customer loyalty means more repeat business and less money spent on obtaining new customers. One way to keep your customers coming back for more is by making them smarter shoppers.

Sun To Launch Solaris 9, Refreshes 'Blue Away' (internet.com, May 16th)
Still struggling against the might of IBM, Sun has simultaneously debuted both an expanded marketing effort aimed directly at IBM's mid-frame clientelle and version 9 of its popular Solaris Operating Environment. ZDNet compares the latest Solaris release to a Linux-based mainframe in this article. EarthWeb's staff question whether the upgrade is worth its asking price within this article.

Apple Racks 'Em Up (Forbes.com, May 15th)
Apple has long lagged in the server market due to the physical bulkiness of their server machines. With Mac's OS X running on a unix-based platform, though, the company is now able to produce servers that may be stacked and racked just like standard wintel and unix boxes.

A New Marketing Model for IM (Instant Messaging Planet, May 15th)
This article looks at how e-commerce players may transform IM from a support mechanism to an effective marketing tool through the fostering of viral 'neighboring' relationships.

Case Study: Sanlam Life and Siebel Service (eCRMguide, May 15th)
At times, helping your customers succeed can help you improve your own business. Don't be shy about increasing your customer understanding; it may be the best, cheapest way to win.

Measuring Quality of Service (ASPnews.com, May 15th)
As an increasing number of companies are relying on service providers to manage their mission-critical applications, service providers are realizing that they need an improved method for consistently delivering reliable and highly available service at a competitive cost.

The King of Online Catalog Software (E-Commerce Times, May 14th)
As retailers and wholesalers decrease their reliance on paper-based catalog distribution and turn instead to efficient online shopping cart systems, IBM's WebSphere is coming to the fore as one of the most robust and flexible e-commerce platforms for the deployment of large-scale online catalogs. Can it rival .NET?

Inktomi Unveils XML-based Search Toolkit (internet.com, May 14th)
The search technology firm targets enterprise developers and systems integrators with its new OEM software for extracting data from structured, unstructured and semi-structured content.

E-Commerce Doesn't Have to Be So Complicated (E-Commerce Guide, May 14th)
A report from the trenches: From national chains to small businesses, some retailers seem to go out of their way to lose your business; but it doesn't have to be this way.

BulkRegister Sues VeriSign for Slamming (internet.com, May 13th)
Less than a week after its domain chief said the days of competitors stealing its domain customers were over, a temporary restraining order and injunction is filed against the domain registration and security company. The Register has more on the issue, and the antiquated procedures that VeriSign continues to adopt. Update: A judge in the U.S. District Court of the District of Maryland has called for a preliminary injunction against VeriSign that will see it stop marketing in this fashion until further notice. More info...

Break Out the Black Ink (BusinessWeek Online, May 13th)
Push the dark cloud of misconception aside, and you'll see that a great number of internet companies (including many so-called pure-players) have reached profitability during the past year, with even more expected to do so in the short-term. This feature indicates which sub-sectors of the industry have performed best, and which remain teetered on the brink due to economic pressures, chained mindsets or ruthless competition.

Size Matters: Small Is Good (MSNBC, May 13th)
While economies of scale, brand benefits and press coverage may have assisted the bigger players in the net space to gain both attention and clients, there are substantial advantages in staying small, as this article conveys.

M.O.M.'s Watching (eCRMguide, May 13th)
LivePerson announces the launch off M.O.M. (Monitoring Online Movement) - an ASP-delivered sales and marketing tool that monitors the movement and activities of online shoppers in real-time.

RealNames Shuts Down, Blaming Microsoft (internet.com, May 13th)
RealNames Corp., a pioneering provider of a keyword-based alternative to the domain-name system not unlike AOL's commercial navigation system, said it would shut down, pinning the blame on Microsoft for declining to renew a key contract with the company.

VeriSign: We're Better, Really We Are (internet.com, May 10th)
The world's largest domain name registrar - albeit arguably the most criticized - has launched a number of initiatives aimed at revitalizing its lagging image, and winning back customers from their growing list of competitors.

Economy Getting You Down? Look Abroad (ClickZ, May 10th)
The Internet bubble burst? It's hardly begun inflating in Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. With dozens of markets doubling and tripling in size annually, there are myriad opportunities for you and your company.

Love at First Site (E-Commerce Guide, May 10th)
Imagine your e-store as a customer's mystery date. Is it a dream or a dud?

Anti-CARP Lobby Heads to Washington (internet.com, May 9th)
With the May 21 deadline for approval on the horizon, the Internet radio lobby to protest the CARP royalty rates recommendation has moved to Congress. Think the CARP ruling is harsh? Then check out this internet.com article on the tricky situation facing Canadian ISPs over music royalties.

SQL Server 2000 Optimization Tips (Swynk, May 9th)
This feature highlights fourteen valuable tips for ensuring that your SQL Server 2000 databases are performing in the most efficient manner possible.

Introducing Alexa Web Search (SearchDay, May 9th)
Amazon's new service combines the searching power of Google, the rankings of Alexa, the historical perspective of the Wayback Machine, and Amazon's back-end in the creation of a massive and tremendously useful web directory service. Will Amazon rank the Web the way they do for books?

Study: User Satisfaction Key to Viral Marketing (internet.com, May 9th)
It used to be that retailers in the real world understood the value and importance of fostering and improving customer satisfaction in order to drive positive word-of-mouth advertising. According to researcher Taylor Nelson Sofres, though, many e-commerce marketers under-appreciate the contributions that referrals do - or may - make to sales, and consequently fail to place emphasis on growing customer satisfaction.

Monitoring Mothers Online in the U.S. (eMarketer, May 8th)
Digital Marketing Services, an AOL subsidiary, says that US mothers spend an average of 16 hours and 52 minutes online per week and 97% of those online use the internet for communication.

Europe to U.S.: Tax This! (E-Commerce Guide, May 8th)
The European Union adopts a measure to impose taxes on digital products that consumers across the pond download from American companies.

Is IM Hot? (Instant Messaging Planet, May 8th)
While many in the biz wonder how to make people pay for online IM, one matchmaking site has figured out a way to get users to pony up hard cash for IM-enhanced services.

Professionals to Get Elite Internet Status (Newsbytes, May 8th)
Lawyers, physicians and accountants soon will be able to register Web addresses in a worldwide Internet domain reserved exclusively for certified professionals when the dot-pro suffix is released late this year, but they will have to pay nearly 10 times the cost of ordinary domain names.

EU Imposes E-Commerce Tax (BBC News, May 7th)
The European Union has agreed upon new rules that will force internet retailers based outside the EU to levy value-added-tax (VAT) on sales to customers within the 15-nation bloc. The decision is unsurprisingly being vehemently opposed by US trade groups who claim that such an arrangement not only creates unneccesarily restrictive admin headaches for foreign firms, but will stifle their ability to compete against EU-based etailers. At present, the proposal covers only downloadable goods, such as software, ebooks and digital music.

Yielding Results with a Yield Model (ClickZ, May 7th)
Creating a yield model to measure your returns on investment and locate possible weaknesses in your site's architecture is easy (it doesn't even have to be perfect) - and the insight it provides on your customers will amaze.

Will eBay Strangle Online Commerce? (E-Commerce Times, May 7th)
While some in the space may fear so given the company's might and influence, this article conveys the notion that smaller etailers can easily unshelve the 800-pound rival by remaining focused on serving a particular niche.

Moms, Hispanics Increasing Web Use (internet.com, May 7th)
Two sought-after demographics are becoming more numerous online, according to research from America Online and comScore Networks.

B2B E-Commerce Sales to Skyrocket (ElectricNews.net, May 7th)
Continuing a bout of good news for the sector (see article below), researcher Gartner has found that business-to-business e-commerce sale revenues are expected to skyrocket almost five-fold between now and 2005.

The Incredibly Quiet E-Commerce Explosion (E-Commerce Times, May 7th)
While the press may prefer to ignore the good news over the bad in this era; a contrast to the rah-rah days of late last millennium, e-commerce success stories not only exist, they abound, as this article demonstrates.

Search Engine Intelligence from the Lycos 50 (SearchDay, May 7th)
Search Engine Strategies keynote speaker Aaron Schatz entertained and enlightened attendees with the 'trends of American culture' he observes as keeper of the Lycos 50 most popular search terms. Monitoring such trends and fads closely, he insists, can keep web marketers one step ahead of the competition.

Dot-Com Still the Main Domain (Wired News, May 6th)
Several months on from the debut of the .info, .biz and .name domain spaces, Wired News looks at how popular this have proven to be, and finds unsurprisingly that the pervasive dot-com space continues to dominate the web landscape.

Optimizing E-Commerce: Proven Tips to Maximize ROI (E-Commerce Guide, May 3rd)
How does the sophisticated e-tailer engender a greater ROI? J. G. Sandom, Vice Chairman of RappDigital, examines four dominant e-commerce drivers to unearth seven key tips on how to optimize your e-commerce platform.

Solaris 'rwall daemon' At Risk (internet.com, May 2nd)
CERT alerts about venerabilities in some Sun Microsystems servers that may permit an intruder to execute code with special privileges.

Do Online Consumers Face Too Many Choices? (E-Commerce Times, May 1st)
Despite a lengthy shakeout that has considerably thinned the ranks of e-tailers, consumers still face a dizzying array of choices when deciding where they will shop online. But analysts say the once-cluttered market is already starting to become better defined, and the process will only accelerate over time. In particular, the importance of customer service has been singled out as a factor likely to determine the success of e-tailers - many of whom presently focus attention on cost issues.

The Double Standard of E-Commerce Service (E-Commerce Times, May 1st)
Selling and shopping online differs greatly from traditional retailing. This article highlights the substantial disadvantages associated with shopping online, while noting the efforts made by etailers to either address these through technological means or provide value-added services that effectively counter the weaknesses.

E-Commerce in Eastern Europe (eMarketer, May 1st)
Poland is leading its neighbors in strong projected e-commerce growth rates through 2005, but Western Europe will continue to dominate. Noah Elkin envisions what's ahead for Eastern Europe.


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