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From Wired News, available online at: http://www.wired.com/news/print/0,1294,31722,00.html

Every Site a Web Store
by Theta Pavis

3:00 a.m. Oct. 6, 1999 PDT NEW YORK-- In this fall's Internet World in the city that never sleeps, vendors will be busy selling applications for small businesses to build Web shops that never close.

Companies will be touting products aimed at small Web site owners looking to cash in on e-commerce by providing community and retail opportunities for their niche sites.

Read more in E-Biz

Itís all about customization, ease-of-use, and turning traffic into cash. "Everyone wants their site to be an AOL," said Elliot Klein, CEO of CyberSites, who will be showcasing at Internet World.

"They read about what kinds of big deals people are doing, and the small to medium guys wish they could be at the table. They want tools, like instant messaging, and wish they could have that, and have that sense of community."

Itís an era of "big boy features and sophisticated tools" tailored for the little guy, Klein said. CyberSites will be debuting an HTML-based software suite called Sticklets that allows Web sites to easily add instant messaging to their site.

CyberSites, said Klein, runs 20 themed communities that offer small companies a chance to share in advertising revenue. Ultimately CyberSites hopes to pay sites that join their network. "Our goal is to pay them, pooling memberships and sharing ad revenue for the traffic that they share in the community," said Klein.

Another company going after the niche e-commerce market is addAshop.com a Miami-based company debuting at Internet World. The company helps site owners quickly create shopping components.

Instead of sending their users to Amazon to shop, small site owners can encourage visitors to open their wallets right where there are. AddAshop.com takes care of backend -- from inventory and delivery -- and lets site owners select what kinds of products they want to hawk.

"The headache is gone with addAshop," said CEO Thomas Cornelius. Cornelius said the company, whose founders are from Germany, has partners from Italy, India, and the United States and plans to roll out addAshop in Europe, starting in Italy at the end of October. Site owners can join addAshop for free and make up to a 25 percent profit on every sale made from addAshop's inventory of books, CDs, and videos.

While the top 10 sites on the Internet get 90 percent of the traffic, Cornelius said the small- to medium-sized market is huge.

"Five hundred visitors a month is still an audience," he said.

Still, addAshop hopes that while 50 percent of its business will come from small sites, the other 50 will come from large corporate sites that want a little customized e-commerce to dress up their presence.


"Big Business Faces E-Commerce Roadblocks" E-Commerce Times (03/24/00); (Greenberg, Paul A.): Despite companies' record investment in e-commerce, they have yet to use the Internet to its fullest potential, according to a study of America's largest companies by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Conference Board. "It's important to remember that despite how quickly e-business has changed the landscape, it's still a new paradigm, especially for large organizations," said Cathy Neuman of PwC. Seventeen percent of respondents to the study, titled "Electronic Business Outlook for the New Millennium," consider themselves e-business innovators, though only 25 percent are still in the "brochureware" stage, and less than half have instituted any serious assessment of their e-business performance. "Understanding user needs" was cited as the greatest challenge, while marketing analysis and research investing was a low priority. The top five concerns were uncertain implementation costs, more pressing priorities, lack of proven benefits, lack of standards, and low use of the Internet by customers and suppliers. Another major issue revealed by the survey is that while 40 percent of respondents can take online orders, only 28 percent can process payments. "We saw how disconnects such as these led to serious e-biz failures over the holidays, with major online retailers getting slammed for inadequate supplies of inventory," said Neuman. On the upside, this year's survey indicated a healthy concern with raising profits and improving the customer experience. In addition, 47 percent of those surveyed indicated they have full-time e-commerce development units, as opposed to less than one-third last year. http://www.ecommercetimes.com/news/articles2000/000324-2.shtml


"Design--Not Just for Aesthetics But a Means to Drum Up Business" Daily Record (03/29/00) Vol. 111, No. 147, P. 1B; (Jones, Marcie): Numerous business executives who have realized the marketing importance of a product's visual appearance will join individuals from the media and design fields in attending a symposium entitled "Redesigning Business for the New Economy." The symposium is scheduled for April 13-14 and will be hosted by The University of Baltimore's Institute for Language, Technology and Publications Design. Conference discussion will focus upon how companies can use aesthetic appeal to communicate with consumers, shape corporate reputations, and portray products. "Designers need to know how to work with business people, and vice versa," claims University of Baltimore English and communications design Professor Ed Gold. "In order to survive, beyond creating new products, companies need to distinguish themselves from the competition," he adds. Conference speakers will include Amtrak's Barbara Richardson; O & H Company's creative director, Brent Oppenheimer; IBM's director of corporate identity and design, Lee Green; Gr8 President and CEO Craig Ziegler; Carton Donofrio Interactive's director of client service, Denise Ryan; Black & Decker's e-commerce division manager, William Girst; and Turner Broadcasting's president of sports and entertainment development, Jan Marie Smith.


Thursday, March 30, 2000 on www.goodexperience.com, written by Creative Good president Mark Hurst (mark@creativegood.com).

Tweney.com: Dylan Tweney on "the misery of Web apps," those websites that try to replace a piece of software you've happily used for years -- online calendars, for example.

Dylan writes:
[J]ust when I start getting used to the convenience of a Web application, something happens... The application's site is suddenly unavailable, or it takes longer than expected to display a page -- say, ten or fifteen seconds. Or my Internet connection goes down. Or I lose data that I've spent the past fifteen minutes entering into an HTML form when my browser crashes -- and there's no backup, because I haven't yet uploaded the data to the server.
I have an idea for a *great* Web startup: its new technology allows 24/7 access to the application, with instantaneous response times. Everything is simplified: No more waiting to display each page, no more ad banners, no more privacy and security problems, no user names and passwords to deal with, no browser plug-in problems. And the business model is simple, too: just pay a one-time fee, and the application is yours. And guaranteed that the application will be around as long as your computer works.

I have a name for this little technology: I call it "software." Any takers? (If we're lucky, we'll get it patented!)

In all seriousness, it's true that *some* Web applications make a lot of sense and are good for the customer. But it's important to tell the difference. Many Web apps have little value, considering all the drawbacks of current Web technology.

http://www.tweney.com/archive/2000-03-29misery.htm


Friday, March 31, 2000 on www.goodexperience.com, written by Creative Good president Mark Hurst (mark@creativegood.com).
Of Hype and Craft: A long but good article about the clashing cultures of hype and craft within many Internet companies today. "Craft people" (designers, programmers, etc.) want to create "cool" solutions, while "hype people" (marketers, executives, etc.) look for ways to quickly increase revenue. The article ends by proposing a solution: create structures within the company so that teams can learn and grow at a reasonable pace.

The article is good, but it conspicuously lacks any mention of the customer experience, or a focus on the customer. Companies can take good care of their hype people and craft people, but if the customer isn't at least as important, the prospects will be dim.

http://www.strategy-business.com/culture_change/00103/page1.html


"Sites That Never Sleep" Industry Standard Online (04/03/00); (Oh, Jenny): Many businesses, particularly large firms or fast growing but resource-limited Web startups, are turning to Web hosting and maintenance services as a fast and often cheaper option to doing the job themselves. Companies offering business-continuity, caching, colocation, failover, load balancing, site mirroring, and managed Web hosting services are working in a market expected to reach $14.6 billion by 2003, up from $2 billion this year, according to Forrester Research. IBM's $5 billion partnership last week with fiber-optic network company Qwest illustrates the growing importance of offering a full range of hosting services. Once just a provider of high-speed network access, Qwest teamed with IBM to offer its customers complete hosting, monitoring, management, and recovery services. Other players in the hosted services market include Level 3, Digex, and GTE Internetworking. Forrester Research reports that 66 percent of companies cite a lack of internal resources as the main reason for contracting with a Web host. "We would have been under construction for at least six months if we chose to run the servers ourselves, plus we simply didn't have access to that kind of capital as a startup," says Yourownworld.com CTO Ira Dworkin. http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/1,1151,13431,00.html


"E-Commerce Patent Wars Must End" E-Commerce Times (03/30/00); (Dembeck, Chet): Due to the magnitude of the complaints and questions raised, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) will commence overhauling its review process for awarding e-commerce patents. The office has been accused of stunting the growth of e-commerce by granting patents to only a few companies for technology and processes that are not truly unique. Amazon.com was granted a patent for its shopping tool that stores shipping and billing information for its repeat customers, and when BarnesandNoble.com implemented a similar technology, Amazon objected due to its patent. Due to staff and time constraints, the PTO did not recognize that Amazon's technology was not new, states Richard Stallman, a developer of the Linux operating system. After much debate, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has proposed in an open letter on the company's Web site that software and business-method patents last only three to five years, which is less than the 17 years they last now. Bezos also proposed that before patents are issued, outsiders should have the chance to comment, and that a software repository be organized to ensure technology is truly unique before patents are granted. The PTO immediately rejected the proposal for a shorter time period for e-commerce patents. However, it has agreed that more e-commerce community help is needed, along with a software repository. http://www.ecommercetimes.com/news/viewpoint2000/view-000330-1.shtml


"Web's Design Hinders Goals of User Privacy" Wall Street Journal (04/03/00) P. B1; (Hamilton, David P.): The Web's underlying infrastructure is inherently conducive to allowing marketers and advertisers to collect personal data from Internet users. For example, Internet protocol addresses are easily manipulated to provide data about Internet users' online activities. That data becomes even more valuable if Internet users share their personal information on a Web-based form, allowing Web sites to tie the data to user names. Cell-phone users who participate with Sprint PCS' wireless Internet service expose their cell-phone numbers on the Web with each new page they call up. New software will become available to mask users' phone numbers, Sprint officials say. Remote host identifiers are known to leak users' personal data, including users' employers, and even their names. High-speed connections are not as good at protecting users' privacy as are modems, which normally give users a temporary IP address. And of course cookies always present a threat to consumers' online privacy. Relief in the form of the Platform for Privacy Preferences could be on the horizon. P3P, developed by the World Wide Web Consortium, will be tested this summer, but will not be very effective unless adopted by many browsers and Web sites.


Web Design Made Easy


Be aware of Acceptable Use Policies. On this campus, we are bound by the MORENET acceptable use statement, which appears at http://www.more.net/projects/members/aup.html and the campus Computer Users Rights and Responsibilities statement at: http://www.umsl.edu/~webdev/ccomputing/Help/Policies/User_Rights_and_Responsibiliti/user_rights_and_responsibiliti.html (adopted July, 1993).


As we begin to discuss JavaScript, look at the JavaScript Help Page. In particular, you should review examples of basic program functioning.


Some of you requested information about adding counters to your pages. This is now available.


Some of you requested information about adding personal search capabilities to your page. You can get this functionality from Hitbox Personal Search at http://sitesearch.hitbox.com/.


You can obtain instructions on FTP'ing (and other topics) from the Campus Computing site.


Some Examples of pages with themes:
Acacia Victorian: displays a Victorian Theme
Clipart Castle: displays a medieval theme
Online Catalog: displays a craft theme (also shows a "web ring")


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