BUSINESS ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB --

December 12, 1996 -- From Internet World in NYC


Transcript of the live chat session that took place Thursday, December 12, 1996.

These sessions are scheduled for noon-1 PM US Eastern Time (GMT -4) every Thursday.

These sessions are hosted by Richard Seltzer. If you would like to receive email reminders of our chat sessions, simply send a blank email message to businessonthewebchats-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/businessonthewebchats and sign up there.

For transcripts of other previous sessions and a list of future topics, click here.

For an article on how to make "business chat" work (based on this experience), click here.

Since the chat itself happens at a rapid pace, it's often difficult to note interesting facts in particular URLs as they appear on-line. Here's a place to take a more leisurely look. I've rearranged some of the pieces to try to capture the various threads of discussion (which sometimes get lost in the rush of live chat).

Please send email with your follow-on questions and comments, and suggions for topics we should focus on in future sessions. So long as the volume of email responses is manageable, I'll post the most pertinent ones here for all to see.


Threads (reconstructed after the fact):


INTRODUCTIONS

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 11:43am -- The scheduled chat is on Business on the WWW. If you are here for that discussion, please identify yourself.

We're here to share experiences about doing business on the Internet -- particularly the World Wide Web. What works? What doesn't work? Why? What are the trends that matter? How can you/should you adapt to the Internet culture and environment?

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 11:48am -- I`'m here a little early -- I'm connecting from Internet World at the Javitts Center in New York City. When you connect, please identify yourselves and your interests and we'll get the conversation started.

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 11:49am -- If any of you who are on-line happen to be at Internet World right now, I am in the Digital Equipment booth in a conference room inside the booth. As for me at the Digital front desk and come on in and join me.

Todd (192.208.46.249) - 11:50am -- Hi, Richard. I'm early too because I wanted to hear the latest news, impressions, cool demos, etc. from the show.

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 11:51am -- Hi, Todd, welcome.

Sean (206.15.162.86) - 11:53am -- Sean Brunnock dialling in from Boston

Ted Resnick (204.62.245.104) - 12:01pm -- hello - Ted Resnick from Excite here (at long last!)

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:05pm -- Hi, Ted from Excite. Are you at Internet World? Were you here yesterday for the trivia contest? -- All, Internet World held an Internet trivia contest last night with AltaVista, Excite and InfoSeek. I was on the AltaVista team. Excite won it. It was a lot of fun.

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:02pm -- Joining a little late from downstairs at the Javitts Center. Trying out the Tango browser

Mat (Contract Solutions) (206.119.231.98) - 12:05pm -- Hello


Internet World

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 11:54am -- The show is enormous. All available space at the Javitts is filled. And lots of attendees too. The environment at these shows has matured, but is both good and bad. The booths are all polished. The presentations are professional. And it looks very much like any other computer-oriented trade show. You might have seen these same booths and demos at Comdex or PC Expo or dozens of other shows. Internet is everywhere now, so all computer-related shows have lots of Internet content. And at an Internet-specific one like this it's very hard to spot the small innovative company with the technology that's going to change everything.

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 11:56am -- Hello, Sean -- I was just lamenting that Internet World, while huge, now looks like any other trade show. I remember the first one in San Jose in the spring of 1993, where there were only a few dozen exhibitors and Digital was the only computer company, and it had the look and feel of an open bazaar or a flea market and I loved it.

Sean (206.15.162.86) - 11:58am -- I've been using the Internet for nine years. It used to be an exciting little club. I miss those days a little.

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 11:58am -- Another general observation -- everybody is pushing multimedia. There seems to be a major disjunction between what vendors want to sell to Webmasters and content providers, and what users are looking for on the Web. I hate having to wait several minutes for a graphics and java and glitz-laden page to load. But the vendors here are mainly selling the tools to make more such pages and to back them even tighter with bandwidth-hogging multimedia. Strange. Am I the only one who wants to use the Internet to get information?

Sean (206.15.162.86) - 12:02pm -- The Usenet is still mostly free of multimedia. I remember when NeXT introduced a Newsreader that could be used to post RTF messages. Most users hated that.

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:03pm -- Todd -- This show is very Web-centric. Web sites showing off what they do. Software and hardware vendors showing off the tools and equipment they have for building Web sites. There's some email, there's some focus on Intranet. But this isn't a consumer audience. At the first few Internet Worlds much of the audience was totally new to the Internet and many had never even surfed. Now the audience isn't the consumer or end-user. The audience is the folks who already have Web sites and who want to make them effective (but for the most part don't really understand the environment).

Todd (192.208.46.249) - 12:05pm -- Richard - How about Microsoft, Netscape, Oracle? Much Windows CE stuff? Any looks at how MS is going to integrate the OS and Web? Any Java OS demos?

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:08pm -- Todd -- Sounds like you should be here. Microsoft, Oracle, and Netscape are here in force, with large booths, with partners as well, with many demos. You could probably spend a day in the Microsoft booth alone.

Todd (192.208.46.249) - 12:06pm -- Is DIGITAL showing any Strong ARM devices?

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:11pm -- Todd -- There's nothing directly dealing with StrongARM at the Digital booth. It's kind of hard to demo a chip. But they talked about it at the press conference yesterday. It gets more interesting showing what customers are doing with it, and the whole trend toward network computers.

Carol J. Snyder (snyderinfo*Web Design) (199.3.134.192) -- 12:26pm -- Richard/Warren: Anything "must see"/ "new" developments at IWorld? Is the search engine LookSmart (http://www.looksmart.com) there?

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:27pm -- You know CJ, I've been dissapointed by the lack of latest and greatest here at the show. The DCI show at least had the US postal service jumping on the bandwagon and postmarking e-mail.

Sean (206.15.162.86) - 12:28pm -- Warren- The USPS as an example of the latest and greatest? Uhm...

Mat (Contract Solutions) (206.119.231.98) - 12:15pm -- Richard, Where is the internet expo?

Mat (Contract Solutions) (206.119.231.98) - 12:21pm -- Warren, Again, Where is this internet expo?....

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:21pm -- Matt -- I'm at "Internet World". It's at the Javitts Center in Boston. It's produced by Mecklermedia, the folks who publish Internet World Magazine. "Internet Expo" is another set of shows put on by DCI. They had one in Boston a couple months ago.

Mat (Contract Solutions) (206.119.231.98) - 12:23pm -- Richard, When will Internet World be at the Javitts Center until? Is there a fee to get in?...

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:23pm -- The expo is at the Javitts Center in NYC. If you are close it will be open Friday as well. 


Low-Cost Web-Access Devices: WebTV and Sega

Todd (192.208.46.249) - 11:58am -- Richard - have you seen any really interesting new products? Are there a lot of non-computer devices? Handheld web-tv like, ...

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:00pm -- Todd -- Interesting question. That's exactly what I would like to see -- WebTv and other non-PC Internet devices. But I don't see them here. WebTV isn't listed in the show guide. Little companies with such devices may be lost in the mob here. I haven't seen them.

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:05pm -- One of the new TV web browser devices is here. They have a very interesting business plan. They don't plan on making money from selling the units, but they will steer users to their webpage as a launching site and make money selling ad space.

Sean (206.15.162.86) - 12:06pm -- Netscape gets a chunk of its revenue from selling adspace on home.netscape.com.

Todd (192.208.46.249) - 12:11pm -- Sean - any idea how much Netscape is making from ads? Either $ or % of revenue.

Ted Resnick (204.62.245.104) - 12:07pm -- Warren, I guess they figure that their users will never change their default home page. (This accounts for tons of Netscape and IE traffic.)

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:08pm -- They probably won't let their users change their start page. They will be using a proprietary browser. Personally, I think its doomed to failure.

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:06pm -- Warren -- Glad you could connect. What's that company you're referring to? And where's their booth? I want to take a look.

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:10pm -- Richard, the booth is 2321, just next to the Object Design booth where you ran into me and my wife. They are worth visiting (1) because I think this technology will find a large niche in the market and (2) because they have the most comfortable chairs at the show.

Todd (192.208.46.249) - 12:10pm -- Warren - sounds contray to the general feeling that there's no money in ads. Who's the company?

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:14pm -- I can't recall the name of the company.
[It turns out that booth spaces in that area were juggled, and the name of the company at booth 2321 doesn't appear in the show catalog.]

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:16pm -- If you want to sell consumer goods you have to (1) concentrate on selling consumer goods and (2) use broad market advertising. This company is doing neither. WebTV has the same defect with regard to marketing.

Sean (206.15.162.86) - 12:16pm -- Todd - Last I checked, Netscape charged $20,000 per month to get listed in "What's Cool!" and they charge $1 mil per year to get listed in "Net Search" or "Net Directory". Early on, ads accounted for most of Netscape's revenue, but it is becoming less important as server sales pickup. So in Netscape's case, ad revenue served as seed money.

Todd (192.208.46.249) - 12:20pm -- Warren - I saw an inside-cover ad for Web TV in People (at the checkout, of course).

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:19pm -- I heard that Sega is coming out with a TV based web browser. Guess whether they will have a large marketing budget. The potential for making money off the website exists, but instead of trying to do that and sell consumer goods, why nor partner with someone like Prodigy Internet who is positioned to provide and make money off of that initial access site. Sort of like the cellular phone model. Use the service provider to subsidize the access product.

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:23pm -- Re: WebTV, its a matter of budget. A magazine page or two is fine: what you can eventually expect from someone like Sega is a heavy, prime-time TV ad campaign.

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:23pm -- Warren -- Have you seen anything here at Internet World related to that Sega browser?

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:24pm -- No. I heard in on the bus going back to my hotel. I will not reveal my source.

Todd (192.208.46.249) - 12:33pm -- Check out http://www.sega.com/news/releases/netlink2.html for sega web-tv news


Giving Away Email and Selling Ads -- Freemark and Juno

Sean (206.15.162.86) - 12:13pm -- On making money by selling adspace- remember Freemark? They set up shop last year giving away email software and accounts to anyone. They got revenue by selling ads. They shut down last week.

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:18pm -- Sean -- any word on how Juno is doing with a similar business model? (email service for free, but ads attached to every message).

Sean (206.15.162.86) - 12:21pm -- Richard- I haven't heard about Juno. I'd be very interested to hear how they're doing.


Search Engines and Being Found

Mike (205.186.168.70) - 12:09pm -- Richard, is there a need for more efficient web search engines that can help people find what they are looking for in seconds (as opposed to hours...) ?

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:13pm -- Mike -- I think that AltaVista and some of the other search engines out there today are excellent. The issue is will the user take the time to learn how to use what's freely available? Very few people look at help files or do anything more than type in a few words and expect instant results. It's worth spending a little time to learn how to get the most out of a search engine. (I'm giving talks about that twice a day here in the Digital booth, and pushing my book at the same time :^)

Ted Resnick - Excite (204.62.245.104) - 12:16pm -- Mike, we are definitely working on increased efficiency. Nevertheless, I think there is also a need to educate users about how to use search tools efficiently. People have to type in more than 1 or 2 words because the search engine needs to know the context...

Mike (205.186.168.70) - 12:16pm -- Richard, I think the enormous results that these search engines yield will eventually result in the need for "cyberbrokers", people who retrieve for surfers (especially newbies) exactly what they are looking for...your opinion on this?

Mat (Contract Solutions) (206.119.231.98) - 12:19pm -- I have a general question for the group. 1. As an individual that might be interested in starting a home business at home using the internet, in addition to a full time job, what is a good way to determine what search engines/other url address will effectively direct surfers to your home page?

Todd (192.208.46.249) - 12:24pm -- Mat - Use SubmitIt which does all the biggies and some others as well. If you have something people want, they'll find it.

Mat (Contract Solutions) (206.119.231.98) - 12:26pm -- Todd, Where can I find Submit-It? http://www.submit-it.com?

Todd (192.208.46.249) - 12:28pm -- Mat - you guessed it.

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:28pm -- Todd -- Yes, Submit-It and other ganged-together URL submission services are good for a first shot. But if you have a new page or have made major changes to an existing page and want to make sure that it has been indexed by AltaVista (which gets over 23 million hits a day), go straight to the AltaVista site, click on ADD URL at the bottom of the page and enter the specific URL of that page. The crawler will fetch the page immediately, and the info will be added to the index within a day or two.

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:29pm -- Todd -- Remember it's not just the site you need to get listed and publicize -- it's the individual pages. AltaVista indexes all pages and treats them equally (a home page is treated the same as any other page).

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:25pm -- Mat -- check my Web site http://www.samizdat.com I have a lot of articles there that you might find helpful. I do my whole site (which has over 500 documents, some of which are entire books) on under 10 Mbytes of free space I get with my PPP account (at TIAC). Most of my traffic comes by way of AltaVista and other search engines. I don't spend a dime to promote my site. (For pointers on how to promote a site over the Internet, see my article at http://www.samizdat.com/public.html

Ted Resnick - Excite (204.62.245.104) - 12:25pm -- Mat, you should submit sites to general search engines, such as all the ones listed on Netscape's search page, but also check out the specialized search tools for your product (Search.com has hundreds.) You also might want to check out ExciteSeeing tours. It is a new section for guiding people to specific topics, such as where to find airline information, pet supplies, mutual fund info, and hundreds more.

Ted Resnick - Excite (204.62.245.104) - 12:21pm -- The more general the query, the more general the answers will be. At Excite, we also try to give different search options, such as Newstracker for recent news, Tours and Reviews for specific subject categories, Usenet searches, etc.

Mat (Contract Solutions) (206.119.231.98) - 12:22pm -- Ted what is Excite?

Ted Resnick - Excite (204.62.245.104) - 12:35pm -- Mat, Excite is an internet search network - Been around for years. Our crawler has indexed over 50 million URl's. Plus we have a few spinoff services, as well as Magellan and Webcrawler. One of our latest announcements was that we will be the exclusive search engine for AOL. But check us out for yourself -- http://www.excite.com/ (Sorry for these blatant plugs - I will try to answer general marketing and search questions with an "best tool for the job" perspective.)

Mike (205.186.168.70) - 12:38pm -- Ted, what is you take on the number of sites popping up which are similar to search engines but the administrators actually go out and surf all the sites and weed out the bad stuff. Do you find that people have a need for this type of search engine?

Carol J. Snyder (snyderinfo*Web Design) (199.3.134.192) - - Mike etal-- The beauty of http://www.looksmart.com (a new search engine) is that it's geared for "beginners" who don't need too much info. It gives the "best" sites on the web as to an evaluator's judgement and gives the person a place to begin...If you want "comprehensive" searches, I use AltaVista, Excite, InfoSeek, Lycos (the top 4 IMHO)

Todd (192.208.46.249) - 12:45pm -- Mike - I see a place for both brute force searches like AltaVista/Excite and also human edited sites like Yahoo. The later being more like a magizine with a focus similar to my personal tastes.

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:48pm -- Todd -- Yes, I see lots of use for Yahoo -- but not because it is "human-edited". They don't exclude pages. They categorize them by hand and only enter sites that are submitted to them. They also are providing a categorized list of sites/homepages rather than of individual pages. If I am looking for a category of things, Yahoo is often the most efficient way to find what I want. If, on the other hand, I am looking for a particular piece of information, for an answer to a question, I connect to AltaVista and get pointed right to the page with the answer.

Sean (206.15.162.86) - 12:50pm -- I am glad that Yahoo goes to pains to make sure their pages load quickly.

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:45pm -- Carol -- Much of the beauty and usefulness of the Web comes from the diversity and the unexpected and useful material that is available at the most unlikely sites. I steer away from any search service that limits the material I could find. I like to make my own judgements. I just want a search engine to have the power to enable me to refine my searches as much as I might like.

Ted Resnick - Excite (204.62.245.104) - 12:47pm -- Mat, if you mean sites that do site reviews, then I am all for them (Excite and Magellan do this), but from my experience, it takes tremendous resources to do this on a large-scale basis. (Magellan has had more than 30 editors reviewing sites, and we peaked at about 40,000 reviews. For specialized subjects, a site that "weeds out" the best resources, say on internet marketing, or rock music sites, would be very useful. Trust is a big issue too, users who agree with the editorial choices will come back. Most important - if the site is commercial, then there had better be a huge separation between editorial and marketing! (otherwise people will think it's an advertising scam.)

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:52pm -- Ted -- I agree. When a search service makes recommendations or selects somesites rather than others you need to be sure that the judgements are objective and not based on advertising (either real or fishing for future advertising). As for reviews, like Magellan, those can be very useful, but yes, that's an expensive and time-consuming effort. And typically the review is of an entire site; and the best sites have new material coming on-line every day and the reviewer might come back at most once a year.

Carol J. Snyder (snyderinfo*Web Design) (199.3.134.192) - - Richard: That's great re: "the power of a search engine" and making your own judgements. That's because you and I ;-) understand keywords, abstracts, Boolean logic--the "search strategy"...With that technique, searchers who understand that various search engines are constructed differently can have the "Information is Power" advantage.

Bob Palmer (140.174.185.17) - 12:49pm -- Carol, what feature(s) would you like to have in a search engine which are not currently available?

Carol J. Snyder (snyderinfo*Web Design) (199.3.134.192) -- Bob: I'd have to "research" that one..I'd look back at the beauty of a search service like DIALOG Info Services or LEXIS/NEXIS or WESTLAW...and compare and contrast the various features and then think about what's missing..(If anything) A person can already do "concept searching" using Excite...and you can limit searches by dates and titles and whether it's a linkto: or image...

Bob Palmer (140.174.185.17) - 1:00pm -- Thank you, Carol.


Web Publishing Software

Mike (205.186.168.70) - 12:21pm -- Sean, what would you recommend as ideal web publishing software for novice web publishers?

Sean (206.15.162.86) - 12:22pm -- Mike- Are you referring to webserver software or HTML editing tools?

Mike (205.186.168.70) - 12:24pm -- Sean, HTML editing tools...although it seems lately there are a lot of WYSWYG encironments with HTML editors built in...

Sean (206.15.162.86) - 12:26pm -- Mike- I'm afraid that I have no experience with HTML editors, but Adobe's PageMill has been out there the longest. They just released v2.0.

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:26pm -- Mike -- I use the Microsoft Internet Assistant for Word -- free software you can download from the Microsoft site, that modifies Word. It just as easy to create Web pages as it is to create Word documents.

Sean (206.15.162.86) - 12:27pm -- Richard- Then why is MicroSoft pushing FrontPage?

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:33pm -- Sean -- Yes, Microsoft is pushing FrontPage. But, basically, Microsoft doesn't seem to "get it." They are pushing everything multimedia. They have a great simple HTML editing/creation tool in their Internet Assistant for Word, but they don't tell anybody about it. They are just pushing tools and server software that's aimed at graphics and multi-media creation. I'm convinced that that will eventually be important, but that it is not where the market is today. Sites need to focus on real content and serving users and making their info easily accessible to users.

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:35pm -- If I need to do something fancy and the Internet Assistant for Word gets in the way, I just edit in DOS and add the HTML code. But for me (amateur that I am) that's rare.

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:30pm -- Richard likes things basic. I use Frontpage. It has some pretty handy site management tools and it lets me support a guestbook, search tools and a discussion group on my site without any scripting whatsoever. Very useful for me since I am too old to have learned C in college (I majored in business) and my profession as a lawyer doesn't let me hone my programming skills.

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:37pm -- Richard, I found that Internet Assistant had multiple nasty habits including converting page break tags to paragraph tags and adding unwanted white space. It also liked to remove table formatting tags it didn't like. And lets face it, editing code, even simple code like HTML isn't for everyone.

Carol J. Snyder (snyderinfo*Web Design) (199.3.134.192) - - Mike: I have used PageMill 1 & 2.0, HTML Assistant, HTML Editor, HotDogPro, etc. etc. and one of the best ways is really, believe it or not, Notepad or Simpletext(Mac)--pure text editors. The more you know about "under the engine" and HTML tags, the more power you have.

Sean (206.15.162.86) - 12:31pm -- Carol- Yeah, I agree. That's why I've never used the HTML editors. They never have the latest HTML tags.

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:31pm -- CJ is correct of course. Even using Frontpage you have a lot more power designing the pages if you understand HTML.

Will M (205.129.204.11) - 12:32pm -- Frontpage 97 is even better because it lets you edit the html if you want to.

Carol J. Snyder (snyderinfo*Web Design) (199.3.134.192) - - FrontPage appears to be Microsoft's solution to the "integrated package"...so if you use the IIS (their Internet web server software) and do HTML and project mgt. with 1 product...you're all set. FrontPage is nice...but I'm not so sure for beginners...(complexity, huge number of options, and the "everyone's page looking the same" syndrome)

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:37pm -- Carol -- I agree. Too many features and choices makes a software product less useful, from my point of view. I like to be able to do what I want to do quickly and simply. The fewer the bells and whistles the better.

Mike (205.186.168.70) - 12:31pm -- To all, just read in Netguide that Macromedia Backstage is the best web publisihng software to use for first time web publishers....your opinions?

Sean (206.15.162.86) - 12:33pm -- Mike- Sorry, never heard of Backstage. Sounds like Macromedia wants to market an Web Suite (Backstage and Shockwave).


Why Java?

Sean (206.15.162.86) - 12:10pm -- What's the deal with companies pushing Java and ActiveX solutions? I haven't been able to identify any web-centric applications that couldn't be solved more economically with Perl/CGI programs.

Todd (192.208.46.249) - 12:14pm -- Sean - one of the advantages to going Java, etc is that it maintains "state". With CGI you have to start over for every page. It really hard to do anything like a GUI app in CGI.

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:18pm -- Sean -- I agree. I don't see the point of Java and Active-X in today's environment. Sometime in the future when bandwidth is plentiful and cheap, and when network computing devices (with little or no diskspace) are plentiful), Java etc. will be important as a way to deliver software. And micropayment solutions (like Millicent) will important as a way to charge for software by the use. Then lots of unusual creative solutions come into play. But for today -- I'm not impressed. Feels more like a hobby for development folks who like to play with new toys. (Personal opinion -- hey, I like text).

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:20pm -- Sean/Todd -- I must admit that I prefer chat and chess in a Java environment where the screen is automatically updated when something happens, rather than having to keep clicking like here.

Sean (206.15.162.86) - 12:20pm -- Richard- I work as a web developer and I have to educate clients that a Java applet on their website is not a great idea, but I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle.


3-D Worlds

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:33pm -- I think the biggest dead-end I've seen here is the Worlds booth. They sell tools to develop and serve up 3 dimensional worlds instead of 2-d web pages. The worlds are incredibly detailed - but how can a product like that produce any real value?

Sean (206.15.162.86) - 12:37pm -- Warren- I agree. Developers are pushing VRML, Shockwave, Java, ... But how is an AOL users with a 14.4 connection supposed to use this? All of these "advanced technologies" may turn off consumers.

Ted Resnick - Excite (204.62.245.104) - 12:38pm -- Worlds has ads embedded in their environments, such as on their walls (Much like billboards.) The ads are hotlinked to websites, so that is one revenue model for them. You can run Worlds concurrently with a web browser...

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:43pm -- Ted -- while three-D graphics look neat at trade shows and draw crowds, with typical modem speeds today, applications using that technology just don't get traffic. Or the traffic they get is just other developer-techies interested in doing the same kind of thing. It's all a matter of timing. Five years from now that may be the heart of the market. But I really doubt that Web sites betting on such a model today will be around in five years.


Content is King

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:40pm -- Good comment. My pages don't have frames (although I love frames as a navigating tool), nor do I use Java applets as design elements. I sometimes use an animated gif, but always make sure it will work if it won't animate. Finally, most of my sites use minimal graphics, esp. my new lawfinder site.

Todd (192.208.46.249) - 12:41pm -- While I agree that images, etc are overused and badly used more often than not, lets not dismiss them altogether. There are some things that are more easily presented as images, especially if done well. You can always tell your browser to load images on an as requested basis.

Sean (206.15.162.86) - 12:42pm -- A year ago, I was very excited when I saw VRML and Shockwave, but over the past year, the Internet has gotten really bogged down and now it takes longer to download big web pages. It's getting to the point that I have to work at night!

Carol J. Snyder (snyderinfo*Web Design) (199.3.134.192) - Ted: I agree with Richard re: 3D graphics, fancy animation, and Active-X technology... "Content is King"..

Sean (206.15.162.86) - 12:49pm -- Are there any publishers that have resisted using Web gimmicks? I used to like Suck and the NYT Syndicate because their pages loaded quickly, but now they're both loaded with animated GIF ads. Yech.

Ted Resnick - Excite (204.62.245.104) - 12:52pm -- Content is King - I agree 100% on that one, but I think that Worlds and other chat systems are different kind of content than the usual surfing sites... Worlds will only be as good as its users. If people like the 3D experience and the other users on their service, it will be sucessful. However, I hope they have deep pockets so that they can stick around till bandwidth improves.

Ted Resnick - Excite (204.62.245.104) - 12:59pm -- Regarding bells and whistles, there was a report that came out a few months ago that claimed that people clicked on animated gif banners more often than static ones. As long as this perception is there, you will see more distracting ads. And if you have seen Wired's articles on banner ads, they predict that this will get worse before it gets better. Too many marketers with disregard for users, or else ignorantly surfing from t-1 lines :-( Like frames and blink, it can be used productively, but sparingly! 


New msn.com

Carol J. Snyder (snyderinfo*Web Design) (199.3.134.192) - - Along the lines of Microsoft and FrontPage...and multimedia push, etc.--any talk at IWorld about the NEW MSN.COM network? It's supposed to be "cool"--very WebTV like..easy to use..

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:38pm -- CJ - MSN is covered at the Microsoft booth, but quite honestly I didn't pay any attention. AOL and compuserve both have pretty large booths as well. Not sure why.

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:40pm -- CJ -- I also didn't see MSN. But it might very well be buried in the Microsoft booth, which is immense.

Todd (192.208.46.249) - 12:48pm -- I just tried msn.com and it must be geared for web tv because it's a mess from a unix workstation.

Carol J. Snyder (snyderinfo*Web Design) (199.3.134.192) - - Warren/Richard: If you see or hear about MSN.COM..plz bring stuff back to Boston for the Internet SIG..thanks, CJ


Microsoft and the Internet

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:55pm -- Todd -- re: MSN. I've found that a number of Microsoft sites are designed to be optimized for Internet Explorer. For instance their Normandy site, I can't get beyond the opening screen with my Netscape browser. Trying to show off the great stuff they can do, they seem to be sacrificing compatibility with the greater Internet audience. Long term, I don't think that's a good direction. (It must be a business decision -- come up with neat things that designers can do with their software and no one else's, convince site designers to use it, and then the users who want to get there will be forced to get their browser etc. Feels contrary to the open Internet environment. Feels like a losing model.

Carol J. Snyder (snyderinfo*Web Design) (199.3.134.192) -- Richard: An interesting observation re: "open Internet environment" and Microsoft...Their model seems to "fascinate" us web developers (speaking for myself)...I was "hooked" on ActiveX technology..until I realized that most of my clients just want "simple" and "content" driven sites...Microsoft's Sitebuilder for Web Developers, on the other hand, gives excellent help (www.microsoft.com/sitebuilder/) and NOW there's a neat place on the microsoft site for Small Business owners..a "who, what, how to start" approach...that despite what looks like a Microsoft First approach seems to really be helping the people who need help...

Todd (192.208.46.249) - 1:00pm -- Richard - I don't know that openness and marketablilty are as closely linked as you imply. Wintel (Windows Intel) likes friends not competitors.


Webgrrls

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:07pm -- There is a group called webgrrls - mostly female webmasters and designers. Their webpage hosts banner ads, inc. some from clothing companies.

Mat (Contract Solutions) (206.119.231.98) - 12:09pm -- Warren, What's the address for Webgrrls?

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:10pm -- www.webgrrls.com If you are wondering why they call themselves webgrrls, try www.webgirls.com

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:14pm -- Warren -- thanks for the pointer.


Zone.com

Mike (205.186.168.70) - 12:52pm -- It's amazing how Microsoft has a goldmine with http://www.zone.com and its free Interactive Gaming Server which is growing by leaps and bounds and yet there is no advertising anywhere in the graphical environment....maybe it's strictly a promotional tool..i dunno :)

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:57pm -- Mike -- tell me more about www.zone.com

Mike (205.186.168.70) - 12:59pm -- Richard, it is actually a bulletin board and download site for their gaming server where you can play interactive card and board games with people all over the country...busy times draws about 1,000 people at the site....microsoft bought out this site from an independent company...forgot the name...


Checking Mortgage Lender's Credentials on the Web

Azalea (205.218.114.52) - 12:43pm -- Any suggestion on checking a mortgage lender's credentials?

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:44pm -- Azelea - try http://www.bbb.org the better business bureau website, as a start.

Azalea (205.218.114.52) - 12:46pm -- Thank you, Warren, I will.


Job Opportunities for Web-Development Professionals

Mat (Contract Solutions) (206.119.231.98) - 12:32pm -- For the group... Although I have personal interest in doing business on the internet. I work full time for a staffing agency that places Computer professionals on Contract Assignment as well as temp to perm assignments. Anyone interested in finding out about WWW development jobs or things along those lines, please feel free to email me your resume at mtuttelm@consolgroup.com.

Wrapup

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 12:58pm -- All -- I see that it's getting near the end of the hour (and handyman questions are coming on already). Please, everyone post your email address and URLs for followup afterward.

Also, everyone, I'll be posting the transcript of this session at my Website within the next day or two (as soon as I can grab the time). Check http://www.samizdat.com/index.html#chat

Warren Agin - Law Solutions (204.146.85.59) - 12:59pm -- http://www.agin.comWAgin@agin.com

Sean (206.15.162.86) - 12:59pm -- Hey, I get to plug my website! It's at http://server.com/ .

Mike (205.186.168.70) - 1:00pm -- http://www.netcom.com/~mfl1

Ted Resnick - Excite (204.62.245.104) - 1:00pm -- Ted Resnick - tresnick@excite.com http://www.excite.com Thanks for everything Richard - see you next week!

Todd (192.208.46.249) - 1:02pm --tsm@unx.dec.com

Carol J. Snyder (snyderinfo*Web Design) (199.3.134.192) - - cjsnyder@snyderinfo.com http://www.snyderinfo.com Bye...see ya next week

Mike (205.186.168.70) - 1:02pm -- Thanks everyone! Appreciate your opinions...

Richard Seltzer (199.3.129.189) - 1:00pm -- Please send followup questions and comment to me at seltzer@samizdat.com and I'll add them to the transcript. Also please send me email with your suggestions for future topics. (I want to put together a long-range tentative schedule so you can plan when you want to tune in.)

Also, please send me email if you would like me to add you to the mailing nlist to get reminder messages about these weekly chats.

Hope you all can join us again next week, same time. And please help spread the word.


Previous transcripts and schedule of upcoming chats -- www.samizdat.com/chat.html

To connect to the chat room, go to www.samizdat.com/chat-intro.html

The full text of Richard Seltzer's books The Social Web, Take Charge of Your Web Site, Shop Online the Lazy Way, and The Way of the Web, plus more than a hundred related articles are available on CD ROM My Internet: a Personal View of Internet Business Opportunities.

Web Business Boot Camp: Hands-on Internet lessons for manager, entrepreneurs, and professionals by Richard Seltzer (Wiley, 2002). No-nonsense guide targets activities that anyone can perform to achieve online business
success. Reviews.

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