Written by Bob McElwain

Continued from page 1

Why Are There Such Great Differences?

The apparent dilemma stems fromrepparttar fact that we all have our own set of visitors. Each comes to us from a vast pool of many millions of Web users. Those who show up on my site may never even hear about yours, let alone visit.

Thus my visitors are not representative of yours, except as torepparttar 132107 fundamentals. For example, all site visitors ask first, "What's in it for me?" Such basics relate to every site. The specifics do not.

Even if a massive, well respected study reported only 1% of surfers use 640 x 480 monitors, it still might not apply to your site. For as suggested above,repparttar 132108 pool is so vast, hoping to draw a truly random sample from it is impossible.

Further, things change rapidly onrepparttar 132109 Web. Not long ago, Netscape wasrepparttar 132110 browser leader. As Microsoft continued to demand Internet Explorer be installed on all new systems delivered,repparttar 132111 dominance of Netscape began to fade. Even after being acquired by AOL, market share continued to drop.

Can you assume it will continue to do so? That would leave us with only one major browser. A Microsoft product. A company already at odds withrepparttar 132112 Justice department in anti-trust actions. It may prove to be in their best interest to assure that Netscape regains a significant share ofrepparttar 132113 market.

What seems so today is suspect, for it may not be so tomorrow. Rather than making assumptions which may prove false tomorrow,repparttar 132114 better plan is to accommodate all possible options today, and be prepared to make changes tomorrow.

The Mistake That Matters Most

Butrepparttar 132115 second mistake made byrepparttar 132116 fellow mentioned above is in ignoring Netscape users however small their numbers be. Suppose only 5% of my visitors use Netscape. To toss away this many potential customers is foolish at least. I takerepparttar 132117 time to make it work for them.

Hasten Slowly

JavaScript has been available for some time. Is it wise to use it if N% of systems can not deal with it? The better plan is to offer an alternate way to access your site for those who can not.

Plug ins are popular of late. Will users takerepparttar 132118 time to download and install one so as to see your site in all its glory? I doubt it. What's best is to offerrepparttar 132119 option to do so, but be sure your site functions effectively without it.

One of my systems uses a Pentium II with awesome supporting resources. However, it doesn't have a sound card. A site that requires I have one, will hold my attention only so long as it takes to hitrepparttar 132120 Back button or enter another URL.

Killer Assumptions

If we make assumptions aboutrepparttar 132121 power and tools our visitors have readily available, torepparttar 132122 extent we are wrong, we are driving them off our sites.

When you consider how hard it is to draw a new visitor, driving even one away seems a pretty silly thing to do.

Bob McElwain Want to build a winning site? Improve one you already have? Fix one that's busted? Get ANSWERS. Subscribe to "STAT News" now! Web marketing and consulting since 1993 Site: Phone: 209-742-6349


Written by Bob McElwain

Continued from page 1

What will happen to people's view of me if I "link" to a company with a publicly recognized bad reputation? Or to someone I directly oppose? Or to one I totally mistrust? If this isn't crystal clear, consider a link from your site redirected to a p o r n site.

The "New" Ebook Revolution

Several ofrepparttar most popular ebook compilers link to IE for display. (My ebooks do; this may change soon!) Imagine what gibberish TOPtext can make of an exquisite ebook page.

The future of ebooks remains uncertain. Sure, they'll be around. Butrepparttar 132105 format is now up inrepparttar 132106 air. It's a blow to a lot of people heavily committed, some with profits not yet rolling in.

The Insidious Factor

One ofrepparttar 132107 things that makes this such an ugly evolution is that webmasters may never know it's happening. Further, there'srepparttar 132108 obvious impact of slowing download speed, because ofrepparttar 132109 additional time to addrepparttar 132110 links. And this matters. But it is minor compared to what your pages will look like.

Just how does one design a great looking, carefully polished site that can hold this appearance when randomly highlighted in yellow?

What Is Microsoft Thinking?

I don't know if Microsoft is in any way a part of this particular "experiment." Butrepparttar 132111 effects are so much likerepparttar 132112 results they expect from Smart Tags, it is difficult to accept this implementation as a coincidence.

I suspect Microsoft will watch developments with great care. If they can figure a "better" plan, will they implement it in Windows? If so, then whatever browser is in use, results will berepparttar 132113 same. And MS will be in a position to controlrepparttar 132114 advertising. There is inconceivable profit potential in this.

Legal Possibilities

I have no doubt but what this issue will be brought to court. I've a picture of a Ford site reacting to "truck" highlighted on their site with a link to a Chevy site.

This part ofrepparttar 132115 tale may prove interesting. I'm fascinated byrepparttar 132116 following notion I don't believe has come up before.

If you buy a book, you may deface it in any way you please. It will be argued that sincerepparttar 132117 downloaded page is onrepparttar 132118 visitor's computer, they own it, thatrepparttar 132119 user (or software selected) can therefore do as they please with it.

To me,repparttar 132120 way in which a page is delivered to a visitor is immaterial. It's my creation. Excepting for limitations in my coding, I expect my visitor to see it as created.

A Boon To Advertising?

Maybe. It is something entirely different to webmasters who have spent agonizing hours building site content.

How will this end?

I can't even guess. But if it does not,repparttar 132121 Web as we know it now will be history.

Bob McElwain Want to build a winning site? Improve one you already have? Fix one that's busted? Get ANSWERS. Subscribe to "STAT News" now! Web marketing and consulting since 1993 Site: Phone: 209-742-6349

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