STREAMING MEDIA - Leveling the Playing Field for Small Business -

Written by Don Rhodes

Continued from page 1

Utilizing streaming audio adds far more than just a personal touch to your web site - it sets you apart and gives your site a leg-up over your web based competition. With audio, you can highlightrepparttar uniqueness of your product or service and offer a more detailed explanation of features that could not be adequately described with text. This is also a welcome and appreciated service forrepparttar 134671 visually handicapped web surfer.

For those businesses that have content that they would like to keep private, such as inter-company announcements or bulletins, your encoding company should be able to password protect your presentation. If you have audio content for sale, such as motivational materials or training tools, your streaming audio provider can arrange to provide subscription services. It is even possible to make your audio presentation so that it cannot be copied or reproduced in any way.

For a long time, museums and other exhibitors have known tha

Don Rhodes, owner of WBC Imaging, a company specializing in web site enhancement utilizing streaming media technology. Mr. Rhodes is a broadcast engineer who believes that the Internet is the media delivery system of the future. Please direct all questions and comments to: WBC Imaging 520-742-5780

How to create a great website

Written by Patrick Tan

Continued from page 1

Good sites are good communities. ------------------------------------------------ Good websites are usually good communities. The notion of selling a product online must include community building and vice-versa. The logic is simple. People want to belong to a community, and commerce will flourish in places where a community settles in, regardless of whether these places exist in cyberspace or inrepparttar real world.

An online community dedicated to a specific target audience can play a very important role in arousing its members' awareness and interest in specific products and services. These highly qualified prospects will then be more receptive to seek information about related products and make purchases subsequently.

Studies inrepparttar 134670 United States have confirmed that relevant content adjacent to merchant or product links helps to trigger impulse buying. On average, they reported six times higher than average click-through rates for these links.

Good sites mimicrepparttar 134671 real world. -------------------------------------------- You should create virtual community that mimicsrepparttar 134672 real world community. It must be relevant torepparttar 134673 members' lives, works or hobbies. Your contents and information should be restricted to those that your community wants.

You must pay constant attention to changing visitor demands and interests, or your site will die. When you upload your pages torepparttar 134674 web, your job does not end there. Onrepparttar 134675 contrary, it has just begun. You have to continue to update your contents regularly to keep them current and relevant to your visitors' need.

Good sites encourage interactivity. ------------------------------------------------ People have a natural urge to share ideas and stories. Make your visitors feel that they have a vital role to play in your web site, and they will be encouraged to share their ideas and stories with you. If possible, you can provide interactive features such as chat rooms or bulletin boards that allow online exchanges of ideas and views.

To adapt a well-known phrase, "A web community that clicks together sticks together." Studies have shown that good websites that last for years have operated onrepparttar 134676 bases of sharing free information, helping each other and keeping their contents current and relevant. The idea is to build a community withrepparttar 134677 intent of including other like-minded people and then let it grows on its own.

Good sites do not stand-alone. ------------------------------------------ Good sites also do not stand-alone. You must create outgoing links that are complementary to what you have to offer. It will be a win-win situation for two related sites to share contents, exchange links and cross-reference each other.

The idea is simple. If you do not have what your visitor wants, then help him find what he wants in another site. And if your outgoing links are comprehensive enough, you may actually end up attracting more people to your site as a one-stop, quick reference source for everything they need.

A good example would be Web Tool Box at ools/. It contained hundreds of links to web resources and tools that are useful to online business owners, webmasters, designers and programmers.

Final Considerations. ----------------------------- The above guidelines are meant for designing third-generation websites. Conceived by design, these websites focus more on styles, functionality and contents, and less on technological features.

Unless necessary, you should avoid using Java plug-ins, multimedia, shockwave, flash, animation and large, useless graphics in your site. They load slowly and make no significant contribution torepparttar 134678 overall effectiveness ofrepparttar 134679 page.

Ideally, you should keeprepparttar 134680 file size of your web pages below 60 Kbytes to facilitate fast loading time. Remember that web surfers are very impatient people. They would be more than happy to "click" to another site if your site takes more than 10 seconds to download.

Patrick Tan, a former journalist, entrepreneur and MBA degree holder, offers a complete range of services at affordable rates to help you set up your first Internet business. Visit his site at for more information. He publishes a free newsletter to share his experience with you. Subscribe now - mailto:

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