STREAMING MEDIA - Leveling the Playing Field for Small Business -

Written by Don Rhodes

Statistics tell us that there are 5,000 new websites coming on-line everyday! And, sadly, they all have one thing in common...they are all starting to lookrepparttar same. Our company, pursuing its own marketing efforts, hasrepparttar 134671 need to look at thousands of small business websites, and they seem to haverepparttar 134672 same ingredients: a few pictures, lots of text, and maybe an animated gif. Withrepparttar 134673 web surfer becoming much more "web savvy" than he was a year ago, and withrepparttar 134674 baseline computer system being a 250mhz multi-media capable Pentium, users today are expecting not only information but an entertaining web experience as well.

RealNetworks,repparttar 134675 pioneers of streaming audio and video overrepparttar 134676 web, tell us that 86% of web site visitors will stay to listen or to watch a streaming media presentation! They have had 65,000,000 downloads of their G2 player, and Media Metrixs reports that 15,000,000 people experience a streaming presentation every week. With these statistics,repparttar 134677 time is now for small business to takerepparttar 134678 initiative and leap into these new web-marketing techniques.

Streaming Media isrepparttar 134679 current breakaway technology ofrepparttar 134680 Internet. Asrepparttar 134681 broadband technologies of cable, satellite, and fibre optics evolve,repparttar 134682 full media experience onrepparttar 134683 Internet is not far away. The capability of sending audio, video, and other forms of multimedia 365/24/7 is revolutionizingrepparttar 134684 way people communicate with each other and is sendingrepparttar 134685 advertising industry into a tizzy. A business can now put a half-hour audio presentation on its' web site for one full year for less thanrepparttar 134686 cost of an ad in their local Sunday newspaper!

Putting a streaming audio presentation on your web site is simple. Record your presentation on a high quality cassette tape and send it to an encoding company. (And who can better talk about your product or service than you can?) They will digitize your recording and optimize it for smooth and effective streaming performance. They will then send you back, usually via E-mail, web-ready files to be put on your web site. (Some companies will also offer you hosting services on their G2 servers; then it's a simple process of adding one link to your site!) If you're uncomfortable with doing your own recording, you can send your script; most encoding companies offer professional voice talent. This can add torepparttar 134687 cost of your presentation, but some people prefer this to doingrepparttar 134688 recording themselves.

How to create a great website

Written by Patrick Tan

The web is a medium designed to communicate with people. Asrepparttar written words and graphics will berepparttar 134670 main forms of communication in a website, it is of utmost importance that they convey your message inrepparttar 134671 most effective way without any jarring expressions, omissions and complications.

The ultimate aim is to create a website that will attract millions of visitors and have them returning torepparttar 134672 site again and again. From my observation, great websites, regardless of their functions, seem to observerepparttar 134673 following rules:

Good sites are rich in contents. ------------------------------------------- Before you set out to design a website, you must first identify your purpose and target audience. What do you want to do with your site? Who is your target audience? Where can you find them? What are their interests? What products, services and information will appeal to them? Why should they visit your site? How are you going to attract and retain your target prospects?

Gettingrepparttar 134674 answers torepparttar 134675 above questions would pretty much setrepparttar 134676 looks, appeals and contents for your site. Whatever your contents and resources, they must always share a common theme and focus.

You may consider offering some free information and resources to attract visitors to your site. It is a fact that most people userepparttar 134677 Internet first and foremost to search for information. "Content is king" as witnessed byrepparttar 134678 successes of Yahoo and America Online. Both started out as an information portal providing value-added information and resources to millions of users who flock to their sites every month.

Good sites have great homepages. ------------------------------------------------- The homepage isrepparttar 134679 entry point to your site. If it does not appeal to your visitors, chances are high that they will leave your site as soon as they arrive without ever viewing a second page on your site.

How can we create an effective homepage? There is no straightforward answer. A directory-styled homepage may serverepparttar 134680 purpose well for web portals like Yahoo. In other cases, a simple homepage with an enticing slogan and graphic may work equally well. You may also consider setting up multiple entry points if there are distinctive sections in your site.

Whatever your preferences,repparttar 134681 key to designing an effective homepage lies in determiningrepparttar 134682 needs and wants of your target audience and offering themrepparttar 134683 desired solutions in your site. This concept should appeal to your visitors and generate enough interests for them to start exploring your site.

Good sites are easy to read. ---------------------------------------- You are judged by how well you write! I am not exaggerating. The ability to write simply and clearly in an appropriate format and style is very important inrepparttar 134684 world of business communication. A well-written sales literature is usually what it takes to closerepparttar 134685 sales. This is particularly true for a website, asrepparttar 134686 written words arerepparttar 134687 only effective means to convey your messages to your readers.

Your writing should be free from jarring expressions, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. If you do not haverepparttar 134688 ability to write clearly and concisely, you should seriously consider paying several hundred dollars for a freelance editor to proofread and edit your entire sites. It would be money well spent!

Good sites are easy to navigate. --------------------------------------------- Good contents are useless if visitors could not accessrepparttar 134689 information easily. Web surfers are very impatient people. They would simply go elsewhere if they feel lost in your "maze" of information.

A simple rule of thumb is to present your information in easily identifiable categories. You may consider color-coding your pages according to their respective categories or sections, particularly if you are designing a big and complex site with more than several hundred pages.

At Aloha-City, we have color-coded our pages in various colors - gray for Work@Home; violet for Home; gold for Fort Street Mall; pink for Biz Connection and green for Utrendz. This methodology let us maintain a consistent layout throughout our website, while allowing visitors to identify and navigate from one page to another easily.

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