eCommerce, Communications and the Global Internet Community.Written by Michael Bloch
In our increasingly online world, cyberspace is still experiencing "gold fever", but there have been and will be many casualties. Only innovative, responsive, financially sound and flexible will survive. Many new markets are joining world of eCommerce; over last 6 months I have seen a remarkable increase in visitors to my site from countries such as India. This trends means more visitors to our sites perhaps; but it definitely means more competition between web developers, etailers and other service providers.
India will be extraordinarily competitive in web development, due largely to favourable exchange rates. In Australia, our struggling dollar still favours us in securing work with U.S companies, but not to same degree. I can see that Internet will play a considerable role in valuation of our currencies in future.
Up until now, Internet has been very focused on U.S. By 2003, Asia Pacific region will catch up and overtake in regards to Internet usage. While we are all busy submitting our sites to U.S and U.K search engines, have we considered their Indian or Taiwanese counterparts? There are literally thousands of Asia-Pacific search engines and indices. Some of them will grow to be major players in next five years.
The Western world tends to forget that we are a minority. Only about eight percent of earth's population speaks English as primary language. As countries such as India, Korea, Taiwan and perhaps even China open up, we will need to adapt to this change. The big players can afford to have their pages translated into different languages. For those of us without budget, perhaps even a simple greeting in a variety of languages on our pages would encourage a visitor with limited English abilities to explore our sites. If you are going to translate your site, ensure that person undertaking translation really knows their stuff, as a single word misinterpreted can turn a welcome into a curse. The proper use of images and other visual cues can also assist in relaying information more effectively than English text.
One of other ways we, smaller companies, can welcome these newcomers without spending a cent is to drop our xenophobic reactions to "foreigners". There are no "foreigners" as Internet is now more than ever a global community. Instead of fearing these new arrivals stealing our bread and butter, we should be seeking to establish alliances with them. We should be striving to learn a little about culture of emerging electronic economies. This will assist us in using correct protocols during business dealings.
As web masters, we receive many communications via email from our "foreign" visitors. Some of these emails are, in our way of thinking, poorly worded. As an example I received a note other day that didn't have usual signature line of "Regards" or "Sincerely", but had one word at bottom of message - "Waiting". Many of our visitors to whom English is a second language struggle with email writing, sometimes appearing rude to us. Perhaps we become impatient with this and devalue communication or ignore it.
What's Color Have To Do With It?Written by Maria Marsala
I bet you'd be able to tell me, in 10 seconds or less, colors that McDonalds, Burger King, K-Mart and Wal-Mart use. That's because they have used these colors, their logos and even their slogans to "brand" themselves. Branding helps clients "remember you".
As a business owner, you too can "brand" your business. An example would be my website, Welcome Kit, forms, business cards etc. They all contain same colors, fonts, logo, and graphics. Actually, even my website name "coach maria" brands me. I've met individuals who think they "know" me, or have met me before, however, I don't know them! When we figure out where they know me from, it's from a discussion group or my website. Branding works!
Take time now, as you start your business, to decide what colors you'll be using in your branding campaign. A few things to remember about colors: a) Colors may appear different when used in print media (such as your brochure) vs. on Internet. b) Different browsers (Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator) show colors differently. c) The same color on different parts of a page (the background and border, for example) may look different, even in same browser. d) On Internet, white is a color. If you do not "name" it white, then it will appear as gray on Netscape.
So before you decide on a color for your website, check color in a few browsers. In fact, if you're a web designer, designing a color page may be helpful for your clients. You can view a sample color page at http://www.coachmaria.com/colors.html Use websites below to assist you in choosing colors for your business.