to the new media world of The Web Edge. Compaq launched this column
last month in honor of Small Business Week with Five
Common Internet Marketing Mistakes to Avoid and What to Do About
Them. This month we're taking a step back to give you an overview
of what to expect from this column month after month as we monitor
and hopefully illuminate the new kinds of business opportunities
that are opening up on the World Wide Web.
purpose of this column is to provide insights and useful information
about the Web that can enable small/medium-sized businesses to gain
a unique, competitive edge. After all, just like the old west, the
Web is an exciting new frontier that's full of danger as well as
opportunity. Our goal with The Web Edge is to help you avoid those
pitfalls while you also get out in front of your competition with
new forms of marketing and relationship building.
month we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions
from small and medium-sized businesses who are experimenting with
this impressive new medium and discovering original ways to create
their own strategic advantage. From hardware configurations to software
tools, from online marketing to virtual communities, we hope that
you will learn to count on The Web Edge to support you in growing
your business. And while we're telling you about our goals, another
important objective is your participation. I'd love to hear from
going to start this month by identifying some of the key issues
that we will address through the end of the year, but maybe you've
got a better idea. If so, we'd love to hear it. Please e-mail
me and I will consider your ideas for a future column. We'd
also like to hear about the most useful business websites that you've
On The Edge
course, The Web Edge refers to the cutting edge. You may have also
heard it called the bleeding edge. That's with good reason. Bottom
line, those of us who are working on the web are pioneers who are
creating a new communications medium; and that's both the good news
and the bad news. It's good news because of the creative excitement
of being involved in inventing something new. It's bad news because
there are so many unknown factors that the going can get tough.
fact, the Web frequently gets a bad reputation because many companies
who have created websites don't feel that they've gotten their investment
back. I'm sure that many of them have not, but there are many reasons
for that. Perhaps they approached it in a way that limited their
success. Perhaps they had unrealistic expectations to begin with.
pause a moment. Step back with me and I think I will give you a
better perspective. Imagine that you are working in television in
1953. The new technology is here now, but the medium is not mature
enough for anyone to be making any money. Sid Caesar hasn't yet
created the first hit TV show. It could be discouraging, couldn't
it? Well, I'm confident that when we look back on 1997 from the
21st century, we will have a similar perspective. The technology
is here, but the commercial successes are just now being invented.
There's a big upside, but you may need to plan to spend some time
on the learning curve, even a year or two, before you can establish
a credible return on corporate investment.
next month's column to be posted August 1. We'll help you consider
these risks in an issue of The Web Edge called "How
Do I Know If The Internet Is Right For My Business?" We'll look
into balancing resources with entrepreneurial enthusiasm, explore
which kinds of companies are being successful on the web right now,
expectations for ROI, trends and statistics, and a whole lot more.
September, we'll get down to basics about "What
Is A website?" and "How Do I Build One?"
I think that even those of you who already have a website might
want to come back for this one because there's more than one way
to do it. I'll include several different kinds of hardware recipes
and their ingredients (configurations), the role of the HTML language
and the use of HTML editing software, inter activity and transactions
(the web's biggest differentiators), community, server and connectively
options, and more.
Web Edge will take the recipe concept to another level. Rather than
discussing technology, I'll discuss three types of sites, their
styles of communication and the necessary site functionalities for
each. Each recipe will be oriented to a real world web objective
that can be achieved in today's market. If you think about it, just
as documents produced by desktop publishing software vary from home-brewed
flyers to four-color annual reports, websites also come in many
colors or varieties. Whether your web publishing objectives include
building visibility for your company, marketing services and building
relationships and selling products directly, this column should
help you sort out what works from what doesn't.
Web Edge in November will extend the tips you'll find in the Five
Common Internet Marketing Mistakes column referenced above by addressing
in detail the question that I hear more than any other: "How Can
I Bring More People to My Site?" We'll include tips about directory
listings, meta tags, listservs and other forms of web casting (or
push), newsgroups and online advertising. No self-respecting web
publisher should miss it (even if I do say so myself).
finally, we'll end 1997 with a fresh look at all of these new hybrid
networks that may or may not be extending your corporation's communication
channels. From Intranets to Extranets, we'll help you sort out all
of these new network definitions so that you'll understand what
each is good for. Then, we'll help you put the right users on the
right kind of connection, including some techniques for electronic
no question in my mind that those of us who are willing to dance
on the edge of the electronic sword (the one that I'm calling The
Web Edge) will not only enjoy the thrills of surviving in the face
of danger, but we will also thrive on the advantages of a view from
a rooftop in the global village.
how fast the marketplace for all businesses is changing these days,
we all need to keep a close watch on the Web's new interactive capabilities.
In that way, we're less likely to get "cut" by an error of omission,
which I'm sure is why Compaq has been so generous as to put me here
for your benefit. I thank them for their vision, and I look forward
enthusiastically to watching The Web Edge sharpen as it unfolds
and becomes an increasingly more effective business tool. I also
look forward to being part of its glory, and hopefully, to succeeding
right along side of you.
next month, stay tuned.
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