Stories by James Lewin

Commercial e-mail - A double-edged sword?

E-mail is a one of the most powerful tools available for building and maintaining relationships with online customers. Unfortunately, it's also become one of the most dangerous tools to use, because unwanted e-mail is so despised.

The perfect store

In the mid 90's, Pierre Omidyar decided that he wanted a job that would let him do "Internet things". Many people at that time were making the same decision, because they knew that the Internet was going to be important. What makes Omidyar exceptional, though, is that his "Internet thing" ended up being the greatest success story yet of the Internet, eBay.

The Internet: Unplugged

On TV, MTV's "Unplugged" showcases musicians' chops. It does this by having them play live in front of a studio audience, without their normal tools: electric guitars, synthesizers and effects.

Is your site sticky?

The dot-com world can be a strange one. It's a world where people wonder what their cookies know about them. It's a world where privacy policies
tell you how companies are going to use your personal information. It's even a place where your backend does all the work!

Keeping tabs on web activity

As the importance of e-commerce increases, log reporting has become a very important tool for understanding web behavior. There are three main
ways to log the activity of web visitors: application logging, web server logging, and client-side data collection. Each of these has benefits for understanding customer behavior, while each has limitations, too. Understanding the pros and cons of each approach is important when deciding which approach to use.

How well do you know your customers?

There are many demographic factors that affect website design choices. The age of your users, for example, can be a factor in content
decisions, colors choices, and even details such as the size of type.

Getting ranked

Google's prominence has made it an important source of traffic for most sites. This has made inclusion in Google's index an important marketing
tool for most sites, and sites with higher rankings are the most likely to benefit.

Do you Google?

Google has done something that companies aspire to, but few achieve. It has created a brand synonymous with its business.

Current technical requirements for web interfaces

Periodically, it's important to review and update the client-side technical requirements of your web site. Reviewing client-side technology requirements is necessary to ensure that you are taking advantage of current options, while minimizing the amount of effort needed to support dated technologies. Decisions regarding which technologies to support need to be made by considering both industry trends and the unique needs of your company and customers. Here are some statistics on the use of various technologies:

Web site testing tools for tight times

Over the last year, open source software has reached a threshold. It has gone from being a blip on the radar at most companies, to being
production software, or at least an option under evaluation.

Web site testing tools for tight times

Over the last year, open source software has reached a threshold. It has gone from being a blip on the radar at most companies, to being
production software, or at least an option under evaluation.

Politics learns from e-business

Politicians are doing their best to co-opt Web techniques pioneered by e-commerce. As a result, political web sites are moving beyond brochure
ware to take more advantage of the web.

Market Place