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((((((((((((((((( WEBREFERENCE UPDATE NEWSLETTER ))))))))))))))))) February 10, 2000


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http://www.webreference.com http://www.webreference.com/new/ http://www.webreference.com/new/submit.html New this week on WebReference.com and the Web:

1. CONTESTS: New Submit & Win PhotoShop!, Subscribe & Win! 2. FEATURED ARTICLE: Credit Card Snafus! Tons of Dog Food! What's Going On Online? 3. NET NEWS: * Denial of Service Attacks Hit the Web * Sun to Release New Java 2 Versions * WebCriteria Launches Site Behavior Agent * Microsoft Digital Broadcast Manager to Power Pay-Per-View * Macromedia Ships FreeHand 9

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1.CONTESTS: New Submit & Win Photoshop!, Subscribe & Win!

>New Submit & Win!

WebReference is pleased to announce our latest "Submit & Win!" contest! Every Thursday the Update features a new article contributed by our readers through our Open Publishing Initiative. You get fame, hits, and the respect of your peers...and now, you also get a brand new copy of Adobe System's PhotoShop 5.5!


This week, writer B.L. Ochman shows us that not planning for the success of your Website can be the same as planning for failure.

>Subscribe & Win!

Can't write? Still want to win? Don't worry, you can! Sign up for the Webreference newsletter, and get a chance to win a super software bundle from SoftQuad Software Inc. and Ulead Systems Inc. Prizes include HoTMetaL PRO 6.0, PhotoImpact 5, and COOL 3D 2.5. Each week we'll draw new winners from our new subscribers - you could be next. Already a subscriber? Not a problem - just fill out the form, and you'll be automatically entered to win.

This week's winners include Paul Heine of Berlin, Germany; Marsha Glassner of San Francisco, CA; and James F. Sherman, Jr. of Charlestown, MA. Congratulations winners, and enjoy the software!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. FEATURED ARTICLE: Credit Card Snafus! Tons of Dog Food! What's Going On Online?

Imagine this scenario. You are ordering vitamins at drugemporium.com. You register for the site, put in your shipping and payment information and press "Express Checkout." Up comes an order not for your vitamins, but for the products ordered by Ester Levitts in Kentucky. Her Discover card information is given, along with her name, address and ordered items.

Think it's unlikely? Think again. It happened to restaurant broker Ray Tekosky of New York City on Friday, Jan 28. He had the presence of mind to download the errant order page and fax it to me. I, in turn, faxed it to a reporter at The Wall St. Journal. Was it news? You bet!

What happened here? Something that will happen again, maybe in a much bigger way, maybe on your site. "We're still in the early stages of ecommerce," says Tekosky. "There will be much bigger mistakes on a much larger scale. Who's to say it wouldn't happen with a banking situation? That could create the ecommerce equivalent of the Mad Cow scare."

>"Donate the excess to charity"

Tekosky is not some ecommerce-basher. He buys online all the time. He bought his Palm Pilot, his printer, many books, vitamins and other goods on the Internet. And he's not the only one who's having trouble with online buying.

Consider the plight of Web developer Barry Wexler and his wife, Ira, who is an attorney. They thought they found a great deal for dog food at petopia.com. All they had to do was pay in advance to lock in a great price for six 40 pound bags of dry dog food for their yellow Lab puppy. One 40 pound bag would be sent every 8 weeks. They would pay for the first three bags and get the next three free.

Great idea, until the second 40 lb. bag arrived one week after the first and the third 40 lb. bag arrived a few days later. The Wexlers now have 120 lbs. of dry dog food crammed into a closet in their small New York apartment. Duncan, their puppy, sits hopefully in front of the closet door for hours on end, dreaming of the contents. Petopia.com thoughtfully told them that they could donate their excess to charity.

An email to Petopia went unanswered. The first phone call netted no result. Finally someone emailed to say that the remaining three bags in their order have been placed on hold until April first. But that's April Fool's Day and the outcome remains to be seen.


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>Failure to plan for success

What's going on? It would seem that drugemporium.com has a problem with its secure server and petopia.com has a problem with its shipping procedures. Actually, it's a good bet is that they both had the same problem - they skimped on the back ends of their sites in a rush to get online. My company and many others do a good trade in re-doing web sites that were skimped on the first time around.

Companies that sell online need to seek out the expertise of ecommerce integrators to design and implement an intelligent infrastructure for their sites. The days of having a brother-in- law who "knows a lot about the net" design a site have gone the way of the dinosaur. The ecommerce stakes get higher every day and budgets must follow.

Instead of planning for success, a lot of companies throw up a site and figure they will beef up the back end once the money starts rolling in. And sometimes that happens a lot faster than anyone planned.

We are likely to continue to live with a variety of snafus caused by poor planning. The way your site can avoid these problems? Plan for success. Build a system set to grow with your business. Or pay the price later. Like poor Ester in Kentucky, and Duncan in New York City.


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About the Author:

B.L. Ochman is president of What's Next Online, a company that uses guerilla marketing tactics to build traffic and sales for Web businesses.

You can reach her directly at: BLOchman@whatsnextonline.com, or subscribe to their marketing tactics newsletter at http://www.whatsnextonline.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3. NET NEWS: Denial of Service Attacks Hit the Web, Sun to Release New Java 2 Versions, WebCriteria Launches Site Behavior Agent, Microsoft Digital Broadcast Manager to Power Pay-Per-View, Macromedia Ships FreeHand 9

>Denial of Service Attacks Hit the Web

The lead story this week is, of course, the "Denial of Service" attacks that temporary brought down Yahoo, Amazon, Etrade, CNN, and several other big name sites. Still no firm word on who is responsible, but you can be sure that we'll all be hearing more about this story for weeks to come. http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article/0,1087,3_301881,00.html http://www.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/02/09/cyber.attacks.02/index.html InternetNews.com, CNN.com, 000209

>Sun to Release New Java 2 Versions

Sun Microsystems Inc. this week announced that the next versions of its key Java 2 technologies have been submitted to the Java Community Process program for review. The JCP program is a community-based process for developing Java technology specifications, reference implementations and associated compatibility test suites. http://www.internetnews.com/wd-news/article/0,1087,10_301601,00.html InternetNews.com, 000209

>WebCriteria Launches Site Behavior Agent

WebCriteria Inc. Wednesday unveiled its next-generation SiteProfile service. At SiteProfile's core is "Max," an intelligent browsing agent that simulates a typical user, and how they see, think and move through a Web site. http://www.internetnews.com/wd-news/article/0,1087,10_301671,00.html InternetNews.com, 000209

>Microsoft Digital Broadcast Manager to Power Pay-Per-View

Microsoft Corp. rolled out the developer preview of it's Digital Broadcast Manager software, which makes it possible for companies to sell pay-per-view and pay-per-download content via the Internet. http://www.internetnews.com/streaming-news/article/0,1087,8161_301741,00.html InternetNews.com, 000209

>Macromedia Ships FreeHand 9

Macromedia Inc. released FreeHand 9, its design and layout software created specifically for cross-media publishing. Macromedia hopes that FreeHand 9 will change the way designers approach their work by providing a toolset for vector graphics for both print or Web. New features and enhancements include Flash integration, increased productivity, and new creative tools. http://www.internetnews.com/wd-news/article/0,1087,10_300531,00.html InternetNews.com, 000207

That's it for this week, see you next time.

Andrew King Managing Editor, WebReference.com update@webreference.com

Eric Cook Assistant Editor, WebReference.com ecook@internet.com

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