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Trouble in Electric Ladyland

The best just got better

Meet The Weasels
The web site designers your mom warned you about

Free High Speed Access Arrives
What to Expect

Wanna e-trade?
No thanks

Software we'd Like to See:
From the people who brought you Autonuke: software to warm your heart. Introducing Bidnessbot

Taking your Business online? Look before you link
The web site that launched a thousand (annoying) e-mails.

Do unto Microsoft
Our top ten alternative punishments for Microsoft...

The Motley Fool
Cool fool

You're thinking something. Tell us what it is.


Site Development
see also: the toolbox

Adding Interactivity - Coolboard

It's no secret that great web sites foster a sense of community among their visitors. The success of online communities like and The Well suggests that one of the best ways to build a sticky web site is to create a community forum where visitors can post their opinions and exchange ideas.
Sign up for a free account with Coolboard and you'll get a simple message board you can customize to match your tastes and your web site's personality, complete with slick icons and plenty of layout options. Your site will also be listed in the Coolboard directory, possibly driving increased traffic to your door if your concept is a good one.

If you've never implemented a discussion board before, you'll probably want to visit some of the other boards in the Coolboard community to get an idea of what works and what doesn't before springing your creation on the world. (Look for boards with lots of postings and try to figure what's making them work.) Setting up shop shouldn't pose many problems - the whole process should take less than an hour, and much less time than that if you accept the default layout and thread settings.

pluses: it's free.

minuses: they'll eventually figure out a way to make you pay for it.

Getting the most out of your browser
It's among the best ways (if not the best) to improve your web design skills.

Popping open the hood to take a look at the source code of a web page to see how something is done is straightforward and often revealing (In Explorer click View + Source.), but looking for a specific snippet of HTML or a particular script can be a pain, especially if you're inexperienced or facing a page with hundreds of lines of code.

Well it turns out Microsoft has come up with a solution. The Web Developer Accessories utility for Internet Explorer 5.0 enables a new browser command "view partial source". Highlight a page element and then right click - you'll see only the code you're interested in. A must-have. 131 KB free download available from

Framebusting 101
If you're concerned that a parasite may be framing your site's content, you're right to be. Not only can frames screw up your site's layout, they also enable another web site to profit from your work.

Happily, countermeasures are available. One of the simplest is the framebuster object available for Dreamweaver.

Insert framebuster on your pages and you'll be able to override attempts to frame you, leaving linked visitors with a pristine view of your site.

[Full Review]

We've heard the mantra repeated so many times its starting to sound like a cd skip.

The key to a successful e-commerce site is excellent customer service...customer service...customer service.

Many web sites (and traditional companies) are outsourcing customer service.

It may not be such a hot idea
[Full Review]

e-nough is e-nough
Attention all marketing/pr types! Here's some breaking news you may want to pause and consider.

There was a time when putting an e in front of words in promotional copy was innovative enough that it caught people's attention.

We agree that "e-biz" does have a kind of cool ring to it.

e-strategy does have flair.

And who would argue that e-wisdom isn't cutting edge?

However, recent research suggests that the more accustomed people become to seeing a new word or innovation in print, the less likely they are to react positively to it.

With thousands of references in print and on television every month, it's hard to believe good old mr. e hasn't worn out his welcome with consumers.

Our advice?

Pick another letter.

Add one more name to the rapidly growing list of companies using this time-honored promotional tactic to attract business.

NameZero will register your domain name for free, saving you seventy dollars - the price competitors like Network Solutions and will charge you.The catch?

Um - better prepare yourself. The banner ads are coming. The banner ads are coming

[direct link]

HTML Writers's Guild
Finding a good web designer can be a difficult task. All the more so if you have little experience in the market.

If a job candidate tells you they're a card -carrying member of the HTML writers guild you may want to look farther afield in your quest for talent.

( or at least read this review )

[Full Review]

SearchEngine Watch
Do search engines matter?

It's a matter of some debate among web professionals.

The statistics are contradictory. One survey says search engines generate the majority of web site traffic. The next says the key is real world advertising.

Who should you believe?

read on

[Full Review]

A well-conceived mailing list can do wonders for your web site's traffic.

There are definite do's and don'ts however, facts that every web developer needs to be aware of.

Too many people find out they've broken the rules the hard way, after the damage has already been done and customers have gone elsewhere.

Getting them to come back can be easier said than done.

Mistakes you shouldn't make.

[Full Review]

As people have adjusted to the idea of making purchases online consumer concerns about fraud have eased considerably.

Still, with credit card fraud expected to remain a problem on the Net over the next few years, it's probably a good idea to offer customers the assurance that a secure transaction certificate provides

[Full Review]

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