Seybold, XML, PDF,
October 1, 2001

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'                   WEBSITE101: READING LIST
                   Reaching Great Minds Online
            October 1, 2001               Issue #111
           Mike Valentine, Editor,

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 ==>     Feature Article: Device Convergence, XML, PDF, OS X
 ==>     Guest Article: Ezine Tips: Hosting Your Ezine
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Editor's Corner: One of my many hats is that of web journalist.
I cover all things of interest to the small business owner and
home office crowd. We make up nearly 50% of the U.S. economy
and, up until very recently, were all but ignored by new web

Those "Global 1000" are companies I avoid when I attend shows
to review products like those at Seybold San Francisco 2001
conference and show. Fortunately there are a lot less of
those Goliath-like monsters at this particular event as it is
focused on publishing, both online and off.

Yes, there were still sales reps at booths claiming to do
business with "Global 500" corporations and some even stretched
it to "Global 2000" to include themselves as members of "The
Elite". But the really strange thing is that when asked "How
big is your company?" the response is most often downplayed
because these players are very often tiny themselves.

I suppose that if I did business with one of those monsters
I would also brag about that to my client list. But tell me,
do you really care that I rub elbows with nameless, faceless
automatons at major corporations? I'd like to think that my 
readers care more about how I deal with other home business
owners than about complex machinations between Dilbert-like
cogs who spend their days spinning in the machinery of global

Publishing attracts lots of "Little Guys" in the form of
writers, editors, photographers, designers, printers and,
very encouraging of late, SMALL publishers. 

For the little guy, Seybold Rocks! I hope you enjoy the show
review offered below.
                  FEATURE ARTICLE

Of Device Convergence, XML, PDF and OS X
by Mike Banks Valentine

How often have you attended internet shows recently where the
major sponsor booth is absolutely swimming in interested new
customers? Most recent internet trade conferences have been
sparsely attended and major sponsors have suffered severely
limited interest in their new offerings in both hardware and
software. Seybold San Francisco 2001 bucked that trend last
week as both major sponsors (Apple and Adobe) easily filled
presentation after presentation through their four days of
presence on the trade show floor at the Moscone Center.

This was one week after terrorist attacks decimated the travel
industry. While not matching previous show attendance, this
show attracted enthusiastic crowds wandering through two massive
halls. Keynote addresses were noticeably below expected turnout
with far less than half of the available seats filled. Except
the keynote opened by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, which attracted a
nearly full house to hear of improvements in speed and
useability to the OS X operating system. Jobs had planned to
be in Paris and appear "live via satellite" to this show from
Europe, but made a surprise appearance in San Francisco due to
the cancellation of the show in France.

The products of Apple and Adobe attract a very different
following and market segment - publishing, design and creative
professionals. The Apple installation included demonstrations
of the new OS X operating system upgrade. Each time I entered
the showroom floor over 3 days of attendance I witnessed over-
flow crowds filling the demonstration area. Apple hardware
displays offered everything from iMacs to Mac OS X Server
equipped G4 supersystems. These also were swamped with show
attendees seeking demonstrations and asking questions of the
sales reps.

In July I attended the eBusiness Expo held at the San Jose
Convention Center and watched IBM sales reps wander back and
forth around their monstrous installation on the trade show
floor talking with each other because there were no attendees
to pitch to. Same at the GE Global Exchange booth, and the
Siebel Systems booth. (See coverage at the following address)

Seybold followed the trend of "convergence" seen throughout
the internet industry over the last year. Device convergence
in endless discussion as we juggle our Palm Pilots and cell
phones and pagers and RIM Blackberries and notebook computers.

The answer seems to be NOT in device convergence but web hosted
software that invisibly serves up appropriate content to any
device you choose to use. Vendors each touted the ability of
their software products to seamlessly talk with short messaging
service (SMS) devices or full screen mobile web tablets. 

Each offers to present your hardware with whatever it needs to
communicate with you. It doesn't matter which you prefer to use,
wireless web enabled phones or proprietary Microsoft PDA's. The
universal goal appears to be delivering content without regard
to how it will be viewed. Clearly there are limits to this
approach, such as delivering images to Palm Pilots, but the clear
trend is even stretching toward that end. 

< >

The dominant theme at Seybold seemed to be Digital Rights 
Management (DRM) in which everyone struggles with how to rein
in the threat posed by easily broken encryption schemes.
But how do you make information available to multiple devices
while at the same time attempting to keep information under
lock and key? Ah, now the fun starts. Software engineers will
no doubt be working overtime on this issue as publishing goes
through one of the most profound changes in, oh, three or four

While we are struggling with making information available to
everyone on all devices, publishing companies and copyright 
holders work overtime to limit distribution - or at the very 
least, limit FREE distribution of "owned" information. 

One of the best attended show sessions was that on ebooks
and epublishing where competing vendors discussed the merit
of "Open e-Book" (OeB) standards  and extensible markup 
language (XML) as a starting point to delivering content to
multiple devices in multiple formats -- PDF, HTML and many
proprietary hardware variants.

Several hundred sessions were offered in an extensive five
day line-up to review current trends in design and production
of both online and print publishing production. These two very
different and often incompatible areas are looking for ways to
merge and compliment each other.

As newspaper publishers all seek to move their print content
online, they realize that customers expect more current and 
up-to-date information on the web. These newspapers are used to
the 24 hour news cycle, but now their readers seek instant
updates to breaking news stories online. One of the most
interesting sessions offered at Seybold this year was abruptly
arranged following last week's terrorist attacks - to address
how the web handled breaking news coverage.

Panelists included representatives from CBS Marketwatch & USA
Today online versions beside two popular weblogs discussing
differences in web coverage between major media conglomerates
and "amateur" web journalists. Once again, publishing David
versus Goliath.

There was no concensus reached on one being better than the
other, but universal agreement that the resulting information
flow was much richer and more widely available to the public
because of the web. This show rated an A+ at a very difficult
time for the economy and web business. I'd also say that I'm
grateful that Seybold Seminars elected bravely to hold it so
soon after the attacks that cancelled so many other events.

Mike Valentine does Search Engine Placement for the Small

WebSite101 "Reading List" Weekly Netrepreneur Tip Sheet
Weekly Ezine emphasizing small business on the Internet

                Guest Article

Ezine Tips: Hosting Your Ezine
by Richard Lowe Jr. & Claudia Arevalo-Lowe
Copyright 2001(C)
So you want to start an ezine and you don't know what to do
next. You've got a great web site, perhaps a product to sell
or just some information to disseminate. Now what do you do?

One of the tasks that you need to perform is to find someplace
which will distribute the newsletter to your subscribers. Well,
actually, there is a lot more to it than just distribution.
There is a whole plethora of tasks associated with a newsletter
(besides writing and formatting the copy itself).

Handling subscriptions - People must be allowed to subscribe
and unsubscribe from your ezine. The hosting service should
send an acknowledgement for all transactions.

Reporting - You will want to know how well your ezine is doing.
This should include statistics like how many people subscribed
and unsubscribed, how long they lasted and so on.

Double Opt-In - Don't even think about creating any kind of
email publication that is not double opt-in. This means a
person has to sign up for your publication. He then receives
an email which he must acknowledge. This is vital because it
eliminates the possibility of someone getting subscribed
accidentally or by someone else.

Sending the newsletter itself - Of course, you should be able
to send out your newsletter.

I tried several different services and methods as my ezine
publication evolved.

Free hosting - I started with Bravenet, which is an excellent
service for beginners and small users. If your list is fairly
small (less than 500 members) their services are free. Larger
lists, or lists without advertisements, can be purchased if
needed. If memory serves, these services generally do not
archive older newsletters for you - that's up to you.

There used to be a large number of companies which did this
kind of thing, but lately I've noticed many of them seem to
have disappeared (including the bCentral offering). I suspect
this has to do with the current status of internet advertising.

Groups - Another way to handle a newsletter is to use a service
such as Yahoo Egroups, Topica or Smartgroups. These services
are all free and they do an adequate job of automating signups
and deletions. The reporting is weak to nonexistent, but if
that's not something you need than you won't miss it.

The main disadvantage of these groups, in my opinion, is the
amount of advertising that your readers get exposed to. If you
don't mind the advertisements and don't need the reporting,
then they will probably be fine.

A significant advantage of groups over free hosting services
such as Bravenet is the groups can get as large as you want
and still remain free. The groups also support archives of
your newsletters and have quite a few other nice features.

Self-submitting - I outgrew Bravenet and tried hosting my
newsletter on my own website. This worked for a while, until
my host had trouble with their sendmail routines. At that
point I had to find a new way to send out my list.

There are several problems with hosting your newsletter
yourself. I sent out my newsletter through my web host
(using a set of CGI routines), and they really were not
set up to do that kind of thing. Thus, the service was
sporadic and spotty at best.

In addition, sending your own list through your ISP or web
host has a number of other associated dangers. First, they
may decide you are sending too many emails, especially if
they do not provide that service as part of their offering.
This could result in cancellation. Some user could also
report you for spamming (even if you are not) and this could
also result in account cancellation.

Professionally hosted - I finally decided it was time to look
for a professional service. I settled on a service called
Talklist, and I must say I am now very happy with their
offering. It is a little expensive (about $30 a month), but
the service is perfect, the newsletter goes out quickly and
I have no worries.

With a professional service, everything is done automatically.
The only thing I have to worry about is (a) promoting my
newsletter, and (b) writing the copy. Additions and subtractions
are handled for me, and the reporting is excellent.

However you decide to host your newsletter, try and find a
method which allows you to concentrate on your newsletter.
You don't need to add the complications of managing
subscriptions and sending emails to your life - it's just
wasting time.

Personally, now that I've tried professional newsletter hosting,
I would never even consider going back to any other option. It
works and it works well.

Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at - Visit our website any time to read
over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your
internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.
              Copyright  2001 Mike Valentine
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  October 1, 2001