Search for the Keyword!
September 27, 1999
Home | About Us | Course Outline | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Links



A Short Weekly Tip-Sheet for Small Business Web Masters
September 27, 1999 Issue #12
Mike Valentine, Editor,


By subscription only Welcome to the September 27, 1999 issue


You are receiving this issue because you subscribed.
unsubscribe by using the address at the bottom of page.


=> Sponsor: Directory of Ezines
=> Feature article: Seek and Ye Shall Find!
=> Our Guest Column: Don't Give Me No Solutions!
=> Subscribe/Unsubscribe information
=> Classifieds
=> Press Release from
(An unusual thing to run, but well worth it!)

SPONSOR of this issue


The Secret to Success is the ability to reach MILLIONS
OF READERS right from your finger tips and without

CUSTOMIZE Your Search Results! NEW enhanced searchable
database for the Directory of Ezines just got better!

New Advanced Search Option, advertisers can really ZERO-IN
to find the BEST ezines & BEST value for their advertising needs.

Find exactly what ezines you need, in less time and with better
results. Ad rates, circulation, ad rules, which accept articles,
and a whole lot more!

What do you get when 16 MILLION EYEBALLS
are looking at you? Results!


Search for the Keys Online!

by Mike Banks Valentine

My wife often waits until she is late for an appointment to
start looking for her car keys. They are never in her purse
or on the kitchen table by the back door where she drops
everything else she had in her hands when she came in from
the car the last time she drove it. For some reason the keys
always end up in the bathroom, under a towel on the sink-
top, or under the recliner in the living room, where she
collapsed after a long rough workday the evening before.

I often suggest we look for the keys after dinner, so that
she can avoid the frantic search the next morning. She'll
ask me to drop what I'm doing in the a.m., whether I'm brush-
ing my teeth or dressing, to help her look for them. This is
probably normal for a lot of people. But she panics before
actually searching for the keys and asks me if I know where
they are!

The thing that always irks me beyond belief is that after
rousting ME out of bed on my day off to help her look for them,
SHE finds them just as I stumble to the kitchen and start
to look near the coffee pot, (so that I can sneak a quick
morning "wake-cup".) This has some parallels with business on
the web and searching the internet for keys to your problems.

I'm often fascinated with the call from a frantic, harried
client asking me to quickly find them some information on
the latest software for their business online, or the writer
asking how to find translators on the web . . . or my friend
looking for the perfect graphics online for their Powerpoint
presentation tomorrow. The key is . . . just search for it!

I'm a big proponent of search engines and search engine
optimization of business web sites. I study the latest news
on ranking well in the various engines and directories. I
find it fascinating that some webmasters won't bother with
this important task when I'm doing a web search for say . . .
financial humor, as I was last night. That search yielded the
same top result repeatedly in several search engines because
the owner of ONE site made it important enough to insert a
few "key" words, description and title metatags in his HTML.

This week I had a client call to ask me to search for MFCC
license information (Marriage, Family and Child Counselor).
I told them, "Hang on, I'm online now, I'll take a look."
In about 30 seconds I was on a state government licensure
listing site, where we confirmed that a therapist was NOT
licensed in California. In less time than it took him to call
me, we had "keyed in" on an answer to his question.

Now what confuses me is . . . why didn't he just log on and
do that web search himself? We have abundant information at
our fingertips and fail to use the incredible tools at hand.
Search engines really do a great job of turning up the infor-
mation you want and people are reluctant to use them. Just
don't wake me up at 6am to help you look for
You've already got the keys and I haven't had my coffee yet!


Don't Gimme No Solutions!

by June Campbell

Ever thought that this whole technology thing is just too
confusing for the average person to understand? Ever visited a
web site to learn about a new computer product only to leave
the site muttering, "I don't get it. It's way too complicated?"

Well, if you have, you're not alone, and the problem may not be
of your making. The way I see it, the technology marketers on
the Information Superhighway are spinning their wheels in a
morass of jargon and hype. The result? A phenomenal tendency
to say much and communicate little. When these Marketer Persons
put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, who the *^&* knows
what they're talking about? Not me, and certainly not the end
user, the person who might actually want to buy the product, if
they knew what it was and what it cost and how they might use it

For example, after spending ten minutes trying to interpret a
press release that somebody sent me, I gave up in despair and
went to the company's Web site, where, it was promised, full
details would be provided. What did I find? You guessed it.
After clicking my way through several pages of slowly
downloading Web files, the only thing I knew for sure was the
name of the owner of the company and the fact that they were
launching a wonderful new "solution" that they believed would
solve somebody's problem. But who's problem? And how? Don't
ask me. How much does it cost? That's top secret information,
apparently. How do I buy it, supposing for some perverted
reason I wanted to purchase a mystery product? Classified

Here's a tip, gratis, for all you people who are trying to
promote, sell or market technology related products. FORGET THE
COULD UNDERSTAND! Because just maybe Aunt Mable might buy it
if you lost the spin and told her exactly what it is you've got
for sale.

Let me give you an example. Wade through today's collection of
junk mail. Do you see anything from McDonalds inviting you to
phone them and ask for details about their proprietary,
integrated nutritional solution, developed in-house and
designed to accommodate your daily basal metabolic requirements
for dietary supplements? My guess is you won't find that. You
will find information about their HAMBURGERS AND FRIES. You'll
even find the prices mentioned right up front for the whole
world to see.

This unusual approach, which involves actually stating what it
is you are selling, and how much it costs, and how a person can
order it, has apparently worked well for outfits like
McDonalds, and GAP and Ford and the other big names in retail
sales. How about giving it a try in the technology industry as

The ability to spew forth jargon like a volcano spews molten
lava might impress other marketing people and possibly
government employees. But remember, gentle launcher of a new
product, it is not other marketing people who will become your
customers, and it is not other marketing people who will read
your press releases. It is the public, the great unwashed, who
you want to reach with your marketing message. And they won't
waste their time trying to figure out marketing material that
comes chock full of 'bummph', a term coined by my
grandfather, which loosely translated, means 'bull droppings.'

Don't waste my time telling me that you're launching
a "remarkable new solution that promotes integrated data
management of media content that will realize better return on
investment (ROI), and that, in fact GISTICS has evaluated
potential ROI to be as high as 16:1. (GISTICS, 1997) with
general benefits translating from enterprise to workgroup to
individual users, and ultimately represent new revenue streams,
a reduction of resource requirements, and less down-time
between projectsÉ."

Tell me what the dickens it is you are selling, why I might
need it, how it'll help me. Say it plainly. Give examples.
Lose the word "solution", which as become a mean-nothing, over-
used term if ever there was one.
Oh, and one last thing. Tell me the price. When I stroll
through the shopping malls, every item on display has a clearly
marked price tag. To my untrained eyes, this approach to
selling seems to work well, based on the numbers of people who
load their carts at shopping malls, boutiques and
supermarkets. Speaking of supermarkets, did you ever notice
the items that are displayed for sale beside the cash register?
How many people would buy that magazine or that package of gum
if they had to email away a request for pricing and ordering
information and then return two days later when the information
had arrived? My guess is, sales of Juicy Fruit would go down,
down, down.

Before I finish my rant du jour, here's a little quiz to see
whether you've been paying attention. Please answer the
following skill testing question:

Q. I am reading this newsletter because: (pick one)

a. It's an integrated, information distribution solution that
enhances my awareness of the issues generated by and pertinent
to digital technologies.
b. It's an integrated solution to entertainment and time
management challenges.
c. It's got some cool business information and the price is

If you selected 'c', please rip out this column and mail it to
the Marketing Person of your choice.

June Campbell is a professional writer. Visit her Business
Resources Site ( to subscribe to
The Roundup -- a FREE business ezine or to enter a contest to
win a "How-To Booklet" for business plans, proposals,
brochures, etc.! You'll find free articles, a daily business
news feed, a currency converter and much more.


Join LearningFOUNT,
An email discussion list for executives and entrepreneurs.
Help build a community where we all help each other
develop good business STRATEGY and SOLVE PROBLEMS

To subscribe, send a blank email to:


Cyber-Tized Internet Designs set it up on your server, or ours.
Most set-up fees under $30.00 and we get you going in 12 hours
or less. Visit: or


adURLplates! advertise your web site as you DRIVE
Join me on the freeway and take a look at mine on the car
by driving to
Drive Traffic to your web site!



(List owner note) At WebSite101 we rarely come across services
that impress us the way has. Since signing up with
their service we have received daily e-mail inquiries about our
services from serious buyers. Please consider taking a look at
what they have to offer your businesses products or services
online. And yes, they do offer us brownie points for referring
new SELLERS to them. They'll do the same for you. Please tell
them WebSite101 sent you if you sign up for this (free) service. Emailshopping

With Emailshopping, is changing the way people shop
online, helping buyers find exactly what they are looking for
without time-consuming research, while delivering high-value,
demand-driven leads right to sellers' email inboxes.

To use the service, buyers fill out a simple request form describ-
ing the product or service they are looking for and send it to forwards the requests anonymously to
all sellers registered in the appropriate categories. Sellers
reply to, and those replies are forwarded to the
buyers' email inboxes. Buyers, who are still anonymous, decide
if they want to contact the sellers directly. The service is
completely free to the buyer, with no obligation to buy.

" is dramatically simplifying the online shopping
experience for buyers, and is providing a great service for
businesses by introducing them to new customers. The Internet
is really about low cost, communication, convenience and
efficiency, and these are the strengths of," said
Jim Barksdale of The Barksdale Group. "I'm glad to be joining
John Hummer and Bill Gurley on the board of this exciting new
company and look forward to helping realize the
potential of its revolutionary e-commerce model."


Respond.comTM ( is the
leading online shopping service that connects buyers with sellers
through email. Buyers can efficiently shop for a wide range of
goods and services through a simple descriptive request process
that protects their anonymity. Sellers are introduced to
customers who are ready to buy, without the need for a storefront
or a website. Based in Menlo Park, California, the company is
funded by The Barksdale Group, Benchmark Capital and Hummer
Winblad Venture Partners. was founded in 1998.

"Shopping The World For You"
(650) 462-6700

Copyright © 1999 Mike Valentine

Please feel free to forward this issue to anyone who
might be interested. Please keep copyright intact and
forward only complete issues if you spread the word!

To subscribe send a blank e-mail

--------------WebSite101: Reading List-------------------
Mike Valentine
WebSite 101




Home | About Us | Course Outline | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Links