• Future tool: Weatherbug
    The Weatherbug (www.weatherbug.com) is a free program that can be downloaded to PCs (no Macs for now), courtesy of Automated Weather Source Convergence Technologies (AWS). From your Windows Desktop, the program delivers local weather data for almost any U.S. location, which is chosen by the user by entering a zip code as part of a registration process. Some 500,000 have registered so far, and sign-up rates are climbing, reports Andy Jedynak, AWS vice president. Data is generated from more than 4,500 locations, with automated measuring hardware installed mostly at schools. Weatherbug offers real-time, constantly updated, local weather data over the ...
  • How to Buy Interactive TV Spots
    ‘Personal TV services’ such as TiVo, Wink, and WebTV are gaining ground. How will you reach an audience that no longer has to watch ads?

    Interactive TV is basically video-based programming that combines regular shows with an interactive component like graphics on video, the ability to record programming in real time for later review, or—and here’s where your ears should perk up—creating interactive ads, known as “enhancements,” so viewers can order products and services during their TV watching experience. Phillips, Sony, and others manufacture the “black boxes,” or DVRs (Digital Video Recorders) as they’re called, that carry the subscription-based ...

  • Sweepstakes Primer: You've Just Won!
    Sweepstakes and incentives are proving successful at building traffic and collecting consumer information. And they can be up and running in a matter of hours.

    Now that online consumers have seen enough banner ads to make them sputter, and web surfers are overwrought with spam campaigns and e-junk mail, what is the future going to hold for advertisers who want their audiences to feel invited rather than repelled by the images flashing before them on the computer screen? How do they reach the over-stimulated masses? Simple. Entice them by offering something nice.

    Let’s face it, people like to ...

  • MEDIA FOR THE ONLINE WORLD - Buying Online Why Do We Still Hesitate?
    Here’s a quick quiz. What do Furniture.com, Garden.com, Beautyjungle.com, Pets.com, Mortgage.com, Shoplink.com, and Toysmart.com have in common? If you guessed that they are all e-commerce businesses and that they all folded in the last two months, then you are correct.

    In fact, about 20 dot-coms went out of business in the first two weeks of November, which is nearly the number for the entire month of October. Actually, the entire year has been rough for Internet companies with over 130 dot-coms closing down since January, resulting in about 8,000 layoffs according to findings of a survey by Webmergers.com. This ...

  • Anatomy of a Buy: Out of the Box
    Volvo is using the Internet almost exclusively to push its more modern, sexier S60 to a wired buyer’s market.

    “They’re Boxy, But They’re Good!” was the parody slogan coined for Volvo in the ‘80s movie Crazy People. In the year 2000, Volvos are no longer boxy, but they’re still good. This is due in large part to the Volvo Car Corporation’s effort to make your dad’s car appealing to you. To rope in the moneyed thirty-something demographic—“people who are technology oriented,” says Phil Bienert, Volvo’s west-coast head of marketing—the company has just launched their Revolvolution campaign (www.revolvolution.com).

    Based ...

  • InternetUniversity: Streaming
    In its broadest definition, streaming media is a constant current or flow of mass communication. Thanks to this technology, users can listen to music and watch video in real time over the Internet. So, how does it work? Let’s use streaming audio as an example. When attempting to listen to music over the Internet, users are faced with two options. They can download the entire audio file to their computer or they can stream it. Downloading the entire file takes too much time and hard disk space. But, by using technology such as RealPlayer or Windows Media Player, users can ...
  • Branding on the Web
    Branding has been an obsession for advertisers for decades, and since the Internet has come of age, emerging as a whole new medium their question has been “can the Internet be used for branding?” The answer, at least for now, is yes—as long as we’re talking about “brand awareness.”

    Why brand awareness and not brand creation or building? In short, because banners don’t make us cry, says John Rubino, managing partner for Landor Associates, a leading brand-consulting firm that has assisted Microsoft, Federal Express and other well known companies in staking out brand dominance.

    Banners, sponsorships, classifieds, referrals, ...

  • MEDIA FOR THE ONLINE WORLD - The CueCat, a Pur-fectly Fine Internet Technology
    I recently received the :CueCat reader in the mail and, like many Internet toys that I run across, I greeted it with both skepticism and curiosity. This reader is a cat-shaped, handheld plug-in device about the size of a computer mouse that scans and reads any product code (i.e., the little black bar UPC symbols that are on virtually every product sold).

    The :CueCat reader interacts with supplied software and converts the scanned codes into web addresses that can launch a web browser to the corresponding web page. The basic idea is that—with just a swipe of the reader—it ...

  • Pushing the Envelope - Your Digital Delivery is here
    Anxious about entrusting a month’s worth of work to a man wearing knee socks and shorts? Well, now you can breathe a little easier, knowing that your ad materials are being delivered electronically.

    You’ve held the hot ad material in your hand, walked to the end of the hall while sealing the gummy fold of the overnight package. Perhaps there’s a sense of relief when you drop the package into that dark box. Perhaps that sense of relief is coupled with anxiety: It will get there on time, right?

    As many ad traffickers are learning, it is now ...

  • InternetUniversity - What is Wireless?
    These days it seems like you can’t swing an old-style corded phone without smacking some publication hyping the wireless web as “The Next Big Thing.” From digital e-conomy trade rags to the popular press, wireless web access has captured the imaginations of users and developers alike. Tons of money is being poured into developing new devices, launching new services, and promoting new sites.

    But what’s the story behind the hype? What is all this wireless stuff about anyway? And how is it going to affect you, your life, and your business in the future?

    Let’s start at the ...

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