May 2002

BADGIRL SWIRL.COM RE-LAUNCHES with improved forums (chat), integrated by OMIX. BadGirlSwirl.com is a marketing site designed to encourage a community surrounding the popular "Bad Girl's Guide" book series by Cameron Tuttle (over 500,000 copies sold). Talk about encouraging a community! - There have been almost 10,000 posted messages on the site since it was first launched in June of 2001. New posts and new members are growing at 10% per month, and this community will very likely be interested in buying "Bad Girl's Guide to the Party Life" coming out this summer.

WHY WI-FI? Wi-Fi is a wireless way to put a high-speed network in your home or office, and industry insiders are saying that the number of Wi-Fi connected systems is doubling every quarter. It is based on the IEEE 802.11b standard, which runs at Ethernet speeds with a range of about 300 feet. The 802.11a standard is 5 times faster, but with a shorter range. Be SURE to implement encryption. It's painful to do, but before you turn it off, be aware that someone could be in your parking lot looking at all of your wireless cash register transactions or other important data.

REVENUE SHARING TO AVOID BEING AMAZONED. Being Amazoned used to mean your competitor ate your lunch by putting up a Web site first. Now small companies are being "Amazoned" by not being able to afford the fancy Web features that Amazon.com customers have come to expect. Small businesses also find that packaged Web e-commerce tools can make the problem even worse by representing their business as a generic widget on-line catalog. OMIX, which architected and helped to implement Amazon's first new car sales site, is now finding real interest among small brick and mortar companies to build out their Web sites by using our industrial grade infrastructure but paying for it through a revenue sharing model.

SEARCH ENGINE LISTING techniques are generating more and more interest among OMIX customers. Companies report that a growing percentage of their leads are coming from potential customers finding their business by searching on the Net. It may simply be that trying to catch a friend by phone is proving to take longer than a Net search. OMIX recommends tuning your site for Yahoo and Google, the most popular engines. This is especially true if you have obscure search terms, making it more likely your site will come near the top of the results list.

PAY FOR CLICKS still seems to be gaining momentum. Pay for Clicks means you get charged for each click-through from a search engine. Looksmart.com used to be OMIX's favorite way to register, with a one-time charge to get on about 10 search engines. They now have a new payment model that requires you to fund an account that gets debited at 15 cents per click-through to your site. Yahoo recently increased their price so that instead of the $299 one-time registration fee, they now charge $299 per year. In case you didn't know it, most search sites order your search finds according to who is paying the most for clicks. If people find your site with very common terms such as "travel," it may be worth paying for clicks at $.15 to $2 each. Some businesses find it is a cost effective way to generate leads. A local limousinecompany reportsgenerating almost 100% of its new sales from paying for clicks on searches for "San Francisco limousine" with Overture.com.

NOSTALGIC GIFTS can really be fun and cheap to buy on the Web. Do you have a board game that you loved when you were a kid? I bought Parker Brothers "Careers" on eBay.com for $7.00, a way cool game I now play with my kids. If you don't like bidding, eBay's sister site, half.com, sells cool old stuff at a set price. I found some neat out of print videos there. Also, check out CaliforniaCandy.com, which has the biggest selection of candies from your youth (if they still are made). They also have a killer inventory of M&M's that you can order in any color you want.

FOR QUESTIONS, REMOVALS, OR TO RECEIVE OMIX NEWS contact Kyle Hurlbut at 650-330-8980, kyle@OMIX.com