April 2003

BE EMAIL AWARE. As more and more business is transacted by email, safe email practices are becoming increasingly important. You should assume that unintended parties might be able to read your email. Don't send really sensitive stuff or tirades - especially rants, which ALWAYS increase your vulnerability. Try to delete email after about 90 days; having a record is nice, but also can create a gold mine for hackers and lawyers. Boeing is said to have a 15MB limit, but you need to determine your own balance between safety and productivity. Remember that large or strangely formatted attachments can cause difficulties for your recipients. Try to CC only people who really want or need the email, not the entire list. And finally, don't waste people's time with chain letters or urban legends; you can check for validity at www.urbanlegends.com and www.snopes.com.

GOOGLE YOUR MARKET. When Yahoo stops using Google and starts using its newly purchased Inktomi search engine, you'll have to revisit this strategy. But for now, maximizing your site for Google is still the way to go. The Google engine makes you look good when important information hubs link to your site, so link share marketing can be well worth the effort. First, you'll need some really useful content on your site; then try to get links from the sites your competitors have (see next blurb) or
other hub sites. Send a personal email offering a free link on your Web site and asking for a reciprocal link from the sites you target. Don't be afraid to post links to your competitors ? this may even cause Google to list your site ahead of theirs! See Eric Wolfram's article on this at www.wolfram.org/....

BACK LINK CHECK. A back link is a Web link to your site from another site. To find out who is back linking to you, go to www.google.com, then type link: http://www.YOUR_SITE_NAME_HERE.com in the search field, and you'll get a list of the sites that link to you. Find out how you compare with your competitors. One way to start adding back links to your site is to register for free on www.dmoz.org (patiently, because this site is slow!) This will give you a free link from the Google directory as well as from dmoz. But don't bother with sites that sell back links to your site - Google knows to ignore them.

NEED MORE GOOGLING? Check out www.google.com/press/..., which lists the top search terms for the week and month. If you review the archives, you'll realize that Michael Jackson has been replaced by Jessica Lynch!

FREE PORTAL/CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM called Plone is available from an open source group at www.plone.org. Plone allows users like the Governor of Texas to set up CMS and portal systems that even allow non-programmers to add content. At www.plone.org, you can also see a streaming video on how the State of Hawaii uses plone. For an open source community site check out www.OpenACS.org.

INVALUABLE CUSTOMER INSIGHTS. OMIX wanted to conduct 45-minute interviews with customers of www.RealmCrossing.com recently, in order to design a new UI for the site based on solid information. An email offering a $25 Amazon.com gift certificate for their time was sent to the entire Realm Crossing customer list, and over 10% volunteered! We chose 5 of the most promising "experts" in our field of interest and gleaned invaluable information from them for only $125!

FOR QUESTIONS, REMOVALS, OR TO RECEIVE OMIX NEWS, contact Kyle Hurlbut at 650-364-1598, kyle@OMIX.com. See www.OMIX.com