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Ecommerce / Web Marketing Ezine
December 29 2001 

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Taming the Beast Ezine - December 29 2001

Contents:

- A note from Michael and Kathy

- TTB Associate Spotlight

1. New free web master / ecommerce classifieds

2. New mailing list management software implemented

3. Article Summary - Ecommerce site development series

4. Article Summary - Internet/Ecommerce statistics

5. Some web masters just don't get it!! - Malicious scripts..

6. From the archives - Writing a web development proposal

- Closing Notes, subscription and contact details

December 29 2001

Greetings All,

Wow! What a fortnight - we've had to increase our data transfer quota by yet another gigabyte to allow for the extra traffic! Thanks to all our regular visitors for your support and welcome to the many new subscribers to Taming the Beast Ezine!

The last TTB Ezine for 2001 and what an amazing year it's been - on many fronts. It seems that everyone we have spoken to has experienced major triumphs and traumas all in the one year. The times - they are a changin'.... We wish all of you the very best for 2002!

2002 on Taming the Beast.net promises to be a year of continious expansion of web master services. We look forward to building stronger alliances with web developers around the world.

In this week's ezine, we review TTB's new free classified section. We'll bring you up to date on mailing list changes that may interest some web masters in regards to the scripts we are using - they're pretty incredible - and free! We'll also shake our heads in amazement at a pitiful attempt from one webmaster at explaining malicious VBScript code implementation, and summarise two of the latest articles from Taming the Beast.net.

This week's "From the Archives" article deals with drafting web development proposals - we hope you find it useful.

Many articles are available from our site, free for reproduction on your web site or ezine. Subjects covered include Web Design, Internet Promotion and Marketing, Security and of a general cyberspace related theme. The article index can be viewed at:

http://www.tamingthebeast.net/
articles/articlemain.htm



Please forward this newsletter on to those who you feel may be interested in the subjects discussed. Unsubscribe details at the end of the newsletter.

TAMING THE BEAST CONSULTANCY SERVICES

Need a site developed? Want to boost your search engine rankings? Dont' have the time to do it yourself? Review the many consultancy services offered by Taming the Beast:

http://www.tamingthebeast.net/
admin/about.htm



Michael and Kathy

===============================

TTB Associate Spotlight

The Computer News - http://www.thecomputernews.com has always been a great source of current computer industry headlines and tutorials. If you have a computer related site, you can now also take part in their new TopSites program! This is an experimental program designed to assist web masters in boosting certain search engine rankings. Check out thecomputernews.com for details!

===============================

1. Announcing TTB's new Web Master Classifieds section!!

Looking for a great place to buy or sell web design or other Internet development services? Advertise in the new Taming the Beast Classifieds section! 

Thousands of visitors from over 70 different countries utilize Taming the Beast.net every week as an Internet resource for web development, ecommerce, marketing, hosting and many other information technology based services.

This is a great opportunity for you to market your products and services - and for a limited time, posting classifieds is free!

Submitting an ad is quick and easy. Try it out, post your ad for free today!

http://www.tamingthebeast.net/
cgi-bin/classifieds/index.cgi



------------------------------------

2. No more Excel based subscriber lists!

Well, we've finally turfed the old spread sheet used for keeping track of our subscribers. It served us well, but after Kathy threatened disemboweling me with a wooden spatula (again), I thought it wise to find a more automated mailing list manager. We found it - MojoMail. It is an incredible system and it's free! We highly recommend it to any site owner maintaining a sizable mailing list. It is a Perl script; so you will need appropriate server configurations. For further details:

http://mojo.skazat.com/

For site owners without access to Perl script functionality, or the time/inclination to configure a list management system, there is another solution! We will be offering list management services early in 2002. If you are interested in utilising this service, drop us a line for further details:

lists@tamingthebeast.net

------------------------------------

3. Article summary - Internet / Ecommerce Statistics

This article contains some interesting facts and figures gathered during 23-30 December 2001 from Taming the Beast's log files and other research and marketing companies.

View the article:

http://www.tamingthebeast.net/
articles/statdec01.htm


------------------------------------

4. Article summary - Basic ecommerce web site design and development - Part 1 

This new series examines the many different stages in preparing your web site for online sales and credit card transactions. It will assist you in making a more educated decision before implementing ecommerce software, web development packages and add-ons, or purchasing commercial web site hosting.

View the article:

http://www.tamingthebeast.net/
articles/ecommerce-site-s1p1.htm



-----------------------------------------

5. Some web masters just don't get it!!!

The following thread was submitted by one of our subscribers in relation to a recent article on TTB regarding malicious JavaScripts. In case you didn't read it, you can view the article here:

http://www.tamingthebeast.net/articles
/bookmarkingfavorites.htm



==================================
From: Fozman 
Sent: Wednesday, 19 December 2001 12:28 AM
To: michael@tamingthebeast.net
Subject: Articles - Bookmarking and "Favorites" scripts - The ethical and unethical way

Hi,

With reference to Bookmarking - the unethical way

I came across the unethical technique just the other day, on entering a site my virus checker kicked in and informed me that JS/IEStart was trying to run. At first I assumed that this was some virus that the site owners were unaware of, so I emailed them to let them know about the problem - 

This was their first reply -
------- 
"Hi,

We have no viruses on our site. It is an auto-bookmark script that shows
this meesage. Try uploading your antivirus program to higher version.

Best Regards,"
-------
So I emailed back that I would check out updates to my software
------- 
"Hi,

Thanks for getting back to me

My virus checker is as follows, as you can see it is current, 

McAfee VirusScan v4.5.0
Virus definitions : 4.0.4174
Created on : 4 December 2001
Scan engine : 4.1.40

I will check for the latest version of the virus definitions and see how things go."
------- 
Then came their next reply
------- 
"It is not a virus! Your anti-virus program thinks it is a virus because it changes your start up page without your knowledge. That's what Java Script does. The internet pages can't have a virus. You have to download an executable program and run it to get a virus."
-------
In the intervening time I had done some research and found out that what they were using was not JavaScript but a vbs script, so I sent the following reply

"Hi,

When I updated my virus software as you recommended, I found the following link http://vil.nai.com/vil/
virusSummary.asp?virus_k=99066



This information seems to be at odds with your reply.

So we will see what they have to say next :)"

----------

Thanks to Fozman for giving us permission to publish the thread. We look forward to hearing the conclusion to this epic. Some people shouldn't be allowed to have web sites....

I don't think much more needs to be said..... ;0)

--------- 

6. From the archives - How to write a basic web development proposal 

When competing for web design/implementation contracts; a professionally presented web design proposal more often than not decides whether you win or lose the project. A web design proposal also decreases the incidences of misunderstandings between yourself and your clients when the project is under way and acts as a basis for a formal contract.

When putting together a basic web site proposal, you should include the following elements:

Your Information:

Your background or company history, qualifications, skills, past achievements and contact details.

Project Overview:

The company you are submitting the proposal for, your understanding of their products and services, the target market, the goals of the web site and a rough outline of how you will achieve them.

Theme:

A description of style of site you are proposing. Elements from the client's current branding you will utilise or new elements you will develop.

Special Considerations:

such as language, security or other issues pertaining to the company, site or target market that will need to be addressed.

Flowchart:

 A diagram showing the different pages of the site how navigation will occur.

Flowchart Description:

 A detailed description of each page.

Development Timeline: 

This should be a description of each stage of development, the estimated completion date and notes regarding client consultation and supply of information/feedback from the client. This may also include milestone payments for involved projects and site promotion activities. Make it clear that traffic takes time to build up after implementation and promotion should only occur after the site has been tested thoroughly. Improper implementation can cost months of traffic.

Costing:

A descriptive breakdown of costing and total of quote including an end date before the price will need to be re-calculated. This will include items such as domain name registration, hosting fees and outsourcing for sections of the site you will not be able to develop yourself. Ensure you take into account items including travel time, electricity,telephone amd consumables. Factor in the cost of the proposal as well; a good proposal will take hours of your time and you should be compensated for that. In your eagerness to gain the contract, you may lose money if you quote too close to the bone. Bear in mind that things rarely go strictly to plan in web design and delays can be expected. Time is money. The going rate for web design services seems to be between US$25-$75 per labour hour at present; dependent upon the complexity of the task and the competency of the designer.

Terms and conditions: 

Expectations and commitments. It is not unusual for web projects to be delayed due to clients not supplying feedback or content necessary to complete sections. It is just as important to be clear in what you expect from your clients as well as explaining your commitment to them. Conflict resolution issues and feedback mechanisms should be described. Your clients will need to know what will occur if they do not supply information when requested, or request changes mid-stream and the action that you will take if you are running behind in the project yourself. You need to be clear on payment details and consequences of failure to pay for the services that you provide.

Mock-ups (samples).

Be careful not to give too much away, just enough to give the client a good idea of what the site will look like. Ensure copyright notices and intellectual property statements are in place.

Maintenance. 

Summarize an offer of ongoing site maintenance or the implications of the client deciding to update or maintain the site themselves after it has been established.

The above points are usually sufficient to put together a professional web design proposal for a small to medium project. If drafting a proposal based on criteria given to you by the prospective client; be sure to address all the points. If the client suggests the proposal documentation be a certain format, respect that. In the culling process, the first proposals to be binned will be the ones that do not address all the criteria the client has laid down.

Bear in mind that not all the web design proposals you submit will be accepted. Be prepared to do some heavy revisions to satisfy your clients and to find a middle ground where all parties feel comfortable. A prospective client asking for revisions is a good sign - they are genuinely interested. Also remember that some companies will ask you for proposals purely to use as a comparison against another designer that they are interested in utilising; so try and limit the amount of time you spend on the draft until the client gives indication of serious interest. 

If you would like some information on where and how to locate freelance web development employment and projects; follow this link:

http://www.tamingthebeast.net/
articles/webprojectscontracts.htm




Michael Bloch 
michael@tamingthebeast.net
http://www.tamingthebeast.net
Tutorials, web content and tools, software and community.
Web Marketing, eCommerce & Development solutions. 
____________________________

Copyright information....If you wish to reproduce this article, please acknowledge "Taming the Beast" by including a hyperlink reference to the website (http://www.tamingthebeast.net) & send me an email letting me know. The article must be reproduced in it's entirety & this copyright statement must be included. Thanks. Visit www.tamingthebeast.net to view other great articles FREE for reproduction!
------------------------------------


Well, that's all for this Taming the Beast update. We are very open to feedback, so please don't hesitate in contacting us.

Take care of yourselves on New Years Eve. In 2002, we hope for a better world.

Regards from Australia

Michael Bloch & Katherine Tyndale
Taming the Beast - Established 1995
michael@tamingthebeast.net 
kathy@tamingthebeast.net
www.tamingthebeast.net
Tutorials, web content and tools, software and community
Marketing, eCommerce and Web Development Services

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