Image may not be everything, but it can be money in the bank. Does your training consultancy or department have an Internet or intranet presence? If not, this is the book for you. If you do have a presence, has the venture been a successful marketing tool? If not, you can make it more successful and more profitable. In Connecting Online, Emily N. Avila and Gregory R. Sherwin have put together a step-by-step handbook with everything you need to know about the technology, the marketplace, and the prevailing “netiquette” to build a site from the ground up and to create a successful image online.
By Sherwin, Gregory R. / Avila, Emily N.Published by Oasis Press; January, 1998470 PagesISBN: 155571403X
The hype surrounding the Internet as “the marketplace” has misled even the most sophisticated companies into fiscally costly errors. For example, the Internet arm of one successful company failed to determine whether its chosen domain name was available before launching its online venture. Now the business that already owned the domain name is cashing in on the high volume of traffic it receives from misdirected users. If that first company had read Connecting Online, this simple but costly mistake could have been avoided.
Although billed as a book on using the Internet for public relations (PR), Connecting Online is really Internet 101, with a primer on PR thrown in. The text may not be as richly illustrated as I’d like; I had one associate throw it down in disgust, asking, “Where are the pictures? I’ve never seen a marketing book without lots of color pictures.” The book is so rich in information, however, that it is worth the effort to read it, even if it only offers a few black-and-white images to tempt the eye.
The authors cover the Internet experience as it relates to the image you create for yourself or your business online, from networking to not ticking people off. Connecting Online walks you through every aspect of getting from “we want to use the Internet to promote our business/services” to your first webcast. Everything is there:
- Creating the vision
- Choosing the content
- Designing the look and feel
- How to get from those planning and design stages to the finished live site
I’m certain most TechRepublic readers are already Internet savvy, but Connecting Online is so thorough, even the proficient “webbie” can learn a few tricks here, like taking advantage of News Groups and similar forms for “networking.” The book also points out that users read information differently online than in the more traditional media—text-rich Web sites will be abandoned in favor of those with more distractions. And the section on designing graphic images for your Web pages can quite easily apply to briefing slides or training materials, as well.
There are five appendices on special subjects such as Security and using webcasts. Do you want to know how FTP works? It’s there too, in addition to many other helpful topics. The authors have also included a glossary of Internet and Internet-related terms. As part of the Successful Business Library series, it contains a questionnaire on what you did and didn’t like about the book (for example, no color pictures?).
Connecting Online is a great reference for almost anyone using the Internet to promote a business, especially if you’re a newbie. Marketing your services or your organization online is quite a bit different from marketing in traditional media. You can do it right with Connecting Online.
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Barbara Karst-Sabin has been a tech writer and analyst for nearly 15 years. Karst-Sabin is an independent contractor with her own business, Words and Pictures, and is currently developing web content on the Win2K OS for Hewlett Packard.