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From the Archives

Determining True Web Development Costs

February 22nd, 2008 by Ted Bailey

Determining True Web Development Costs
When is a Bargain not a Bargain?

It has been estimated that over 116 million people now surf the internet. With that large a target audience, more and more businesses are finding it increasingly important to have a web presence. Indications are that while 60% of small to medium in the U.S. are ‘connected’ to the internet (compared to only 15% back in 1995 when we first began designing websites), only 20-25% have a web site or presence. These businesses do one of three things:

  • Attempt to do it themselves (either through internal staff or a niece/nephew),
  • Use local school/college or internet service provider resources, or
  • Turn to design firms such as the Imagination Factory to develop their web site.

Regardless of which they go, the most prevalent questions that get asked are:

  • How much will it cost?
  • How long will it take?

The answer, unfortunately, is that it depends on many variables. Seemingly there appears to be no rosetta stone for pricing. As such, prospective clients attempting to make apple to apple comparisons amongst designers begin by asking hourly rates. Read the rest of this entry »

The Web’s Impact on Doing DAILY Business

May 23rd, 2008 by Ted Bailey

The Web’s Impact on Doing DAILY Business
It Really IS a Small World…

No, we’re not selling Disney soundtracks now. But, an interesting thing happened to us recently that we wanted to share with you. It illustrates very well how the Web CAN and IS changing how we ALL do business.

On a Tuesday nite recently, we received an email that, at first glance appeared to be junk email. Upon closer inspection, we realized that the email’s author was requesting pricing on custom T-shirts… NOT attempting to sell us shirts. The emailer wanted “something with a print and some words on it”, but provided sparce additional detail. Unfortunately, her ‘reply to’ email address (the one that you originally put in your preferences of your email program) was inaccurate, so it took a little effort that nite to determine the correct one and reply. She was happy that we did as no one else she had contacted had replied. Read the rest of this entry »

12-Steps for the Email Addicted

May 4th, 2008 by Ted Bailey

It’s sooooo easy to get sucked into their addiction isn’t it? They apply guilt or fear. They play on our greed. And what’s worse is that its usually someone we know, love and trust. The emails are simple requests… it would only take a minute… so what could it possibly hurt?

But make no mistake about it, as cute or poignant as they often are, these chain emails are still SPAM. SPAM that clogs up the email servers and internet bandwidth around the planet. Let’s look at this chain email pyramid realistically for a moment. Read the rest of this entry »

Can-Spam Compliance

May 4th, 2008 by Ted Bailey

I don’t deal in Viagra, Porn or Get Rich Schemes. I don’t SPAM or send unsolicited email, why do I care… other than whether or NOT it (the CAN-SPAM Act) reduces the SPAM I get? I’m a legitimate business, how can I be in violation?
The short answer: Even if you, your company or organization sends only permission-based email, the CAN-SPAM Act may require that you make certain changes to your emails and your website. We’ve summarized some of the more salient points below.



May 4th, 2008 by Ted Bailey

Just when you thought you weren’t going to need anything special for doing business, BAM! along comes someone who throws an arcane mathematical formula or two at you.

Going into business is actually quite simple. All you need are the four (4) “P’s”. You need to build a PRODUCT (or service) that meets a need, set the PRICE that consumers will pay, figure out the best PLACE and best channel to sell and with some PROMOTION, you’re all set! Read the rest of this entry »

Deja Vu & Repeat Customers

May 4th, 2008 by Ted Bailey

Now that you’ve made the decision to put your site online, you also should start thinking of just how you are going to get traffic to it. After all, having really great business cards and/or brochures won’t do you any good if you don’t get it into the hands of your prospect… your target audience. Likewise, having a great site will do little good if we 1) don’t know about it or 2) can’t get people to it. There are a number of strategies that may be employed to drive traffic to a site. Each, of course, has their own representative costs. Some of these strategies include: Read the rest of this entry »


May 4th, 2008 by Ted Bailey

C’mon fellow mouseketeers… we, like dear Annette and Cubby of years gone by, are no longer virgins (well, web virgins anyway)! Grab that Chastity belt! Katie, bar the door! Lock up your sons and daughters. Raise the drawbridge! Fill the moat! Stock it w/ pirhana if necessary! Its time we talk about data protection! (eeek!). Where does that data go? Where is it stored? How does it get there? Who’s doing what with it?

Data Protection? Yup! It’s one of the major stumbling blocks to e-commerce. If, as a visitor, you don’t feel that your information is safe and/or secure, then you won’t use the web (and provide your credit card) to buy “stuff”… our “stuff” (or our clients’ “stuff”)! Many of us think that (as illustrated by the young lady to the left) if the server is secure… if it has a good firewall, then the data stored there is safe. And while no system is 100% “secure”, this is generally a valid thought process. However, many companies doing e-commerce are NOT doing it on their own servers but are hosting their sites on third-party servers (like IFI). This is especially true of small to medium sized companies on the net. While many hosts (like IFI) do maintain a high level of server security for their clients, much of the e-commerce data is NOT actually stored on the host server! It arrives at the website from your browser, is manipulated in some fashion by the clients’ application and then is RE-transmitted to the client in a form more compatible to their process. Read the rest of this entry »

Of Mice & Multimedia

May 4th, 2008 by Ted Bailey

Bertrand Russell once wrote “The mind is a strange machine which can combine the materials offered to it in the most astonishing ways.” When mice and man (not to be confused with Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”) combine, many buzzwords get bounced around like so many ping-pong balls. Of these, one of the more popular buzzwords today is “multimedia”. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of confusion about precisely what “multimedia” is and why “it” is so exciting and important.

Many of us have had the opportunity, at one time or another, to work with someone who can’t quite seem to explain specifically what they want… but “will know it when they see it!”. Multimedia is similar in that it is difficult to specifically define… but we all seem to “know it when we see it!”.

Contrary to what the buzzword might imply, Multimedia isn’t a single ‘thing’ that may be purchased from the local computer mart shelves. Multimedia is more a computer- supported cooperative environment of business, industry, education, art, entertainment, technology and more. Multimedia offers unparalleled and unprecedented power to enable people to share information and ideas irrespective of their geographical location. Read the rest of this entry »

The Effectiveness of Animation

May 4th, 2008 by Ted Bailey

Often the effectiveness of a video production can be enhanced with animated sequences. Everyone loves animation – probably because most of us grew up with cartoons. But epics like Disney’s “Fantasia” are hardly standard fare. Today, animation is enjoying a renaissance, as evidenced by Groening’s “The Simpsons”, Seven-Up’s “Red Dots”, and even more Disney, Fox, and Buth epics such as “The Little Mermaid”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Land Before Time”, and “Anastasia” (to name but a few).

Why? Because animation is the perfect medium for the ‘Age of Infotainment’. Graphics, specifically, animation must attract the audience enough to become interested in gaining information, then it must inform immediately. Read the rest of this entry »

Making Money in Multimedia

May 4th, 2008 by Ted Bailey

My previous article discussed the paradigm shift promised by multimedia. It built a framework for making money in multimedia development. We continue the discussion focusing on CD-ROM, although the concepts work for all new media design. Multimedia titles/projects tend to first fall into two primary categories which can be further broken down. While overlaps occur, the tiers look something like this:

  • Consumer
    • Games/Entertainment
    • Education
    • Edutainment (combination of above)
  • Developer/User
    • Graphics
    • A/V (audio/video)
    • Utilities

Consumer titles are generally complete and immediately useable like a game, a reference work like an encyclopedia or a child’s storybook. Developer titles usually contain information or material which is used to create something else such as clip art is used for desktop publishing, utilities for programming, or audio/video clips for other multimedia programs or projects. Often the more mass appeal that a title has, the lower its retail price will be. $34.95 – $39.95 seems to be the magic retail price point right now. Read the rest of this entry »

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