The News — 10/19/00
Websites Need to Cut the Content
According to Byte Level Research, the average website is too large. After studying 150 websites, Byte Level found that the average number of kilobytes of data on a homepage was 89KB. Yahoo’s homepage has 37KB and Lycos, 30KB. Byte Level reports that the optimum median weight (number of KBs per homepage) is 60KB. Online trading sites boast the lightest pages with a 54KB average, while search engines follow with a 57KB average. Graphics-heavy sites scored the lowest ranking — JCPenney.com has a 451KB average, Spiegel.com a 216KB average and VictoriasSecret.com a 173KB average.
New Domain Suffixes Coming Next Month
Bored with .com and .net? Next month you may be able to choose from a new crop of Internet domain name suffixes – from .church to .sex. I predict a scramble for high value trademark owners to snap up real estate in .biz, .info. .web and others. Can you imagine someone else owning Coke.biz, for example? ICANN, the governing body for names, has received and is reviewing 47 applications for new TLDs (Top Level Domains, like the current .com and .net for example). They range from the sublime (.mad) to the ridiculous (.soup). The move to add new TLDs is widely seen as improving on the current .com dominated name space. I think there will be even more confusion with the addition of new names, especially for businesses that register under multiple TLDs. How do you know which address to go to when Nike’s got nike.com, nike.biz, nike.air, nike.ads, nike.center, nike.commerce, nike.fashion, and on and on?
Sure, the addresses could all point to the same site, but think of the confusion and the dilution of the brand. The bottom line is, every business will have to have a .com come as the only consistent destination. And this sure doesn’t solve the current problems with the .com monopoly. This week, Madonna got control of madonna.com from a cybersquatter. In the future, will she have to fight for madonna.sex, madonna.music, and madonna.online as well? (BTW, I don’t really think it was a good decision to give her the domain name. She’s not the original Madonna, after all.)
Stay tuned to the name drama. It promises to be interesting.
ICANN listing of received TLD applications
Are eMarketplaces a Threat to SMEs?
In article on Silicon.com, much is made of the problems of eMarketplaces for suppliers who are small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Stephen Alambritis of the UK’s Federation of Small Businesses says (FSB) internet-based marketplaces are a threat to small businesses. "The main threat is that the list of suppliers is massively increased, so you could find yourself suddenly competing against people from Italy, Greece – anywhere. We would advise SMEs to first concentrate on selling their own personal service, their own particular benefits, but in the long term to prepare to be part of these marketplaces," he said.
Jaap Stavier, senior analyst at Forrester Research, agrees. He said: ‘Any benefit to suppliers from access to greater markets will be offset by a greater ability for buyers to change supplier and lower prices. The lowering of margins will also have a knock-on effect in the offline world."
Granted, this is a European take on the subject (Silicon.com is out of the UK), but it’s a concern many SME suppliers, and even their larger brethren share. If eMarketplaces are to truly revolutionize business, they must provide a win/win solution, and not just become a place for buyers to hammer on suppliers to get the best prices. Much has been said about the upside opportunity for SME businesses ‐ greater access to markets, ability to land larger accounts ‐ but there is a real danger that SMEs will get crowded out by newly-nimble large enterprises.