Goodies to Go (tm)
June 30, 2003-- Newsletter #239
How to Help Your Business Become an AI Early Adopter
Goodies to Go (tm)
June 30, 2003--Newsletter #239
This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.
Featured this week:
* Goodies Thoughts - Do You Want To "Do
* Q & A Goodies
* News Goodies
* Goodies Peer Reviews
Just in case you missed it before, the new Beyond HTML Goodies book is now available!
Goodies Thoughts - Do You Want To "Do It Ebay"?
Thousands of people turned up in Orlando, Florida this past week. Of course there were those who went there for Disney World or Universal Studios or some combination of these and the many other theme parks in the Orlando area, but they weren't the ones that caught the attention of Web hounds such as ourselves. The people we noticed were those who turned up for Ebay Live at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.
One of the first things I noticed about the throngs arriving was the demographic of the crowd. For the most part, they were aged between ten and a hundred, they came in every size, shape and color that humans do, they spoke a whole bunch of different languages, with one in common - they all spoke "web" and they all could say "Ebay!"
I have bought things off Ebay myself, including almost as diverse a collection of items as the crowd represented. I have bought software, an air conditioner vacuum pump, an antique (?) coffee pot, tools, books, seeds and of course, electronics. If I add up the money I have spent and multiply it by the 80 million or so subscribers Ebay boasts, then I start to see why the sellers are such a happy bunch! Not to mention the joy of the folks at Ebay themselves!
This is a truly remarkable phenomenon. All these people have in one way or another found a true home on the World Wide Web. Some are there to sell a few things in the Grand-Daddy of all Garage Sales; others are there to make a living. Some are buyers, like me, who are sell-curious. Speaking with a few of the "PowerSeller" types - those who achieve and maintain minimum monthly sales and positive feedback requirements - shows that there are plenty of those who run substantial businesses through their "Ebay Stores", requiring a staff to keep things flowing! This kind of selling power, homed on the Web, should not be ignored. In truth, I have been little more than a casual visitor and occasional buyer in the past, so I decided to investigate a little further and see what it takes to open up a store.
I had envisioned writing a step by step instruction piece and comparing it to the task of building your own storefront on a website. What I found was that the Ebay Store was so simple to set up, with the instructions I envisioned already available, even in a video presentation (on the Web, of course) that there was nothing left for me to write. You could build your Ebay store from scratch to live in a couple of hours. I doubt that could be accomplished with traditional coding techniques! I found the instructions at http://pages.ebay.com/sell/guide.html -- there's a huge amount of information centered on that page, and it makes pretty interesting reading.
Don't get me wrong though -- I still think there are excellent reasons for building comprehensive, custom websites for the purpose of selling things. Not the least of these is that there are plenty of products that require a lot of background and supplemental information to assist the buyer in making a decision about both the product and the seller. Ebay does, however, offer a simple and effective solution for those who have a "well known" product to sell, or who perhaps use another site to promote themselves and their product and then refer the buyer to their Ebay store to close the deal on the Web. On the other hand, some of those PowerSellers say that their Ebay store is all they need -- and they have the business to prove it!
If you're one of those who would like to start selling things on the web right now, but whose HTML skills are still in their developmental stages, Ebay might be an excellent option for you to consider. From my perspective, the more business and people's income becomes Web based, the more I like it! I do believe I will try my hand with an Ebay store.
Thanks for Reading!
- Vince Barnes
Questions are taken from submissions to our Community Mentors. You can ask a Mentor a question by going to http://www.htmlgoodies.com/mentors.
Q. I would like to make a template that I could use all the time and just modify colors and stuff. Can you help me out? Is there a site I can visit to learn how to do it?
A. It sounds like you need to use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). CSS allows you to format your entire page/website using a "template" page. You make changes to this one page and it affects the entire site. This is where you want to start:
Q. I am setting up a training sub web for our company Intranet and want to include an interactive calendar that staff can select a date from to include on a course booking form. Ideally I am looking for a drop down version of calendar similar to what you get in MS Outlook. I am sure that I have seen similar calendars on web sites before but can't for the life of me remember which ones
A. I use Outlook Express and it does not have a calendar so I am not 100% sure what you are looking for. But if it is a calendar you want to include in a form that allows the user to click instead of type a date into the form field take a look at the following links:
Q. I'd like to make an intro index.htm page that fades out and into the next index1.htm to open the site. I tried the meta refresh, but it's too cold and sterile, so I thought a page that would fade out gently and let the next page ease in, would give it the dramatic look I want. How do I go about constructing such a page?
A. Maybe something like this script will do the job. http://www.dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex3/wipesplash.htm
Intel Debuts New Itanium, Xeon Chips
[June 30, 2003] The chip giant gets back to the tick, tick, tick of its development, production and sales cycle with its next-generation releases code-named Madison and Gallatin respectively.
HP Greets Madison Chips with Revamped Integrity Line
[June 30, 2003] The leader in selling Itanium-based servers, HP embeds the chips across its Integrity line to meet customer demand.
Linux Vendors Leap Onto Madison Bandwagon
[June 30, 2003] SGI, Dell, and Red Hat join the fray with Itanium 2 customer and product announcements now that the 64-bit Madison processor has been officially released today.
Unisys Bows Madison-ized "Dylan" Family
[June 30, 2003] Blue Bell, Pa.-based computer company follows up on the ES7000 500 Dylan series with a new 400 series based on the new Itanium 2 processor.
Curtains for Windows NT 4.0 Support
[June 30, 2003] The venerable operating system reaches the end of its support life-cycle, though Windows NT 4.0 Server still has some borrowed time.
Feinstein Seeks Hacker Notification Law
[June 30, 2003] New bill would require consumers be notified when a database breach occurs and personal data has been compromised.
AMD Unveils New Opterons in White Boxes
[June 30, 2003] The chipmaker launches a 'Validated Server Program' with Toronto-based Celestica as the launching pad for its 800 and 100 series server chips.
McDATA Looms Large in Storage Switch Space
[June 30, 2003] McDATA may be giving competitors Brocade and Cisco fits in the storage switch space, according to recent analyst reports.
Google Toolbar 'BlogThis' Rankles Rivals
[June 27, 2003] The search technology darling releases a beta of Google Toolbar 2.0 with a 'BlogThis' button for Blogger users only. But, competing blog software vendors want inclusion.
FTC Forces Rebate Site to Pay Up
[June 26, 2003] Court settlement orders net retailer to pay $600,000 to make good on charges of fraudulent rebates.
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Sarah Tynes wrote to me this past week to express her dislike for my piece in last week's newsletter. She describes it as a "than a thinly veiled advertisement for Web Trends". I'm sorry you feel that way, Sarah. When I write these pieces, I write them based on my own experiences and try to avoid recommending something I haven't even tried. I have used Webtrends myself for about five years and am therefore comfortable in providing it as an example of the kind of product I was describing. NetIQ does advertise on the site and sometimes in this newsletter -- I don't control that; advertisements are put in place by Jupitermedia's staff. Please remember, however, that it is by virtue of these sponsors that we are able to provide the tutorials and help on HTML Goodies, as well as this newsletter itself, as a free service rather than being subscription based. I like free myself, especially for the younger members of our audience who may not have the wherewithal for anything else. When you need products or services, consider our sponsors and keep us free!
And Remember This . . .
On this day in...
1971 Cosmonauts Die in Reentry Disaster
On this day in 1971 Soviet cosmonauts Georgi Dobrovolsky, Vladislav Volkov, and Viktor Patsayev lost their lives as they started the reentry procedures in their spacecraft Soyuz 11. They had launched on June 6 and docked with the spacestation Salyut 1, which was sent to orbit up the preceding April. After spending 23 days aboard the space station, they were on their way back when a valve opened as they blew explosive bolts to seperate the reentry capsule from the remainder of the craft. The capsule started to rapidly depressurize. Patseyev tried unsuccesfully to close the valve by hand. The three died within minutes. The Soviets sent nobody into space for the next two years, and never sent anybody back to Salyut 1.
Born today were: in 1917, singer Lena Horne; 1919, actress Susan Hayward; 1927, tennis champion Shirley Fry; 1943, singer Florence Ballard (The Supremes); 1966, boxer Mike Tyson;
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