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More 4 Free! 20 July 2000 Edition
Previous Edition

Yes, believe it or not, New Zealand has another free ISP!

Following hot on the heels of FreeNet, i4Free and ZFree, 4 Splash.net.nz has entered the fray.

Now all we need to do is wait for the inevitable "shake-out" that must occur when it is realised that the market is too small to support this many players.

When it comes to free Internet access, NZ Net users are now probably the luckiest in the world -- providing it's not broadband Net access you're after that is. Although even then we appear to be one of the few that has a reliable "satellite/terrestrial" hi-speed service for those inside and outside major urban centers -- by way of iHug's 4 ultra service.

Surf-on dudes!

Are Our Schools Net-Secure?
Is there a real security threat growing inside our under-funded secondary schools?

It has been suggested to Aardvark that as many as half of the nation's secondary schools may have insecure systems in which the administration computers are on the same network as those used in classrooms and connected to the Internet.

This may be due to a lack of networking skills or a lack of money -- but whatever the cause, if it's true then, given the growing level of computer-awareness and skills amongst pupils and script-kiddies, this may be something that will bite someone very soon.

Perhaps some member of the computer or Internet industry (maybe even ISOCNZ funded from the Domainz coffers) might want to sponsor a free security audit service that schools can call on to verify the safety of their networks?

Oh yeah... and don't forget, another security hole has been found in Microsoft's Outlook and Outlook express products. But then again, after what seems like the gazillionth instance of this it's not really news is it :-)

Marketing Your Website
As promised -- instalment one of how to build traffic to your website.

Before I launch into all the tricks, tips and secrets to building traffic, I think it worth pointing out some obvious caveats.

First ask yourself -- "why do I want more traffic?" The answers will be manifold, depending on what your website is and what you're trying to achieve.

Obviously if you've just got a personal home-page then it's probably a mix of ego and philanthropy. You want as many people as possible to see what you've done, and perhaps impart some of your own observations or knowledge to others who may share similar interests. In this case you probably don't really care much about the composition of the traffic that hits your site -- anyone will do.

If, however, you're running your website for commercial reasons, then you should be aware that you are probably only looking for a particular type of visitor. For example, if your site sells or promotes skate-boards then you'll be looking for people with an interest in that product. The 90-year-old granny who's looking for information on embroidery patterns but ends up at your site for whatever reason is not going to be of any value to you -- in fact she'll simply end up costing you money.

Enter the first "magic word" we need to consider when building traffic to a website: QUALIFY -- you must qualify your visitors to market your site effectively!

Whatever methods you use to drive traffic, you want to make sure that you're not wasting money, time or other resources in driving the wrong kind of visitor to your pages. At best you'll be achieving nothing, at worst it could see your site slowed down, or even halted by masses of visitors who will do nothing but load up the first page and then click the "back" button and bail out.

So, if you're going to be following this series of tips from start to finish then you should go away and write down on a piece of paper, the attributes that describe the type of visitor you want to attract. Age, sex, interests, country of residence, etc. Until you've defined all these things you can't start building effective pathways to your website.

continued tomorrow....

As always, your feedback is welcomed.

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The Day's Top News
4 = open in new window
New Zealand

4  Fifth free Kiwi ISP avoids fanfare
Another free ISP launched this week - but without all the hoopla of Clear's Zfree offering...
IDG NZ

4  Christchurch airport service soars
Up-to-the-minute flight arrival and departure times for Christchurch International Airport went live on the airport's Web site yesterday - and a mobile phone version is next...
IDG NZ

4  3G spectrum sale hive of inactivity
A call for an early end to the Government's disappointing auction of third-generation (3G) radio spectrum is being rejected by most bidders...
NZ Herald

Other

4  New Email Threat Labeled "Worst-Ever"
Microsoft Outlook users are again warned that a security flaw in the popular email software is placing their computer systems and the data stored on them at risk...
7am.com

4  CNET To Buy Ziff-Davis
In a deal worth $1.6 billion, technology publisher CNET has agreed to buy rival Ziff-Davis Inc...
7am.com

4  The Cube: Apple's NeXT Mistake?
Apple's newest computer looks an awful lot like 1988's NeXT computer according to some Macworld participants. Was Jobs ahead of his time, or is he going down the wrong path again?...
Wired

4  Credit-Card Fraud 12 Times Higher Online
Online merchants are literally paying the price for not knowing their customers, according to a new Gartner Group study...
Information Week

4  Web Raises Specter of New Cartels - of Buyers
Cartels, monopolies and other nasty threats to competition have traditionally been the work of producers, but the Internet may now give consumers revenge...
Yahoo

Australia

4  CyberSentry confirms LibertyOne offer
Tiny US company CyberSentry has confirmed that its "mystery" $74m offer for LibertOne was negotiated between the companies...
AFR

4  Alston fiddles as net set burns
PETER Coroneos emerged yesterday evening from his meeting with Communications Minister Richard Alston angry and frustrated...
Australian IT

4  NAB readies for $32b legal battle
The National Australia Bank will face court next week in a case which is seeing it sued for $32 billion over lost ecommerce opportunities...
NewsWire

Other

4  Two-Thirds of Search Engine Users Frustrated
Two-thirds of British Internet users get frustrated with online searches, a study released on Wednesday said....
Yahoo

4  Delayed Itanium not Intel's only problem
Chip maker's outlook isn't all rosy. Company is still struggling to meet strong demand and has delayed the launch of the Itanium chip...
ZDNet

4  Get ready for the domain scramble
Amazon claims Amazon.shop. With the addition of more top-level domains such as .shop and .news, expect to hear a lot of name calling...
ZDNet

4  Apache Still Towers Over Server Market
Although almost a quarter of domains around the world are hosted by a specific type of Microsoft server, Apache servers continue to dominate the server market with over 56 percent global market share...
NUA

4  Sun To Push StarOffice By Making Code Free
Sun Microsystems plans to make public the source code for StarOffice in an effort to give the fledgling applications suite a boost with software developers...
TechWeb