9.2.5 Internet as a promotion tool & Internet research


The more valuable and relevant the content available on a site, the more traffic generated and the more potential to generate advertising revenue. Using a site to generate revenue can be an attractive avenue to pursue. If new, dynamic and exciting content can be created on an ongoing basis, visitors will be drawn to the site and ad revenue will become a reality.

Please CLICK here for see an example of advertisements on a website.

Interactivity and e-Business

Sites become interesting and start to work for the business when they move beyond being an online corporate brochure. Visitors can be motivated to interact with the site through forms, questionnaires and other customised content.
Creating databases to manage content is one way of simplifying website maintenance to ensure ongoing current and valuable information is available. Whether it's an Intranet with Human Resources information or a product catalogue, databases provide a dynamic backbone to doing business online.
Retailers, distributors, wholesalers and manufacturers are all moving online to reach customers, suppliers and other businesses. Commercial transactions can be a valuable extension to a site, enabling a company to adapt to a changing consumer and business environment. A range of consumer services can be provided, letting customers make informed and secure purchases of products and services.
In order to be competitive, it is critical to constantly stay abreast of industry trends and be on the lookout for new technologies. Web-enabled mobile services and GPS enhanced proximity marketing are two examples of technologies that could become commonplace in the future. As the strategic website plan evolves over time, it will be beneficial to consider opportunities that new technologies may provide.

End-user Technology

Sound, animation, Shockwave, Flash, DHTML, RSS, Blogs; there are many additional options for website and it can get confusing pretty quickly. While the web is capable of integrating multimedia elements and new technologies emerge all the time, there are a lot of issues to consider when deciding whether it's really a good idea to use them.
Visual and auditory stimulation can definitely add a "Wow!" factor to a site when used properly but always ask: "Will it enhance or detract from the target audience experience?"

im Real Simple Syndication (RSS) is an example of a technology that is becoming more and more popular. It allows visitors to pull updates from a site to a reader application on their desktop without having to browse the site directly. The technology is appropriate for a site whose content changes often such as a news, entertainment, or legal affairs site but would probably not be recommended for a furniture store. Similarly, if the main target audience consists of novice users the addition of a RSS feed would probably confuse more users than it would assist.

Please have a look at this tutorial and see how does RRS work.

Please CLICK here for see an example of RSS Feeder.

Blogs, or weblogs are used to display serialised descriptions of journal type entries on a page. Sometimes anonymous users can add entries or add comments to the entries. This is one of the fastest growing types of site on the web as it promotes interaction with the user and helps to create a sense of community. However, in some circumstances, it could detract from the target audiences experience or expectations of the site.

Site Marketing

An excellent website without visitors is a failure. However, with millions of sites to visit, how will your target audience find your site? Site promotion and marketing is critical. Marketing a website is an on-going process that can integrate a combination of traditional offline forms of marketing with new online opportunities to drive people to a site.
Registering a website with search engines and optimizing the site for search engines, while ensuring that the site is listed in business and industry directories can help to increase traffic. Additionally, the following online tactics can be used to drive people to visit a website:

  • Banner Advertising:
    A business can buy ad banner space on website frequented by the target audience. Ad banners are displayed horizontally across the top of a website or sometimes vertically along the side.
  • Interstitials:
    A business can purchase pop-up advertising on appropriate website in order to attract a target audience.
  • Discussion List Sponsorships:
    Discussion lists are available on every possible topic and are often frequented by a very wide targeted audience that has an interest in that particular topic. Many discussion lists invite sponsorship and provide the sponsor with credit, a brief promo and a link back to their website.
  • Online Newsletter Advertising:
    Similar to discussion lists, online newsletters are highly targeted and often provide advertising opportunities.
  • Contests:
    Holding contests via a website is a tactic used to increase traffic. The contests are most effective when they are promoted off-line and on other website.
  • Email Marketing:
    Targeted email with information and a link back to the website can result in an increase in web traffic.

Internet research

While you are researching on the Internet, you may consider two aspects

a. what are your special field of interests

b. what steps to follow to be effective with results found

First, you want to gather information and research the results of innovation in your field. Secondly, you would like to research the market potential of your innovation plans or whether your products are ready to be launch in the market.1

In the short space of time ICT have been used in education and training, mobile and wireless technologies have been fast changing and relatively unstable. As a result, they are often viewed as being ‘only for the technically-minded’.

However, projects such as the m-learning project, where mobile devices have been used to target young adults aged 16–24 at risk of social exclusion, have opened up the possibilities inherent in mobile learning to the wider community. Other examples of use may require more introductions, but the vision here is one of rich new possibilities that confront institutions, practitioners and learners with choices and challenges.2

Whatever the special field of interest you have (e.g. HR-search for experts, learning, knowledge management, prototyping, research) you have to be aware of your innovation needs. Experts in different fields may find many results on the newest innovations available. It is important to frequently visit the websites which contain current information on methods and information in your field. If those websites contain good practices you should share them with your colleagues or HR experts. You should also consider visiting on a regular basis websites which contain the latest result in quality control. If you successfully use those findings in your field you will be able to support your innovation activity with the use of media.

Why do you research on the Internet? How to avoid wasting your time searching by choosing the right keywords. Tips and suggestions are in this last part of the component. While doing research on the internet the searcher has to deal with three things:

  • large number entries / results
  • trustworthy information on the web
  • deep web

Large number of results generated
The ability to reduce the number of results and to find the informationneeded on the Internet is a function of how precise the queries are and how effectively one uses search services. Poor queries return poor results; good queries return great results. Contrary to the hype surrounding "intelligent agents" and "artificial intelligence”, the fact remains that search results are only as good as the query we pose and how we search. There are very effective ways to "structure" a query and use special operators to target the results you seek. If these techniques are not used, the searcher will spend endless hours looking at useless documents that do not contain the required information.3
An example for the endless results:
Table 5: Search on the web with a keyword innovation (date of viewing: 26.06.08.)

Trustworthy information on the web
As for the reliability issue, there is the checklist to evaluate the source of the information, which can be summarized as follows:

  • Credibility
  • Accuracy
  • Reasonableness
  • Support

Deep web
Searching on the Internet today can be compared to dragging a net across the surface of the ocean. While a great deal may be caught in the net, there is still a wealth of information that is deep, and therefore, missed. The reason is simple: most of the Web's information is buried far down on dynamically generated sites, and standard search engines never find it. Traditional search engines create their indices by spidering or crawling surface Web pages. To be discovered, the page must be static and linked to other pages. Traditional search engines can not "see" or retrieve content in the deep Web - those pages do not exist until they are created dynamically as the result of a specific search.4 

1  InnoSupport: Supporting Innovations in SME. 9.3  Competencies of Internet presentation and research, 2005
2  Innovative practice with e-Learning www.jisc.ac.uk/uploaded_documents/publication_txt.pdf
3 Guide to Effective Searching of the Internet www.brightplanet.com/resources/details/searching.html
4 libid