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by Kass Johns (published March 1996, for WWWiz Magazine )
Have you noticed web addresses are showing up everywhere these days? I opened a bag of snack food the other day and there it was: a URL for the manufacturer's web site!
I thought it was kind of neat last year when I first began to notice that Toyota was putting a URL on their television ads (http://www.toyota.com). Then I started seeing a few more in many print space ads. By the holidays, Butterball had one for those cooks who, like me, get too confused! (I keep chips and large pans in my oven! You mean people use it to cook food?)
Most major newspapers have their web sites. In addition to not killing trees and up-to-the-minute news, this makes it very nice for natives of a city who relocate and still want the "home town" news. Not to mention folks (like me) who read the large city job listings for hot prospects in relocating to a larger market! I also enjoy reading the San Jose Mercury job ads (http://www.sjmercury.com/) to see what the companies in Silicon Valley are up to!
So, we have now graduated from ads to product packaging for the publishing of URLs. Where will it turn next?
Let me guess... Your doctor hands you a prescription note from his pad. There is his URL listed (but then, why didn't he just email you the prescription?). How about the grocery store? Why not get your groceries via the web? The space ads come out the middle of the week, there could be a URL for your neighborhood store. Go online and shop for groceries! Sure! Why not?
When you think of it, the whole Butterball hot line is a great idea on the web. Food vendors should have a web site with recipes containing their products. Surveys to get feedback from their consumers, cooking tips, and shortcuts! The Pillsbury Doughboy gives you a guided tour of yeast! Hey! Count me in!
How about the automotive parts store? Order parts, view QuickTime movies of installation procedures, see diagrams of parts. Of course, the first thing I would do is put one of those plastic keyboard skins on to protect the keyboard from greased up hands who just popped in to see how to re-pack that wheel bearing!
I actually used to be terrified of modems (I still am in terminal mode! Aaiiieee! <screaming into the night>). I have had an internet address for about four years, which is "the old days" in Internet time! I used to get mad when people didn't have voice mail so I could leave them a message. The next logical frustration was people who had no email address. My mom is getting dangerously close to never hearing from me again unless she gets computer literate real fast (and we live in the same city!).
I now find myself getting very frustrated when a vendor of any product (technical or not) does not have a web site! In fact, most of my friends have a web site! Of course, most of my friends are techie geeks like me!
It is so nice to hear about a product, go to the web site and then download press releases and specs! If I had a group or organization, I would have info about the group available. How about charitable causes? I can see the legislation that assures a certain amount of public service announcements would be applicable to the web. How about having ISPs forced to allocate a certain amount of space available for PSAs. The Condom Site! Never mind, I don't wanna see that QuickTime movie! Bad idea!
I am now seeing many people and publications even jumping right to the "punch line" by skipping the "http://" on all web URLs. You generally see URLs listed now in magazines and in small talk as "www.companyname.com."
By relaying your entire URL at a trendy party, you may betray yourself as a has-been or a rookie! "Yes, I'm on the web at 'h-t-t-p colon slash, slash w-w-w dot companyname dot com.' A bystander smugly remarks, "Oh, you still using that old jargon! Harumph!" Hey, get with it, don't betray yourself! Remember, techno trends only last a few weeks at the most on the web! Of course, by the time this article goes to press, using "w-w-w" will be passé!
So, if you aren't on it yet, what's keeping you? Get on board! Oh, and you can come visit me at "w-w-w-2 dot c-s-n dot com slash tilde kassj!" (I have to use w-w-w in order to relay the "2" to you -- just call me passé!)
© Copyright 1996-2001 by Kass Johns, all rights reserved world wide.
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