Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic June 1, 1998

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 8:59 AM): Hey, guys...looks like it's a stag party today.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 8:59 AM): oops! Louise just showed up..so no dirty jokes.

Jonathan (6/1/98 8:59 AM): Morning, Rob

soaplady (6/1/98 9:00 AM): :oÞ

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:00 AM): Which Jonathan is That?

Jonathan (6/1/98 9:01 AM): Jonathan Cohen ("Breakfast Serials")...

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:01 AM): Sposto, I did gt your voicemail, I've just been swamped...

Jorge R (6/1/98 9:02 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:02 AM): So what can I do for you this lovely morning?

Jorge R (6/1/98 9:02 AM): Hello everyone

soaplady (6/1/98 9:03 AM): i am here for my weekly inspirational hour ).. so go ahead and yak :)))

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:03 AM): BTW, I think That Sposto and Jacob are NOT online...Hi Jorge. I hear you and Tina have been talking...

Jorge R (6/1/98 9:04 AM): Hi rob. Yes. Long Term plans.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:05 AM): Jonathan...what's Breakfast Serials? Tell the group.

Jaclyn Easton (6/1/98 9:05 AM): Entered the room.

Jacob (6/1/98 9:05 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:05 AM): WHOA! Jaclyn Easton showed up! A CBS TV celebrity!! (APPLAUSE)

Jaclyn Easton (6/1/98 9:05 AM): Entered the room.

Jonathan (6/1/98 9:05 AM): Breakfast Serials is a content provider of serialized fiction; still in the start-up phase (have been operating since January)...

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:05 AM): Jacob, nice site on Mobhits, pal...

Jaclyn Easton (6/1/98 9:06 AM): Hi all...

Jacob (6/1/98 9:06 AM): Hi everyone, I missed the chat three weeks in a row, but I made it now, yay.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:06 AM): How is Breakfast serials doing?

Jaclyn Easton (6/1/98 9:06 AM): So Rob, you going to tell them about GoTo.Com

Jacob (6/1/98 9:06 AM): Thanks Rob, I worked hard on That one, I really want them to succeed because it's a great product!

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:07 AM): For any of you who want to see a really creative, dead-on site design, go see Jacob's mobhits.Com. Really good and fun.

Jorge R (6/1/98 9:07 AM): BTW. Tina sends her regards to you Rob and the rest.

Jonathan (6/1/98 9:07 AM): Rob: 725 subscribers as of this morning. Problem is That I can't get listed on Yahoo no matter how hard I try (grr)

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:07 AM): No, Jaclyn, I thought I'd save That for the FrankelBiz list. Jeffrecy Brewer joined FrankelBiz on Sunday...

soaplady (6/1/98 9:07 AM): i know That feeling Jonathan

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:08 AM): Ahh, Jonathan, then maybe we SHOULD talk about GOTO.Com

Russ Walton (6/1/98 9:08 AM): Entered the room.

Jaclyn Easton (6/1/98 9:08 AM): I'm psychic <insert sound of applause>

Jonathan (6/1/98 9:08 AM): sure!

Jonathan (6/1/98 9:08 AM): sure!

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:08 AM): Jaclyn and I interviewd the CEO on her LOGONUSA radio show last week. It's the only search engine That allows you to pay for you ranking immediately, based on a pay per clickthrough model.

Jacob (6/1/98 9:09 AM): wow, a plug from Rob, I'm so honored!

Jaclyn Easton (6/1/98 9:09 AM): Correction -- "her LOG ON USA show" Rob is the co-host. He is so MODEST!

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:10 AM): For example, "Frankel" search listed me as #2 on a general search there. But for as little as one cent per clickthrough, I can buy the top listing. And my price goes up only if someone bids more than That.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:10 AM): Man, do I have trouble typing the word "search"

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:10 AM): Jonathan, are you submitting EVERY page of your site?

Jaclyn Easton (6/1/98 9:10 AM): The point is That you only pay for click-through, so it's a risk neutral proposition

Jonathan (6/1/98 9:11 AM): Rob: nope, just the root URL (the domain name)...

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:12 AM): BIG mistake, Jonathan. List every page.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:12 AM): That way the spiders and bots index a bunch of stuff. If you don't believe me, try any of the search engines and look for "frankel". It's a mess!

Jonathan (6/1/98 9:12 AM): For search engines or for directories like Yahoo or both?

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:13 AM): For ALL of them. They will automatically kick out duplicate domains, but NOT various pages, because they each have specific addresses and content.

Jonathan (6/1/98 9:14 AM): OK! will do.

Tullio (6/1/98 9:14 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:14 AM): If you search "frankel" anywhere, half the time you get articles, the other half you get the various pages of my site, depending on category. It's a numbers game. Some pages how up, some don't.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:15 AM): I want to go back to the GOTO.Com for you guys for a minute, because you have a real opportunity here: Their mass media campaign will begin in late June, I think. Which means you have the chance to get in there cheap BEFORE the public hears about it.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:16 AM): Jonathan, how are you making bucks? What's the revenue plan?

Jacob (6/1/98 9:17 AM): What incentive does the average surfer have to use goto.Com over anything else? Especially if they know people are paying for their ranking (i.e. ranking doesn't have to do with keyword reliability)

Jonathan (6/1/98 9:17 AM): Rob: plan is to get enough subscribers to sell advertising. Which may be a plan That needs to be rethought in light of performance over the past 5 months...

Doc Williamson (6/1/98 9:18 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:18 AM): Bless your heart, Jonathan, that's exactly what I grilled the CEO on. The Idea is That GOTO.Com becomes the premiere engine for people who are serious about doing business. It keeps out the riff raff.

Jonathan (6/1/98 9:18 AM): (was That 'Bless your heart, Jacob'? :-) )

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:19 AM): Yeah, Jonathan, subscription and advertising driven models are very tough to sell these days. That's why I don't charge for FrankelBiz, although everyone keeps telling me I should.

Jacob (6/1/98 9:19 AM): :-) thanks, Jonathan

Jorge R (6/1/98 9:19 AM): ok. but It maybe cuts off one of the good things the Net has: put small business among with the big ones.

Jonathan (6/1/98 9:20 AM): Rob: yep, subscription's not going to happen...but I think sponsorship may eventually. Content's a real tough sell unless it's business-oriented, and it's tough even then.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:20 AM): I HATE when I bless the wrong heart!

George (6/1/98 9:21 AM): Entered the room.

Doc Williamson (6/1/98 9:21 AM): Rob, if "GOTO.Com" is their real name, I think they may have problems, because there is already a GO.TO in the Tonga domain.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:21 AM): Yes Jorge, that's true. But it's solid evidence That we are reaching "web puberty", growing out of infancy. The fact is That the market is changing. People who are serious about doing business are stratifying one level up and creating their own new environments

Jacob (6/1/98 9:21 AM): I think I missed something, Jonathan, are you in charge of goto.Com?

Doc Williamson (6/1/98 9:21 AM): What kind of traffic did you expect with subscriptions, Jonathan?

George (6/1/98 9:22 AM): Morning all.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:22 AM): If I'm serious about doing business, and there's a search engine whose mission is to be the place where serious searching people want to go and get the highest quality search results, I suppose they'll go to a place like GOTO.Com

Jonathan (6/1/98 9:23 AM): Jacob: nope - Breakfast Serials. Doc: Well I was hoping a judicious PR campaign plus quality content would have resulted in higher subscription levels (i.e., Joke of the Day has 80,000 subscribers as an example, so the market is out there...)

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:23 AM): Doc, I have to assume That goto.Com did their due diligence on the name. They're committed to a major ad campaign in the next month or so. These guys are an Idea Lab project.

Peter Clough (6/1/98 9:24 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel 6/1/98 9:25 AM): Well, Jonathan, remember what happened to "The Spot"?

Peter Clough (6/1/98 9:25 AM): Actually, as of last Friday Eric Targan at Joke of the Day claimed 160,000 subscribers.

Jonathan (6/1/98 9:25 AM): Doc: Yep, but the Spot also burned through a hell of a lot of money, whereas my costs excluding marketing are on the order of $40/month :-)

Doc Williamson (6/1/98 9:25 AM): The "search" model is not yet sophisticated enough to get me (or anyone) good results quickly. Sure I can include and exclude items, but then I still have to thin out a result of 1200 or 3400 items unless I make it so narrow That my returned set it 0 total.

Jonathan (6/1/98 9:26 AM): Peter: there are a few Joke-of-the-Day sites...this is another one...

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:26 AM): Right Doc. If they succeed in establishing themselves as the "We only list the businesses who are serious and qualified", they might have a shot.

Peter Clough (6/1/98 9:27 AM): Really? love advertising on Joke lists - what's the url?

Jonathan (6/1/98 9:27 AM): Peter: www.joker.org I believe...

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:28 AM): Also, remember That the web is still inundated with people wanting something for nothing -- including listings. How long you think that's going to last with everyone listing everything? People eventually will want to use a free service That thins out the

Peter Clough (6/1/98 9:28 AM): Thanks!

Jacob (6/1/98 9:29 AM): I don't know, I'm still having a hard time thinking about what kind of surfers (if any) goto will get.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:29 AM): Russ are you still there?

Peter Clough (6/1/98 9:29 AM): On the topic of more advanced searching - Has anyone had experience buying on Alexa? They offer competitive positions.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:30 AM): Surfers who want high quality leads, not just anyone who might be too cheap to invest in their own business.

Doc Williamson (6/1/98 9:30 AM): Natural language queries would help "search" functions a lot. But they will have to get a lot better than most natural language interpreters I have seen so far. Search engines will have to improve IMMENSELY to survive.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:30 AM): But Jacob, I'll tell you That I had the same reaction when I first talked to the CEO.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:31 AM): Search engines will never die. They're the easiest introduction to new users. Let's take a lesson from AOL here, shall we? Simple is good.

Jonathan (6/1/98 9:32 AM): Doc: it also depends on the skill of the searcher in phrasing their queries too.

Jacob (6/1/98 9:32 AM): I think it could work if they are very careful with every purchase. So That a site about A won't buy listings for "sex" just because it's high traffic. That would help with reliability and ranking when someone searches.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:32 AM): Tullio, you still here?

Tullio (6/1/98 9:33 AM): I'm here

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:33 AM): Peter, I haven't done anything with Alexa...although I think I dated her once.

Doc Williamson (6/1/98 9:34 AM): Can we have a quick re-cap for us late risers who still haven't had a FIRST cup of coffee. WHICH CEO? and what exactly was Jonathan's central theme or area? (Jonathan: I'm no programmer, but I can do booleans pretty well, and I still spend far to long on searches over several engines, and poor results

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:35 AM): Jaclyn Easton and I interviewed Jeffrey Brewer of GOTO.Com last week. He's the CEO...

Jonathan (6/1/98 9:35 AM): Doc: Breakfast Serials (http://www.breakfastserials.Com) provides serialized fiction as content.

Doc Williamson (6/1/98 9:35 AM): Some folks LOVE Alexa, some think it a great invasion of "privacy" and others call it a "joke". What is your experience with it, Peter?

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:35 AM): The reactions I have gotten here confirm to me what I told him: they're going to REALLY have some major branding work if they don't want the Idea to misfire on them.

Doc Williamson (6/1/98 9:36 AM): Rob, yes, and careful policy formation and administration, a "buy you position" model seems ripe for abuse from the start.

Peter Clough (6/1/98 9:37 AM): On the topic of more advanced searching - Has anyone had experience buying on Alexa? They offer competitive positions.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:38 AM): Abuse? I don't know. Definitely a chance for the big boys to buy their way in, as usual. But if Coca Cola buys #1 in sodas, and rest of the majors buy up to number 6, That still leaves me to buy #7, which still puts me in pretty good company as opposed

Doc Williamson (6/1/98 9:39 AM): Rob, BTW I have tried TWO different converters on your QT files, and both fail without explanation. But I am working on it. They "look" ordinary in size, and type, and play fine under QT2.1.2

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:40 AM): ..as opposed to Yahoo, where I might be #1,234,456, behind Manny's Soda Fountain in Newark

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:41 AM): Anyway, for the next few years or so, you're still going to do well if you list EVERY page on ALL the sites.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:41 AM): Doc, so far, you're the only guy I know That couldn't play the .MOV files from the frankel-anderson site...Maybe it's time you switched to a MAC (nyuk, nyuk)

Doc Williamson (6/1/98 9:41 AM): But you said it was a "bid" situation, Rob. That seems to imply That even YOU could outspend Coca Cola for one week and steal their position (well it might not be so useful on Coke, but it could work for stock brokerage, or whatever). Most engines seem to rank by traffic. So the more often you visit a search result the higher it shows up.

Peter Clough (6/1/98 9:42 AM): Sorry bout That - I logged off and when I came back on it re-posted. As a user I find Alexa a great tool - except when it crashes the browsers - I have not used it as an ad vehicle yet. but I am intrigued by the ability to post an ad trigged by a visit to a direct competitor. Kind of like the coupon for Glad bags That gets printed out at the checkout when you buy Hefty.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:43 AM): You are dead on, Doc. That's the whole point of buying in early. My bet is the big boys will be caught napping. And if goto.Com wants to spend their money advertising their search engine, you can ride their coattails and benefits from their media dollars

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:44 AM): In effect, you CAN outbid Coca Cola...at least for now.

Jacob (6/1/98 9:44 AM): Well, I will give goto one thing, I like their site design. I love sites That are very "central" and not cluttered.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:44 AM): BTW, anyone have a specific question about their own business? Feel free to jump in, please.

Peter Clough (6/1/98 9:44 AM): I am rooting for goto.Com It is one of the most interesting innovations in the search directory category in a while. And they don';t use the word "portal"

Doc Williamson (6/1/98 9:45 AM): Rob, attracting a targeted audience to my site it trickier than just list every page everywhere. I don't need to incur the costs of random surfers streaming videos from my site in hopes of seeing naked movie stars. I need ad agencies, and web masters and media planners to see what we can do for them.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:46 AM): Yeah, Doc, you do. But your marketing approach has to more "rifle shot" for That purpose. And finding ad agency types who understand and appreciate That issue is a tough task.

Doc Williamson (6/1/98 9:46 AM): Peter, I haven't used Alexa but it DOES sound very interesting to be able to do a "glad bag coupon triggered by a heft bag buy" on the web.

Jorge R (6/1/98 9:46 AM): Entered the room.

Jacob (6/1/98 9:47 AM): A little off topic, how important are "alternative" order methods when selling something (i.e. checks online, cybercash, etc.). Are an 800# and credit cards enough. (I'm asking for one of my sites at http://www.mobhits.Com)

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:47 AM): BTW, downloading coupons and gift certificates are pretty easy and TERRIFIC means of promotion

Peter Clough (6/1/98 9:48 AM): We had 15% of our order volume on Turbo Tax come over the 800 numbers posted on the min-site.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:48 AM): Jacob, I recommend going with the least amount of effort and lowest amount of margin for error.

soaplady (6/1/98 9:48 AM): how do you set up the coupons, so That one customer doesn't keep using them over and over again? curious

Jorge R (6/1/98 9:48 AM): Entered the room.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:49 AM): So naturally, I strongly recommend credit card with secure server first. Especially for small companies who don't realize That vast amount of resources required for 800# and fax.

Jacob (6/1/98 9:49 AM): Please elaborate Rob, I don't understand fully what you're saying.

Doc Williamson (6/1/98 9:49 AM): Rob, two FrankelBees (as you call them) have been supplying some "rifle targeting" help. Torri Tanzini and Michael Kimsal have both been a big help.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:49 AM): Louise. what do you care if they use the coupons over again? You're making money each time they use them!

Jacob (6/1/98 9:50 AM): Right now we have an 800 number, online credit cards, and will soon have 800# for fax orders.

Doc Williamson (6/1/98 9:50 AM): Rob, I can play you MOV video files anywhere, I just can't convert to AVI which is my first step in making them streaming.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:50 AM): Jacob, if you customers are on the web already, chances are they'd rather point and click to order. THEY fill out all the numbers and forms so there's less room for errors.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:51 AM): The more human involvement you have the greater your chances are for errors. Errors are very costly to fix, so eliminate them before they can happen.

Peter Clough (6/1/98 9:51 AM): Rob';s right about the cost of inbound 800's - It can cost $1 - $1.50 per call to use and "800" service such as West or Matrix.

Jacob (6/1/98 9:51 AM): ok, I got ya know. thanks. Also, most of the customers will probably be a little older, remembering the great mob movies of their younger days.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:52 AM): Also, Louise, if you really want to, sequentially numbering your coupons is pretty easy for each download...

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:52 AM): Hey, Peter, tell them about the cost of processing the orders, even if they're correct!

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:53 AM): It's much cheaper when you automate as much as you can. The biggest mistake people make in business is underestimating the cost of things going wrong..(SIX MINUTE WARNING)

Peter Clough (6/1/98 9:53 AM): Jacob, don't laugh, but investigate the weather channel online for your mob hits. weather.Com has the demo you're after and has proven to be a good DR vehicle for me.

soaplady (6/1/98 9:54 AM): rob, do I do That using a counter type program?

Jacob (6/1/98 9:54 AM): that's an interesting suggestion. I'll look into it, thanks.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:55 AM): I believe so, Louise, but you should contact the FrankelBiz list and ask the web scripters. Brian Rickman and Michael Morath are great at this stuff..

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:55 AM): Weatherchannel.Com? Who'd a thunk it?

soaplady (6/1/98 9:56 AM): ok, thanks!

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:56 AM): Jacob, it's uncanny That your site went online right after Sinatra "drank his last martini"... Sigh. (TWO MINUTES)

Jacob (6/1/98 9:57 AM): Hey, I just got an Idea, because of all the great advice FrankelBees are giving me on MobHits, I guess I can give all FrankelBees a dollar off their purchase of the CD collection.

Peter Clough (6/1/98 9:57 AM): Uncanny? I smell a rat (pack)

Jacob (6/1/98 9:58 AM): Rob, the licensing was in the works for a over a year for the CD. Sinatra's family refused to let my client include Sinatra.

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:58 AM): Hey, I actually own the video of Ocean's 11, okay?

Peter Clough (6/1/98 9:59 AM): And I own Sammy Davis Jr.'s Glass Eye!

Rob Frankel (6/1/98 9:59 AM): Okay, folks, that's it for me. Feel free to hang out as long as you wish and DO BUSINESS !

Doc Williamson (6/1/98 9:59 AM): Thanks Rob, so long all!

Jonathan (6/1/98 10:00 AM): Thanks, Rob

Jorge R (6/1/98 10:00 AM): Good Bye Rob. And thanks a lot. see you all!

Peter Clough (6/1/98 10:00 AM): Jacob, call Craig Etheridge at weather.Com 770 226-2366 tell him I sent you.

Jacob (6/1/98 10:01 AM): Bye Rob, thanks a lot!

Jacob (6/1/98 10:01 AM): Peter, thanks a lot, that's very nice of you!

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