Frankel's Physical Laws of the Web.

As I travel through the phone lines, servicing and consulting with clients, I find all these little odds and ends that seem to make a whole lot of sense, but can never make a whole column. There were enough, however, to codify into one nifty little packet, which I humbly entitle Frankel's Physical Laws of the Web.

I'm sure there are more, and I certainly welcome your additions. In fact, if yours makes the list, I'll even name it after you, whaddya think of that?

Frankel's First Law of Inverse Response: Everybody works while everybody sleeps.

This is one of my all-time favorites, because it never could have happened before there was an internet. The First Law of Inverse Response states that "the further clients are physically placed from your place of business, the more efficiently they respond to matters of business."

This simply means that clients that are really far away from you get back to you quicker than clients who live down the street. But as any good scientist asks, why is this the case?

Well, here's what I noticed: Instead of faxing layouts to clients, we post our work to a Private Screening Room, a mini web site nested on our server. As soon as an assignment is posted to the site, we e-mail the client to log on and have a peek.

Usually we e-mail a client at the end of a work day. Which means that if a client is in our time zone, it's the end of his work day, too. Chances are that he won't even log on for his e-mail until some time the next morning, which means it will be at least a day until he actually sees the stuff and gets back to us.

If the client lives in Denmark, however, he's about twelve hours ahead of us. Which means our e-mail is checking its bags just as he's rolling into work clutching his espresso. While I'm at home yelling at the kids to eat their dinner, he's logging on to the web site. And by the time my eyeballs are rolling and twitching in Phase IV REM sleep, he's reviewed the work, made his comments and e-mailed them to me in time for my morning's e-mail.

Everybody works while everybody sleeps.

The result is that you actually can work more efficiently the further away you are from your clients. Pretty neat, eh? Let's see Einstein beat THAT.

Frankel's Second Law of Informational Velocity: Data travels at different rates depending on the nature of its content.

Bad news travels fast, but on the net, bad jokes travel even faster. Which is why I can wait weeks for a client to respond to a proposal I e-mailed, while that very same client wastes no time forwarding me the latest list of Monica Lewinsky jokes the minute the story breaks on CNN.

We did extensive of research on this at the Frankel & Anderson Research Labs, where tests revealed that data actually travels at different rates depending on the nature of its content. No kidding, the more important it is to your career, the slower it travels. The funnier it is, the faster is zips. Which means if you want to get your data there in a hurry, you've got to send it as an attachment to a really sick joke.

Amazing, ain't it?

Frankel's Third Law of Awards: An Award is only as good as the judges who give it.

Chances are that you've bumped into a "cool site of the day" or something just like it. But be honest. Come on. There's nobody here but you and me (and I swear I won't tell anyone):

Are those sites REALLY so cool?

Nyet. The painful truth is that the people who give awards are generally people who can't win them. Angry, slothful types who stand at the bathroom mirror and yell, "It should have been ME!"

Call me cynical, but the minute I hear about award shows and all the pageantry that goes with them, my little hype alarm starts blaring like a firehouse siren. These days, you can't walk out of the office without tripping over a trophy of some kind, awarded for some new category that wasn't even invented until five o'clock yesterday afternoon.

Frankel's Fourth Law of Hair & Eyewear: The depth of talent of any individual is a function of bizarre hair style and strange eyewear, where the degree of weirdness in eithr or both varies inversely to the actual amount of talent.

It's happening more and more. I'll be sitting in the middle of a conference room with a bunch of people in neckties, trying to bring their marketing strategies into line, when one of them says, "I think we ought to bring the creative people in."

Ding-dong. Here we go again.

In march men with ponytails and women with shaved heads -- and all of them wearing glasses with teeny-weeny lenses. Rght away I know the company's problem. They're still buying trendy when they should be buying strategic.

Judgmental, you say? Biased am I?

Not at all. If someone can make a web site profitable by winning second runner-up in the Steven Seagal contest, it's no skin off my keyboard. And if someone can increase profitability by wearing eyewear designed by Jerry Lewis, well, that's just fine by me.

But you just can't do BOTH and expect to be taken seriously. I'm sorry. It can be either funny hair or weird eyewear, but not both.

That's not my opinion. It's Physical Law.

Rob Frankel

In addition to co-hosting the nationally-syndicated radio show LOG ON USA, Rob Frankel is a business opinion columnist for Ziff Davis' Internet magazine, a speaker, consultant and president of Frankel & Anderson, America's first award-winning, 100% digital advertising and marketing agency, providing Advertising, Marketing & Killer Creative to clients throughout the world. You can reach Rob directly at http://www.RobFrankel.com or toll-free (throughout North America) at 1-888-ROBFRANKEL, and see/hear samples of Killer Creative at http://www.frankel-anderson.com

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