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Some Dogs I Have Known, or
“Bark Twice if You've Been Bitten.”
by Jerry W. Bird

One of my favorite tapes is "Some Dogs I have Known," by Fred Vogt, which compares the personalities of his pet poodles and sundry other breeds with that of certain people he has known during a long career. In every measure of loyalty, courage, trust, patience and determination, the dogs always came out on top. Are you surprised? Most dogs I've known are proper ladies and gentlemen in their way; but then there are junkyard curs, scavengers and pit bulls - right? Everybody and his proverbial dog these days claims to be a Web Expert. So its so easy as 1-2-3 to be taken in by the fast buck crowd.

Flakes and Flimflam: I love that cartoon of two mutts, with one commenting, " On the Internet nobody knows you're a dog." Welcome to the kennel. A book I am working on aims to warn against a plague of rampant hucksterism, as countless phonies, flakes, featherheads and frauds invade our great new communications vehicle. It's like a reincarnation of the medicine men, flimflams and fortune tellers from the Barnum and Bailey era. A honky tonk parade, with a paper moon and cotton candy promises. For the army of hucksters, its a giant Halloween party and Mardis Gras rolled into one, as their masquerade continues unabated. Lots of tricks, but no treats for the gullible. Continued below

Putting Brakes on E- Commerce Fast Train
The following points from "THE GAPS IN E-COMMERCE," make a lot of sense. They are based on an International Hotel and Restaurant Association study on the impact of automation and information technology on the hospitality industry. The IHRA has identified the following "gaps" the hospitality industry will have to close if it is to succeed in the e-commerce environment.

The gulf between the promise of what technology can do and what is actually being delivered.

• The digital divide isolating senior management with no IT background from their IT savvy juniors.

• The technology skills vacuum in the industry.

• The time lag between the spiraling expectations of the younger generation and the slow speed of adoption of it in hospitality.

• The void in the existing body of knowledge available on technology applications and their impacts.

• The absence of methodology to evaluate both tangible and intangible returns on technology investments.

• The polarization between state-of-the-art high-tech infrastructure and the high-touch (personalized) experience many guests want.

Continued from above
Quick Turn Offs
What's more, I've a bone to pick with those who mess up their web pages with dead ends, traps, whiz bangs, snakes and ladders. Confusing cross-promotional links put the searcher in Never Never Land, which happens often and makes me growl.

Being Hounded or Held for Ransom? These cheeky characters are wolves in sheep's clothing, yet in a comical way they remind me of the cartoon character Wile E. Coyote, with his numerous plots and schemes. Remember how they all blow up in his face? An associate company of ours endured several hair raising experiences over a two year period, having hired some of these self appointed web experts. These people controlled the site and actually held our friends for ransom unless more money was laid out. The whole scene became ridiculous. I managed to set the web site free, but it took a great deal of patience.

Test Your Tolerance
Research shows that the average user has almost zero tolerance for such complexity. Don't these idiots realize that most folks have small screens, minimal skills and snail-like modems? Yet, a legion of web owners get carried away by their own greed, a fondness for techno toys, or the urge to be cute with pictures and words. This makes it extremely frustrating for a person to buy, search further, or even stay on line. The harder one has to search for a product, the easier it is to leave a site. And with each click of the mouse, or level of depth, you lose 25 percent of your customers. In a study of major online retailers, 39 percent of online customer buying attempts and 56 percent of product searches failed. In one test a researcher went four levels deep into the site without finding a simple graphic or display of the company's core product. Let's hear your experiences.
Send E-Mail to Editor, or fax 604-681-6595

Congratulations Com-Dex for an outstanding show. We attended at the Vancouver Convention Centre, March 13-15, and wish we could have spent more time; however with pressing deadlines, we had to make the best of it (more to come).



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