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On the Mark: Shift to Web Has Just Begun

By Mark Hall
July 30, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Even though Web content is being squeezed in between bigger, bolder and, frankly, more annoying online advertising, only 6% of ad dollars go to Internet sites, according to Forrester Research Inc. But as people continue to increase their Web time vs. other media, more ads will shift to Web sites. Matt Langie, director of product marketing at WebTrends Inc. in Portland, Ore., says the trick for Web marketers is to get the biggest bang for

their buck. To help, Web­Trends this week will release its Marketing Lab 2 (ML2) analytic software, which it says will let marketers target unique visitors with their products and services more effectively. New in ML2 is WebTrends Score, which measures clickstream behavior and ties it to specific marketing offers. Pricing is based on visitor activity.

But Can the Net Take the Load?

Not so fast, say Larry Irving and Bruce Mehlman. The co-chairmen of the Internet Innovation Alliance in Washington are concerned that the Internets increased popularity is beginning to put pressure on its infrastructure. Irving points to some disturbing trends. He says that five years ago, 50% of fiber-optic cable in the U.S. was dark. Today, its only 30%, despite the doubling of capacity in that time. Both men say that video is the killer app online and that no one anticipated the success of services like YouTube or the move to broadcasting major sporting events online. Mehlman worries that policymakers believe that an immaculate conception technology will emerge to save the day. Although WiMax and broadband over power lines might bolster the Internets infrastructure, they arent silver bullets, says Irving. Mehlman argues that telecommunications and cable companies need restructured taxes and a more competitive climate to induce them to step up their infrastructure investments, or YouTube and its ilk might go down the tubes.

Bruce Mehlman
Bruce Mehlman
Ubuntu Live: Dog Pile on Microsoft

Ubuntu is revered among Linux devotees as a desktop operating system. And Mark Shuttleworth, founder of London-based Canonical Ltd., the lead developer of Ubuntu, told the audience at the Ubuntu Live conference in Portland last week that the company will focus on server improvements in the coming year to make it more appealing to IT managers. Canonical will also place Ubuntu in more direct competition with other Linux versions, such as Red Hat and SUSE. But if you were at the conference, youd have been hard-pressed to find a single critical peep about other Linux distributions or even prideful remarks about why Ubuntu is the best operating system. Rather, you could liken the


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