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URL guerrillas and a site for sore drives

webwatch

Last week's suggestion about using a streaker at MIPIM to publicise your website was not frivolous. The marketing buzz is that firms offering to get you high in the search engine lists and trickery with hypertext are stupid.

You must talk directly to your market.

A recent copy of the monthly . net suggests, in addition to paid nudistas, the idea of getting a friendly farmer to let you paint your URL in very big letters on one of his fields. Here I would go for a field under or, better, beside the upwind flight path of your local business airport. An alternative is to do this on the side of a big hill a la the Cerne Giant.

Lots of fun ideas there. The urban technique is to give the print-room person a stencil of your URL and a couple of cans of spray chalk, and send him/her out to spray the buildings and streets where your target audience most frequently congregates. Spray chalk is virtuous because it is urbanguerrilla-speedy, is biodegradable (it washes off ) and costs less than a fiver a can from lawn bowls suppliers.

A reader emailed urging us to take a look at the semi-famous American architect Steven Holl's site at www. stevenholl. com. The e-missive directs us to the message on the home page 'high bandwidth connections recommended'. This text is merged invisibly into an illustration of a heavily gridded building facade. Design before accessibility. In an even less-readable red text below this is the curt injunction 'Flash 5 plug-in required'. Normally sites offer to arrange a download.

Here, the injunction to we lower forms of life, should we have passed the broadband test, is to get it ourselves.

My e-correspondent quite reasonably uses words like 'puffed-up'and 'arrogance'. Holl, whose day job is, his site explains, as a full-time dominee at Columbia, is wrong to recommend broadband. It is absolutely essential:

the site is quite unusable without it.

And that means its design is crap. Pity, because the architecture is quite good.

sutherland. lyall@btinternet. com

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