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Preface

Preface

When the Internet was first born, most of us were so delighted with the ability to share information across great distances with relative ease that we gave little thought to critical analysis of how that information was being consumed. With the advent of the modern browser giving way to not just information but nice-looking information, our delight only magnified. Like children in a sandbox, we built sites, added images and content, and told everyone who would listen, “Hey, you! Come to my web site. My web site is great!”

At some point, somebody asked if anyone was coming. Nobody knew the answer.

The tools had not been developed, nor the practices established, to understand how people were interacting with these rapidly emerging web sites. The direct mailing crowd had cut their teeth on square inch analysis and DMA zones, and the television and radio folks had their Nielsen and Soundscan data. Physical stores had Underhill, his planograms, and spying college students. Even telesales operations had a notion of how well received their outgoing message was, based on the number of hang-ups they were getting.


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