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Web 360

Book Review of: Web 360

The fundamentals of Web success

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Review of Web 360, by Peter Prestipino (Softcover, 2011)

(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you want a hardcopy)


Back in the mid-1990s, when I started building Websites, you could plop down $99 for a downloadable Word document that gave you an overview of the basic requirements for building a decent online business. That's essentially what Mr. Prestipino has produced here, but he's selling it in paperback at half that price and with updated information compared to the mid-1990s. A small problem with the price he's asking is that books in the online business genre usually sell for much less.

This book does keep to its promise. It covers the fundamentals. It's a good primer for someone considering building a new Website, whether you intend to do the actual HTML work yourself or not. It doesn't get into coding, HTML tutorials, or that kind of under the hood stuff. The implementation won't matter if you don't get the strategy right.

Mr. Prestipino covers the key areas that any online business needs to look at prior to implementation. In each of these areas, you must decide what not to do and what to do. Proceeding without a plan will certainly mean failure. Proceeding with a plan that doesn't address one of these key areas properly will require a mid-course correction so you can avoid failure.

While this book does address the fundamentals, that doesn't mean that someone who's managed an e-commerce platform or who's been working as a Webmaster would have no use for it. Actually, Websites that are struggling typically aren't following the principles Mr. Prestipino has laid out in this book. Web designers and Web consultants might find giving a copy to their most difficult clients will save them hours of explaining and re-explaining.

In reading this, I couldn't see where Mr. Prestipino was merely providing his personal opinion. That's probably because he's the Editor-in-Chief of Website Magazine. Anyone subscribing to that magazine will immediately understand the correlation, here. If you aren't a subscriber, it boils down to the fact that he has a bird's eye view of the online business world. He doesn't have to guess what works, he has the data.

This book consists of 12 chapters and a conclusion, spanning 190 pages (it goes to page 195, but starts page one even before the table of contents). It also has a nice glossary. It does not have an index, but is arranged in a way to make that unnecessary.




About these reviews

You may be wondering why the reviews here are any different from the hundreds of "reviews" posted online. Notice the quotation marks?

I've been reviewing books for sites like Amazon for many years now, and it dismays me that Amazon found it necessary to post a minimum word count for reviews. It further dismays me that it's only 20 words. If that's all you have to say about a book, why bother?

And why waste everyone else's time with such drivel? As a reader of such reviews, I feel like I am being told that I do not matter. The flippancy of people who write these terse "reviews" is insulting to the authors also, I would suspect.

This sound bite blathering taking the place of any actual communication is increasingly a problem in our mindless, blog-posting Webosphere. Sadly, Google rewards such pointlessness as "content" so we just get more if this inanity.

My reviews, contrary to current (non) standards, actually tell you about the book. I always got an "A" on a book review I did as a kid (that's how I remember it anyhow, and it's my story so I'm sticking to it). A book review contains certain elements and has a logical structure. It informs the reader about the book.

A book review may also tell the reader whether the reviewer liked it, but revealing a reviewer's personal taste is not necessary for an informative book review.

About your reviewer

  • Books are a passion of mine. I read dozens of them each year, plus I listen to audio books.
  • Most of my "reading diet" consists of nonfiction. I think life is too short to use your limited reading time on material that has little or no substance. That leads into my next point...
  • In 1990, I stopped watching television. I have not missed it. At all.
  • I was first published as a preteen. I wrote an essay, and my teacher submitted it to the local paper.
  • For six years, I worked as an editor for a trade publication. I left that job in 2002, and still do freelance editing and authoring for that publication (and for other publications).
  • No book has emerged from my mind onto the best-seller list. So maybe I'm presumptuous in judging the work of others. Then again, I do more describing than judging in my reviews. And I have so many articles now published that I stopped counting them at 6,000. When did I stop? Probably 20,000 articles ago! (It's been a while).
  • I have an engineering degree and an MBA, among other "quant" degrees. That helps explain my methodical approach toward reviews.
  • You probably don't know anybody who has made a perfect or near perfect score on a test of Standard Written English. I have. So, a credential for whatever it's worth.

About reading style

No, I do not "speed read" through these. That said, I do read at a fast rate. But, in contrast to speed reading, I read everything when I read a book for review.

Speed reading is a specialized type of reading that requires skipping text as you go. Using this technique, I've been able to consistently "max out" a speed reading machine at 2080 words per minute with 80% comprehension. This method is great if you are out to show how fast you can read. But I didn't use it in graduate school and I don't use it now. I think it takes the joy out of reading, and that pleasure is a big part of why I read.

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