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Re: link to us: viral marketing

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2004 20:22:33 +0000 (GMT)
Message-Id: <200401202022.i0KKMXD03334@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

> I don't know which sites you visit, but i find it very rare these days 

Scientific and  technical (generally not written by businesses), search
engines (Google doesn't seem to have one), news (neither BBC nor The
Register seem to have one), e-commerce, language learning resources.

> not to see a favicon in the address bar, some of these are truly 

Looking at my favourites, I seem to have exactly one with a favicon,
and that's on an amateur site and looks like it there to play with
having one, rather than to brand the site.

> excellent, for instance Lego. It seems unlikely that anyone would make 
> a legal case for removing them from an external website, that was using 
> them as a link.

I am sure MacDonalds would sue any of the anti-MacDonalds sites that
used the icon in any way.  I suspect favicons get through the legal
department because the expectation is that they will not be included
in third party content.

> However their size is small and they don't scale well.

favicons are, in a proprietory format that is designed to
contain multiple image sizes.  The peepo one is broken as it
only has a 16x16 icon, but normal ones would also contain 
32x32 one, which is one of the sizes used by Windows on the
main desk top.  Try dragging a few from the address bar onto the
desk top.

Like many things that you ask for, businesses actually like graphical
logos, but they don't like other people using them, and largely have
quite large documents describing how they may be used.  If they
are not heavily used in incoming links, it isn't because the target
businesses don't like the use of graphics.

As universal languages, they are poor; any one individual tends to have
a small, specialised vocabulary (a large proportion of advertising
spending is aimed at displacing the competitors' from that vocabulary)
and they have very complex meanings (most of the rest of advertising is
about trying to attach connotations to them).  Except when used on
investor relations documents, they are not about naming the company (at
one time one of the main UK electronics/photography high street stores
used to have a fake oriental brand name for what where really just its
own brand goods from anonymous sources - I don't think the general
public was expected to realise that the brand belonged to them).
Received on Tuesday, 20 January 2004 15:28:00 UTC

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