OK. You've got a web site with anywhere between 100 and 100,000,000 hits a month. You even have a guestbook. Your guestbook asks your visitors some detailed questions about who they are, what they want, and why they are at your site. This data gets e-mailed to you, or maybe posted to a web page. If you are lucky, maybe this data gets placed in an unmanageable text file.
But you need something more.
You need marketing data. You need an easy-to-use interface. You need to perform queries and find out more about your customers. You need summary statistics on your visitors. You need to blast e-mail your guests. You need to take the web to a new level.
But you don't have the time to spend thousands of hours writing complicated server code. You don't have $100 grand to spend on a consultant to write the code for you.
You have only one choice: GuestiMate.
Guestimate is a web program that automatically creates a guestbook for a web master and references a CGI on an external server. The data from the guestbook is automatically submitted into a database on the external server. Then, the webmaster can log into Guestimate and perform queries on her data. Then, to top it off, the webmaster can form mail each person that matches the query so that they each receive a personalized e-mail message.
It just so happens the Cyber Ball is coming up next month and Webman wants to impress all the CEO's in attendance with a real date rather than a virtual one. So what does he do? Webman checks out his prospects, of course. He figures the perfect date for him is an Internet surfer that knows him, has a "berkeley" e-mail domain, was born after 1960, and is right-handed (so they won't collide on the dance floor).
Where can he find such a girl? Guestimate, of course. Any potential date has probably already signed the guestbook of his home page.
So Webman logs into Guestimate with his login and password (see Figure 1) as a master. After logging in, he is given a host of options. Figure 2 displays the welcoming screen. The first thing Webman notices is that six new people have signed his guestbook since he last logged into Guestimate. Wow, he must be a pretty popular guy (and therefore worthy of a real human date)!
After logging in, Webman realizes that he should change his preferences - his search for a date can wait 28 seconds. So, Webman clicks on the "preferences" hotlink and up comes a customizable option center (see Figure 3). Here he sees the background color for his public comments, customizable HTML greetings, and other fancy options. After customizing the "thank you for signing my guestbook screen," Webman realizes his original purpose for logging into Guestimate and quickly returns to the opening screen (Figure 2).
Now Webman clicks on the "Check Guest Stats" button and goes to Guestimate's Power Query (see Figure 4). Here he has the opportunity to enter his criteria for the perfect date. As stated before, Webman is searching for a right handed woman born after 1960 with an e-mail address in the Berkeley domain. Webman gives preference to recent signers of his guestbook, so he sorts his data by "Date of Entry" in descending order. Webman presses the "Search Guest Information" button to initiate the query.
Figure 5 depicts the dynamic results screen of Webman's query. We can see that seven people match Webman's criteria. Now Webman is in a dilemma. He wants to ask every one of them to the Cyber Ball because he figures that only one will say "yes." But he does not want any of his potential dates to know that he e-mailed the same message to someone else. He could e-mail each person separately, but Webman is a busy guy and does not have time for that. So Webman knows he only has one option - KyberMail.
In Figure 6, we see Webman fill out his KyberMail form. After picking his greeting (Dear firstname), Webman writes a short, sweet message. KyberMail will individually mail Webman's message with a personalized greeting to each of his potential dates. However, Guestimate's Kyber Mail can't guarantee that any of those mailed will say "yes."
After form mailing his dates, Webman wants to check each one out individually to make sure. Webman can just click of any of the hotlinks (see Figure 5) to get detailed information about his potential date (see Figure 7). In Figure 7, we see that Webman's potential date's seems like a good choice -- and of course, she matches all the specifications of the query.
Right now, there are over 2000 "masters" using Guestimate. Check it out yourself...
Copyright © 1996 Auren Hoffman. All Rights Totally Reserved.