Greetings all,

every so often, "opportunities" will
release a special edition covering
topics that i repeadetly encounter
that i feel would best be analyzed
and shared by all. today's issue
will cover that most misunderstood
of online businesses: search engines.


2. HEALTH: opportunities in mental health
3. CULTURE: the new cultural trend
4. TRAVEL: why the airline industry is really failing us

********* al berrios searching *********


"after email, people spend the most
time online searching for stuff".
when you are at a store, you can't
find the clerk, the layout is very
confusing, & there's no overhead
signs indicating where you should go,
you get fed up & leave. what would
Six Flags be like w/o a map showing
you at all times where you are? these
same realities apply online. when
someone wants to buy something,
whether on your site, or at your off-
line outlet, they want to be able to
find it right away, then they want to
compare it to other products, and the
only way to do all this is search.
when people find exactly what they're
looking for, and for the price they
want it at, they're about 80% more
likely to use it. sears has even said
that "some $500M worth of in-store
appliance sales were influenced by
customers researching online first."
with 5 Billion searchable webpages,
and only a third of that currently
being offered in search results,
search technology plays a critical
role in simplifying & enriching an
experience online. and as i'm always
saying, a good experience online is
good branding. and good branding
equals profits.


for starters, you may want to promi-
nently place your search functionality
on most, if not all your web pages. this,
like a site map, allows a user to pin-
point exactly what they want, at any
moment on your site. just imagine if
they went to yahoo to find something
that's available right on your site,
but b/c it wasn't easily found, it
wasn't purchased, viewed, or used. and
remember, prominently doesn't mean at
the bottom of your screen, that a user
needs to scroll down to use, and isn't
labeled. next, it would be important to
continually update the technology on
which your search is based. search
technology can now search for common
language phrases, most clicked pages,
most repeated words, most linked pages
and it's not stopping there. people often
misspell words or appreciate recommenda-
tions of other colors, topics, & sizes
when they enter a search query. i.e.
amazon doesn't just offer the info you
requested, they also provide you other
topics of interest based on your search


the internet has been around & so have
you, so i'm not going to waste your
time going over the basics. w/over
6000 searching companies world wide,
it'd be stupid for me to go into detail
about anyone of them. the most com-
prehensive listings is offered by
danny sullivan of searchenginewatch.com.
the thing to remember is that there are
three kinds of models for search bizzes:
advertising, paid for listings, & selling
their search technology. advertising is
broken up into general audience players
like excite and altavista & niche audience
content players, like findlaw.com,
northernlight.com, & business.com.
naturally, the more tightly focused your
audience is, the more you can charge for
your ad inventory. paid for listings sites,
contrary to popular belief, are not for
everyone to get listed on. if you're not
selling something on your site, then it's
not worth your investment. it used to be
that charging for a listing on your site
was the taboo of the internet world. now,
it's a viable plan to stay in business &
what was once pioneered by goto.com, now
overture.com, is being used by findwhat,
google, and even yahoo. the taboo-ness has
been overshadowed by the need to turn
profits & in order to maintain editorial
beliefs intact, those that charge for
listings, indicate advertisers by high-
lighting them as featured, sponsored,
or special links.

********* al berrios health *********

HEALTH: the impact of sept 11 hasn't
stopped at the physical. shrinks all
over expect a second wave of victims
as ppl begin to experience post-traumatic
stress disorder, attacking victims in
the form of depressive bouts, suicidal
tendencies, & consequently unproductivity.
in the wake of the attacks, mental health
care was being provided free to anyone
that needed it, but altruism cannot
exist on kindness alone. as docs try
& unravel the causes of this "illness",
biochemical imbalances seem to be
the key. altho not yet known which
chromosomes are responsible for this
illness, docs are developing powerful
drugs to combat & rebalance the chemicals
responsible. altho assistance is
offered to those that need it, it
isn't covered by most health plans
& any gov provided help, as w/all other
gov provided services, will never be
as good as those provided by private
mental health care professionals.

bottom line: the scummiest thing anyone
could do during this time of national
emergency is take advantage of others.
well, in the most un-scummiest way
possible, i will try & shed a small
glimmer of opportunity in the form of
mental health info websites. even b4
sept 11th, cosmetic dental care, and
other self-improvement non-traditional
health care was popular. before going
to a physician, people research online.
the same can be said about the provision
of mental health care. however, there
aren't any really good sources of info
for those looking. and the few that
offer general info about your health
have very outdated information. there
are hundreds of medical journals, here
and abroad, but most of them discuss
complex topics for other members of
the medical community. it could be
that doctors are too busy to publish
what they know on a regular basis,
or it could be that there's no business
dedicated to producing simple to read
and easy to use info about mental health.
i believe the latter is more realistic.

read more:

********* al berrios iMarketing *********

CULTURE: there are huge advertising
agencies dedicated to understanding
what represents culture, what trends
are developing, and then use this data
to produce truly effective marketing.
no one could have ever predicted this,
but after sept 11th, the new culture
is on news. that's priority. not
funny shows, not action flicks, but
old-fashion news. and anyone, in any
medium that is producing it, is & will
get most of the traffic online. news
formats have always been popular.
cheap to produce, and easy to sell
to advertisers, they're huge money
makers for media companies. and as
the events of sept 11 continue to
generate new developments, everything
from chandra missing to mcD's screwing
it's customers, is no longer interesting
to consumers. many say that humor is
no longer an effective tool for branding
& light-heartedness is off key w/the
global sentimentality. but when it
comes to being informed, consumers
seek out news like credit card co's
after defaulting card holders.

bottom line: you all know i'm a
huge advocate of subscription based
online business models, however, even
i seek out free info online. and if
cnn gives it to me fee, why would i
pay the wall street journal for
old articles? obviously, i'm paying
for the respected journalists &
intelligent news gathering, but
if i'm stupid, no amount of intelligent
journalism will help me understand
the news any better. thus said, it
would be in your best interest to
develop some sort of news gathering
system. your users will appreciate
it more, and show it by sticking
around longer. and hey, with every
article you post, you now have an
additional channel thru which to
peddle your others goods & services.

********* al berrios travel *********

TRAVEL: airlines were already having
problems b4 sept 11th
, & now, not even
a $15B gov bail out can help them. what
got me most curious about the airline
industry crisis is, if airlines were
having problems, then why were companies
like priceline.com & travelocity.com,
two online business models supposedly
helping the airline industry, so successful?
my theory is that online travel agents
like these benefited from, and consequently
murdered, the traditional airline business.
their constant searching & selling of the
cheapest tickets around to an ever growing
customer base is what did the airlines in.
by providing this kind of unprecedented
information to the avg consumer, airlines were
helpless to charge ridiculous fees and now
depended on snazzy advertising and services
to attract even more travelers to hopefully
overcome the fact that they weren't selling
tickets as profitably as they used to.

bottom line: this speaks volumes not only
to the power of the internet to deliver
info, compare prices, & as a distribution
medium, it also tells of a much more intriguing
power of the internet to change the dynamics
of commerce and a hundred year old industry.
people prefer to pay what they feel is fair,
not what someone else tells them they should pay.
and what's airlines response to the reduced air
travel - make tickets cheaper than they've
been in decades. analysts will continue to
figure out what happened to the industry.
was it mismanagement or lack of travelers?
the opportunity in this environment doesn't
lie in helping businesses like expedia.com
& cheaptickets.com, but rather in helping
the airlines maintain their businesses
profitable using marketing & distribution
based on travel agents. no, i'm not selling
out - what good is a priceline.com when
airlines are going bankrupt left & right?
what good is lowestfare.com when airlines
reduce the supply of flights, and in turn
increase the prices of available supply.
hello! basic economics teaches you that
these online travel agents are ultimately
going to make it more expensive for us to

read more:

********* al berrios iMarketing *********

Disclaimer: The recommendations, commentary and opinions published herein are based on public information sometimes referenced via hyperlinks. Any similarities or likeness to any ideas or commentary from any other sources not referenced is purely coincidental. al berrios & co. cannot control any results occurring from advice obtained from this publication nor any opinion(s) conveyed by any reader of this publication.

(c) 2001-2005. All Rights Reserved. al berrios & company, inc. Published by al berrios & co. This Report may not be reproduced or redistributed in any form without written permission from al berrios & co., subject to penalty.