NET.WORKING: What do you need?

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By a sizable margin, the two questions we hear most at NetMarketing are: "How can I find a good Web developer" and "How much should I expect to pay?"

Typically these questions come from marketers suddenly assigned to help get their company's Web site up and, just as typically, these marketers are having to start from scratch.

On our front page this month we talk to a variety of Internet managers about how they found (or are searching for) their developers. You can see it's something of a struggle, and it doesn't help that the prices and services offered by Web designers are non-standardized at this point.

When a company hires an ad agency, it's understood that costs for video or print production will fall within a well-delineated range. Not so for Web production, which can be done a dozen different ways by a dozen different Web teams using their own customized software -- and then priced anywhere between $50,000 and $250,000.

Given this, our goal for NetMarketing is to make the process easier for everybody by sharing as much hard data as possible. Our monthly Web Price Index is a unique resource pooling price quotes from 25 leading developers in six cities; this month we break down hourly rates for six core Web design tasks.

Similarly, the monthly Developer Directory offers the only city-by-city listing of business Web designers/agencies anywhere. We began with New York and are working our way through the list of cities.

We'll be bringing our directories for the nation's top 10 cities to the Web soon, so if you're a developer who wants to be included (or update your client list), please e-mail Associate Editor Angel Ayala.

And of course, all of this data will be easily searchable from our Web site at

My point here is that NetMarketing's purpose is more than just offering case studies and how-to stories, as important as those are. The overall goal is to help you do your job better. Let us know if there's information you need that you can't find anywhere else.

David Klein is editor of the Ad Age Group.

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