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The heady, early days of the Internet are over, but that does not mean everything is being done right. At WebProclaim, they work on the next stage of Internet business: doing things properly.

The heady, early days of the Internet are over-there are very few gee-whiz stories anymore about what a company is doing online, and every business has realized the value of having a working site. But that doesn’t mean everything is being done right. At Atlanta-based WebProclaim, they’re working on the next stage of Internet business: doing things properly. President and founder Robert Truelove chats about making technology work, and why it sometimes doesn’t.

How did WebProclaim get started?

I was the director of Software & Internet Development for an organization called Crown Financial Ministries. My successes in that position got the attention of other companies and organizations and I was being approached to do freelance Internet development and marketing work on the side. This ‘moonlighting’ work grew to a point where I had to choose between cutting it off or taking it on full-time. I decided to go with my own company and WebProclaim, LLC was born in October of 2002.

What got you personally interested in doing this work?

Well, I’m a nerd. Not the impracticable, no-common-sense, incommunicable type of nerd, but the sort that loves technology and has a natural knack for making it work. By making technology work, I don’t mean just writing good code that doesn’t blow up. What I am talking about is technology that works in the big sense. Yes, the code works, but if I am building a Web application to sell widgets, I want to make sure that it actually does that. A Web site that can sell widgets but doesn’t is a failure, even if it is, technologically speaking, the best widget site on the Internet. This is where the business and marketing side of the Internet comes into play. Time has proven that I have a pretty good natural intuition for how things will actually ‘work’ on the Web.

Why do you feel there’s a need for what you provide?

There are many good Internet development firms that do not understand the business and marketing side of the business. Alternatively, there are many good marketing firms that do not understand the technology. Some companies try to overcome this weakness by hiring a marketing firm to work with their Internet development firm in order to come up with an effective solution. The problem with this picture is that it costs exponentially more money and in most cases, it is not effective. Most marketing firms are working from old paradigms that do not apply well to the Internet. I understand both sides of the equation and it is from this understanding that the solution is developed.

In your opinion, what are the largest challenges for businesses trying to establish a Web presence right now?

The biggest problem I have experienced is that companies many times hire the wrong person for the job. I’ve gained a lot of clients from situations where their Web site had serious problems and they brought me in to fix the situation. I’ve seen cases where companies paid top dollar for Web sites that had an extremely unprofessional appearance. There have also been cases where core technology was unreliable or broken. In many cases, support from the original developer was very poor to non-existent. When looking for a Web developer, companies need to be sure to get a portfolio of past Web sites the developer has made. Then look at the quality of the sites and be sure to contact a few of the site owners and ask them about the developer.

do you know an atlanta company we should cover? Let us know about it. Send your local profile candidates to Elizabeth Millard at [email protected]

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