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Here are some frequently-asked questions (with answers) about RedStreet Inc..
1. What does RedStreet do?
RedStreet Inc. (http://www.redstreet.com) is the leading marketing science authority for the legal market. We do some work publicly and for free (e.g. our popular law firm website reviews, which we publish twice per year on our website), and we do some work privately and for a fee. Here is a list of some of the firms we have worked with:
Baker & Botts
Buchanan Ingersoll, PC
Fox, Rothschild, O'Brien & Frankel
Frost & Jacobs
Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps
Orrick & Ward
Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal
Strasburger & Price
2. When will you next reviews be published?
The most recent reviews were published January 18, 2000. The next round of reviews (small and mid-sized firms) will be published in the summer of 2000.
3. How much do you charge for your services?
Our most popular products and services are detailed below.
a) "RedStreet's Best Legal Websites 2000." Our website reviews are more in depth than ever. This book includes our methodology for scoring, how each NLJ 250 law firm scored in approximately 60 categories, how your firm ranked against your competition, the best designers and how they ranked, and other information. The price is $2500, and the book is available exclusively from Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0967860709/redstreetconsultA/). (See also question 4 below.)
b) Website Audits.
We will evaluate your site, from the first page to the last. We'll tell you about things you've probably never thought of but that definitely affect a visitor's experience at your site. The finished product is anywhere from 40 to 70 pages, complete with marketing and technical analysis that will give you the information you need to do the next version of your site "right."
Past audit clients identified our audit as an "essential first step" in their redesign efforts. Our audit is designed to teach you everything you need to know about your current site so you can decide what to keep, what to eliminate, and what to improve.
Each audit contains analysis from the experts in this area. RedStreet's founders (Erik J. Heels and Richard P. Klau) were on the Internet well before the web showed up. They've looked at thousands of law firm websites, have written the book (see http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1570735530/redstreetconsultA/) on what works and what doesn't, and have published hundreds of in-depth reviews at www.redstreet.com that educate visitors about what makes a good website.
We charge $6,000 for an audit. If you'd like to request an audit, we can proceed as soon as we receive a 50% deposit.
Our website (http://www.redstreet.com) generates tens of thousands of page view per month, and traffic increases about 15% per month. A large percentage of our visitors are legal professionals, including the NLJ 250 law firms.
We charge for advertising based on the number of advertisers and the relative placement of the banner ads. Prices start at $2500/month.
Once we've audited your site, consider having us help you in the redesign process. As a result of several requests, we now assist firms with the writing of the web design RFP and the proposal evaluation process.
We charge $400/hour for consulting. If you'd like to request our consulting service, we can proceed as soon as we receive a $3000 retainer.
e) Website Hosting.
We offer shared Unix hosting using your own domain name. Four plans are available.
- 2000 MB of data transfer ($1) per MB for add'l transfer
- 30 MB of disk space ($10 per MB over 30 MB)
- Setup fee = $500.00
- Monthly fee = $250.00
- 3,000 MB of data transfer ($1) per MB for add'l transfer
- 50 MB of disk space ($10 per MB over 50 MB)
- Setup fee = $500.00
- Monthly fee = $500.00
- 4,000 MB of data transfer ($1) per MB for add'l transfer
- 75 MB of disk space ($10 per MB over 75 MB)
- Setup fee = $500.00
- Monthly fee = $1000.00
- 10,000 MB of data transfer ($1) per MB for add'l transfer
- 200 MB of disk space ($10 per MB over 75 MB)
- Setup fee = $5000.00
- Monthly fee = $6000.00
You can add additional disk storage for $10 per MB in blocks of 5 MB. Additional data transfer is billed at $1 per MB per month for all plans.
4. Why is your book "RedStreet's Best Legal Websites 2000" so expensive?
You shouldn't compare this book to other books. You should compare it to our Website Audit, our consulting services, and other comparable products and services.
a) 15,000 points of light. From 11/01/99 to 12/31/99 we reviewed 300+ firms in 50 different areas for a total of over 15,000 points of analysis. This equates to approximately one point of analysis for every minute of every working day in that period.
b) Audits v. Reviews. Everything that we look at in our website audits (for which we charge $6000) we looked at for this round of reviews. In other words, we did the equivalent of 300 website audits. We've published these results in our book "RedStreet's Best Legal Websites 2000," which is available for $2500 exclusively from Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0967860709/redstreetconsultA/). (If you were to purchase 300 website audits, it would cost $1.8 million. Not that we'd expect anyone to spend $1.8 million on 300 audits, but it puts the $2500 price tag for this publication in perspective!)
c) Narratives v. Scores. The narratives are just illustrative of the 50 areas we looked at. We use the narratives to give examples about what a firm is doing right or wrong in a particular area. We may choose to write about only one thing, such as a the firm's splash page, but the narrative is the very last thing we do, after the score has been calculated, after all 50 areas have been analyzed.
d) Art v. Science. We look at approximately 50 different areas in three categories: content, presentation, and experience. This year's method involves a formula for calculating the final score, based on how well the firm scored in each of the 50 areas. More specifically, there are 11 content areas, 10 presentation areas, 17 experience areas, and 9 experimental areas (which do not affect the score but which are statistically interesting). Each firm starts off with a perfect score, and deductions are made for each mistake the firm makes (not unlike figure skating). Each area is weighted from 0.5 to 4. The final scores are normalized, rounded, and correlated to letter equivalents (A through F). There are multiple tie-breakers that determine rankings, so firms with same scores will never have the same rankings. The formula for calculating the score takes a full page of text and is a RedStreet trade secret. We don't think it's impossible to reverse-engineer the formula (and we'd hire anyone would could do it), but neither do we think it's necessary. Each of the 50 areas is described in our book, which can serve as a checklist for firms and designers alike. A sampling is described at http://www.redstreet.com/Publications/Reviews1999_Methodology/index.shtml.
e) Past v. Present v. Future. Our 1999 reviews are independent of our 1998 reviews. We give every site a fresh look each year. We feel that this year's scores are more scientific, more in-depth, and more fair than ever before. Some firms that scored well last year may not score well this year because we looked harder at each. For example we checked to see if DNS was configured properly and if 404 file-not-found error pages had been customized (and these are not immediately obvious). The only thing that is constant is change. We have definite opinions on each of the areas and are certain that there are those who will disagree with our opinions. But we feel the rankings are the most complete, thorough, and fair rankings ever published of any websites (law firms or otherwise).
5. Does RedStreet provide legal advice?
No, we do not provide legal advice of any sort. If you are a consumer looking for an attorney, we recommend http://www.lawyers.com. If you are an attorney looking for an attorney, we recommend http://lawyers.martindale.com/marhub.
6. Our website has changed. Will you update your review?
No. We update our reviews twice per year. In the spring, we look at the small and mid-sized firms and identify a group that we feel represents the "best of breed." In the fall, we take "The National Law Journal's" list of the 250 largest law firms (the "NLJ 250"), identify each firm's domain name(s), and see if they have a website. We do not notify firms that they are being reviewed. Like restaurant reviewers, we feel it is best if the site is reviewed without advance preparation. We understand that many firms upgrade and/or release new sites throughout the year, but the goal of our reviews is to provide a snapshot of what the profession is doing. It is not our intention to make this an up-to-date directory of every law firm website.
7. Do you do web design?
A: No. RedStreet's goal is to assist the law firm marketing community in understanding the Internet medium. Given our experience on both the technology side and the marketing side, we feel we are uniquely qualified to offer advice. We also feel that the credibility of our reviews would be called into question if they were viewed as an attempt to drum up business for a web design company.
8. We just released a website. Can you take a look at it?
We would love to, but unfortunately we receive hundreds of these e-mails each year. We put hundreds of hours into the reviews and cannot afford to devote more time to this process. If you would like to hire us to identify ways in which your web presence can further your marketing goals, we encourage you to contact us.
9. We are a small firm. How can we make sure you see our site for your spring reviews?
We do not accept nominations. We compile a master list of all non-NLJ 250 firms by looking at those firms listed in Martindale-Hubbell. Next year, we may use Martindale-Hubbell as the "starting point" for our small and mid-sized firms as well.
10. Our firm name is misspelled in one of your reviews. Can you fix this?
This was deliberate. We take all information about a firm from the InterNIC's Whois database (http://www.internic.net). However your firm's domain name is registered is how you will show up on our site. To correct misspellings, a change in firm name, or something else, you must do so with the InterNIC. Once you do that, we will pick up the change in the next round of reviews. This is not a problem for reviews published after 01/2000, because Martindale-Hubbell is the source for those reviews.
11. You reviewed our firm's site. I'd like to include a graphic on our site that indicates you reviewed us. Do you have anything for this purpose?
Yes. Download the image from our home page then place it wherever appropriate on your site. We encourage you to link directly to your review, as visitors can then see what was said about your site.
If you think we can help your firm, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.