In the mid-to late-1990s, the World Wide Web (web) exploded into public consciousness. But while the early growth was fast, it was not certain. For example, in 1996, estimates of Internet audience ranged from 5.8 million to 24 million (Johnson, 1996). But difficulty in estimating audience size was just one of the problems that plagued web researchers. Equally important concerns were the characteristics and purposes of marketingoriented web sites.