Computers Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd. Today, with home computers and modems becoming faster and cheaper, the home front is on the break of a new frontier of on line information and data processing. The Internet, the ARPANET (Advanced Research Programs Agency Network) spinoff is a channel of uninterrupted information interchange. It allows people to connect to large computer databases that can store valuable information on goods and services.
The Internet is quickly becoming a tool for vast data interchange for more than twenty million Americans. New tools are allowing Internet presence an easier task. As did the gold miners set out to California on carriages to stake their claim in the gold rush, business and entrepreneurs are rushing to stake their claim on the information superhighway through Gopher sites, World-Wide Websites, and electronic mailing lists. This article explains how businesses and entrepreneurs are setting up information services on the Internet that allows users to browse through picture catalogues, specification lists, and up to the minute reports.
Ever since Sears Roebuck created the first pictorial catalogue, the idea has fascinated US that merchandises could be selected and ordered in our leisure time. Like any cataloging system, references make it easy to find what user seeks. Since its inception, The Internet has been refining its search tools. Being able to find products through many catalogues is what make the Internet shine in information retrieval. This helps the consumer find merchandise that they might other wise probably cannot find.
The World Wide Web allows users to find information on goods and services, pictures of products, samples of music (Used by record Companies), short videos showing the product or service, and samples of programs. Although a consumer cannot order directly from the Web site, the business will often give a Voice telephone number or an order form that costumer can print out and send out through the mail. Although web sites have the magazine like appeal, storing large amounts of textual data is often difficult. Gopher (like go-for) is set up like filing cabinet to allow the user more flexibility in retrieval. Gopher is similar to the white / yellow pages in the way information is retrieved word for word.
They are also a lot cheaper and easier to set up which allows small business an easy way to set up shop. Consumers can find reviews, tech-info, and other bits and pieces of information. Each person who uses the Internet has an identification that sets them apart from everyone else. Often called handles (from the old short wave radio days).
Electronic mail addresses allow information exchange from user to user. Business can take advantage of this by sending current information to many users. A user must first subscribe to the mailing list. Then the computer adds them to the update list. Usually, companies will send out a monthly update. This informs users of upgrades in their products (usually software), refinements (new hardware drivers, faster code, bug fixes, etc. ), new products, question bulletins where subscribers can post questions and answers, and links (addresses) to sites where new company information can be found.
Comments and Opinions This article pointed out the key information that anyone who is interested in representing their company on the Internet might find useful. It then went into explaining the few key elements that comprise the complete and ever expanding system. It was also a fair lead way for the programs that they explained in the next articles on software used to create web pages, E-mail lists, Gopher sites and FTP (similar to Gopher). It showed the expanse at which the Internet was growing, and the use it could serve businesses to expand their user outreach. I have personally used these services to find business that sell hard to find products. Through the world wide web I have found specialty companies that believe I would not have found.
The article showed essentials of web savvy such as the availability of video and sound (music) files. For this consumer Ican say that I have purchased at least two compact disks after hearing the short sample released by the record companies. The video clips are eye catching and may influence people to buy the companies products. I was disappointed in the information on Gopher.
It mainly showed the differences between it and the world wide web, instead of explaining what it is. It also made an irrelevant reference to UNIX (Text based operating system used on expert systems) books's earch and HTTP (the language that the World Wide We breads) cross referencing might mislead the reader. Gopher is a very powerful tool that businesses with an on-line presence and information worth reading should be aware. The business related information on electronic mailing lists did nothing other then point out a few groups available. It briefly touched intelligent agents, which are the backbone of E-mail publications. Although it was detailed in publications, there was little theory of operation that a business looking into this route of information distribution might find of use.
It did however explain the addressing system. Overall this article was decent in the overview of the business use of the Internet. It pointed out the three major areas that companies are racing to settle. It gave many useful information on the World-Wide Web, which is currently the business magnet. Reading this is article is a foot in the right direction for any business seeking to have an on-line presence.