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The World Wide Web


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 Web sites,
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 a 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 I 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 I can 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' search and HTTP (the
language that the World Wide Web reads) 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. 


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