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News & Views - Aug, 1996 Issue #41 

by Bob Kirkpatrick, Technical Systems Dir. 

According to a recent press release by AT&T, computer based internet connectivity will surpass telephone use for business in the next five years. Given the eminence of AT&T in the world of communications, I have no reason to doubt them.

As it is today, nearly two-thirds of the commercial business communications traffic uses the internet (and world wide web). 

These two facts should be telling everyone something: If you don’t have a presence on the ‘net, then you’re missing people, opportunities and events. 

Recently, we’ve gotten inquiries from some REPORTS Online browsers asking why they couldn’t reach some of the advertisers through email or web pages. Our only reply was to say that many of the emotional growth professionals had yet to take the steps necessary to make them a part of the internet. It’s sad, but true. 

Another unfortunate truth is that many people who DID get involved with the internet, did it badly. Here’s what I mean: As far as an account to provide you with email, file retrieval and the usual web browsing, almost any internet service provider will do. My recommendation to clients is that they find the service with the most free phone lines, the best customer support and lowest price. 

BUT! When it comes to world wide web presence, a lot more caution is necessary on your part. The reason for this is that most web service providers do pages as a sideline, and put those pages into the open millieu of the millions of other pages. This has the effect of building a nice big sign, and then displaying it in the dark, unlit. In other words, you won’t get the contacts you bought the account for. Even with the search engines like Lycos, AltaVista, Yahoo and the others (nearly 285 of them now), people still find it difficult to locate pages by using simple keyword searches. Thus, your best bet to be seen is to get a page set (or site) that’s affiliated with an organization which is iconic to the type of business you’re in. 

In anticipation of the ‘mass migration’ to the internet, REPORTS decided to assist the browsers looking for alternative programs. We created REPORTS Online, and associated it with REPORTS’ other many activities. This gives an easy way for people to locate not only REPORTS Online, but those who have positions in his web space. As it is, thousands of people have toured the Woodbury pages, and many of those visits translated into contacts. (See: Seen N Heard - this issue). 

This isn’t going to be a long diatribe, suffice to say that just about every technical publication dealing appropriately with the web runs articles saying similar things all the time: Quality is a two-fold item on the ‘net. A pretty or entertaining page isn’t the only qualifier for success; having your pages done right, by qualified WEB professionals, and locating your pages on a “clearinghouse” site are crucial. Lon can help you. Call him today and see how the net can work for you. 

Copyright © 1996, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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