The Impact of the Internet on Business
Current Uses of the Internet
The Internet has a wide variety of uses. It provides an excellent means for disseminating information and communicating with other people in all regions of the world. While the greatest use of the Internet has been sharing information, other sources of use are rapidly developing. For instance, chat rooms, a space where people can go to discuss an assortment of issues, and Internet Commerce, which connects buyers and sellers online. The following are other examples of current Internet uses: 1. Technical Papers
Originally, the Internet was only used by the government and universities. Research scientists used the Internet to communicate with other scientists at different labs and to access powerful computer systems at distant computing facilities. Scientists also shared the results of their work in technical papers stored locally on their computer system in ftp sites. Researchers from other facilities used the Internet to access the ftp directory and obtain these technical papers. Examples of research sites are NASA and NASA AMES. 2. Share Company Information
Commercial companies are now using the Web for many purposes. One of the first ways that commercial companies used the Web was to share information with their employees. Sterling Software's Web page informs employees about such things as training schedules and C++ Guidelines. There is also some information which is company private and access is restricted to company employees only. Another company example is Sun Microsystems which similarily contains general information about the Sun Microsystems company. 3. Product Information
One of the ways businesses share information is to present their product information on a Web page. Some examples are: Cray Research, Sun Microsystems, Hewlet Packard, and GM's Pontiac Site. The Web provides an easy and efficient way for companies to distribute product information to their current and potential customers. 4. Advertising
Along these lines, companies are beginning to actually advertise online. Some examples of different ways to advertise online are Netscape's Ad Page. Netscape has a list of advertising companies. They also use a banner for advertisements on their Yahoo Web Page. Starware similarly uses banner advertisement. These advertisements are created in the established advertising model where the advertising is positioned between rather than within editorial items. Another type of advertising focuses on entertaining the customers and keeping them at the companies' site for a longer time period. Some of the more interesting of these are: * MCI with a soap opera/ detective story.
* Ragu Soap Opera, Italian art, prizes, etc.
* Stoli Puzzles, submit drink receipes, prizes, etc.
* Miller Genuine Draft Discussions on various topics such as music scene in Austin. The advantages of each method of advertising will be discussed in more detail in the section on strategic risks and target markets. 5. Business & Commerce on the Net
Commercial use restrictions of the Internet were lifted in 1991. This has caused an explosion of commercial use. More information about business on the Internet can be found at the Commerce Net. This site has information such as the projected growth of advertising on the Internet and online services. Commercial Services on the Net has a list of various businesses on the Internet. They are many unusual businesses listed here such that you begin to wonder if they are legitimate businesses. This topic is discussed in more detail in the section on risks and consumer confidence. Business and Commerce provides consumer product information. The Federal Trade Commission is also quite concerned about legal business on the Internet. WWW users are clearly upscale, professional, and well educated compared with the population as a whole. For example, from CommerceNet's Survey (CommerceNet is a not for-profit 501c(6)...
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