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Found at: 0x1bi.net:70/textfiles/file?internet/bd_ch13.txt

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Date: Thu, 3 Feb 1994 23:18:35 -0500 (EST)
From: Nancy Ammerman 
To: Jackie Ammerman 
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CHAPTER 13:  Business on the Net



13.1  SETTING UP SHOP


     Back in olden days, oh, before 1990 or so, there were no markets in 
the virtual community -- if you wanted to buy a book, you still had to 
jump in your car and drive to the nearest bookstore.
     This was because in those days, the Net consisted mainly of a series 
of government-funded networks on which explicit commercial activity was 
forbidden.  Today, much of the Net is run by private companies, which 
generally have no such restrictions, and a number of companies have begun 
experimenting with online "shops" or other services.  Many of these shops 
are run by booksellers, while the services range from delivery of indexed 
copies of federal documents to an online newsstand that hopes to entice 
you to subscribe to any of several publications (of the printed on paper 
variety).  A number of companies also use Usenet newsgroups (in the biz 
hierarchy) to distribute press releases and product information.
     Still, commercial activity on the remains far below that found on 
other networks, such as CompuServe, with its Electronic Mall, or Prodigy, 
with its advertisements on every screen.  In part that's because of the 
newness and complexity of the Internet as a commercial medium.  In part, 
however, that is because of security concerns.  Companies worry about 
such issues as crackers getting into their system over the network, and 
many people do not like the idea of sending a credit-card number via the 
Internet (an e-mail message could be routed through several sites to get 
to its destination).  These concerns could disappear as Net users turn to 
such means as message encryption and "digital signatures." In the 
meantime, however, businesses on the Net can still consider themselves 
something of Internet pioneers. 
     A couple of public-access sites and a regional network have set up 
"marketplaces" for online businesses. 
     The World in Brookline, Mass., currently rents "space" to several 
bookstores and computer-programming firms, as well as an "adult toy 
shop."  To browse their offerings, use gopher to connect to

        world.std.com

At the main menu, select "Shops on the World."
     Msen in Ann Arbor provides its "Msen Marketplace," where you'll find 
a travel agency and an "Online Career Center" offering help-wanted ads 
from across the country.  Msen also provides an "Internet Business 
Pages," an online directory of companies seeking to reach the Internet 
community.  You can reach Msen through gopher at 

        gopher.msen.com

At the main menu, select "Msen Marketplace."
     The Nova Scotia Technology Network runs a "Cybermarket" on its 
gopher service at

        nstn.ns.ca

There, you'll find an online bookstore that lets you order books through 
e-mail (to which you'll have to trust your credit-card number) and a 
similar "virtual record store.'' Both let you search their wares by 
keyword or by browsing through catalogs.

     Other online businesses include:


Bookstacks Unlimited    This Cleveland bookstore offers a keyword-
                        searchable database of thousands of books for 
                        sale.  

                                Telnet: books.com 

Counterpoint Publishing Based in Cambridge, Mass., this company's main
                        Internet product is indexed versions of federal
                        journals, including the Federal Register (a daily
                        compendium of government contracts, proposed 
                        regulations and the like).  Internet users can
                        browse through recent copies, but complete access
                        will run several thousand dollars a year.  Use
                        gopher to connect to

                                enews.com

                        and select "Counterpoint Publishing"

Dialog                  The national database company can be reached 
                        through telnet at

                                dialog.com

                        To log on, however, you will have first had to
                        set up a Dialog account.

Dow Jones News          A wire service run by the information company
Retrieval               that owns the Wall Street Journal.  Available
                        via telnet at

                                djnr.dowjones.com

                        As with Dialog, you need an account to log on.

Infinity Link           Browse book, music, software, video-cassette and
                        laser-disk catalogs through this system based in
                        Malvern, Penn.  Use gopher to connect to

                                columbia.ilc.com

                        Log on as: cas


The Internet Company    Sort of a service bureau, this company, based in
                        Hudson, Mass., is working with several publishers
                        on Internet-related products.  Its Electronic
                        Newsstand offers snippets and special 
                        subscription rates to a number of national 
                        magazines, from the New Republic to the New 
                        Yorker.  Use gopher to connect to

                                enews.com

MarketBase              You can try the classified-ads system developed
                        by this company in Santa Barbara, Calif., by 
                        gopher to connect to

                                mb.com

O'Reilly and Associates Best known for its "Nutshell" books on Unix, 
                        O'Reilly runs three Internet services.  The gopher
                        server, at

                                ora.com

                        provides information about the company and its
                        books.  It posts similar information in the
                        biz.oreilly.announce Usenet newsgroup.  Its 
                        Global Network Navigator, accessible through the 
                        World-Wide Web, is a sort of online magazine that 
                        lets users browse through interesting services 
                        and catalogs. 


13.2  FYI


     The com-priv mailing list is the place to discuss issues surrounding 
the commercialization and the privatization of the Internet.  To 
subscribe (or un-subscribe), send an e-mail request to com-priv-
request@psi.com.





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