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partnerships:articles:beyond1 [2017/06/12 10:20] (current)
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 +The Internet beyond the Web
 +===========================
 +
 +\
 + by [Philippa Gamse](mailto:​pgamse@totalnetval.com),​
 +pgamse@totalnetval.com\
 +
 +------------------------------------------------------------------------
 +
 +\
 +
 +*Philippa Gamse, who works in Britain and the US advising businesses and
 +voluntary organisations on use of the Internet, finds she needs to
 +remind both newcomers and existing users there is more to it than the
 +World Wide Web. This article was written in 1997*.
 +
 +------------------------------------------------------------------------
 +
 +## Electronic mail
 +
 +
 +E-mail can be an incredibly effective communication tool. It is usually
 +available at the cost of a local phone call. It can reach anyone in the
 +world with an Internet e-mail address for this minimal cost. So using
 +e-mail in preference to the phone or fax can significantly reduce
 +expenses, particularly on long-distance or international rates.\
 +\
 + ​E-mail is also useful in a local setting. The statistical chances of
 +reaching someone directly during the working day are estimated at less
 +than 20%. However, e-mail can be sent and received at any time of the
 +day (or night!), and so becomes an effective and non-obtrusive way to
 +contact colleagues and customers.
 +
 +## Contacting many people at a time
 +
 +I frequently suggest to my clients that they start to record e-mail
 +addresses for their customers as readily as they do their phone and fax
 +numbers. It costs essentially the same (i.e. almost nothing) to send a
 +message to one, or to many people. Thus, e-mail can be a great way to
 +distribute announcements,​ newsletters,​ or other regularly mailed pieces.
 +And, since e-mail is pretty basic in its looks, typesetting can be
 +minimal in effort, while printing and postage costs will be zero!\
 +\
 + ​E-mail can also be a great tool for running long-distance meetings that
 +have traditionally been conducted using expensive telephone calls.
 +Although I do not suggest that e-mail totally replace these
 +interactions,​ significant time and cost can be saved if reading material
 +(such as reports, papers, previous minutes, etc.) are sent
 +electronically ahead of time. This gives participants an opportunity to
 +review them, and then make better use of the meeting time to discuss
 +action points and make necessary decisions.
 +
 +## Sharing files
 +
 +Sending files via e-mail can have applications in many settings. Artwork
 +can be sent from graphic designers to printers, without regard for
 +physical location. I heard of a recent case where significant changes
 +were made to an organisation'​s brochure just before a major exhibition.
 +This event took place in a distant city, and it would have been
 +impossible to reprint and ship the materials from the home base in time.
 +However, the copy was sent via the Internet to a printer at the
 +exhibition location, the new brochures were delivered to the exhibition
 +centre, and no shipping costs were incurred!
 +
 +## Electronic mailing lists and newsgroups
 +
 +Electronic mailing lists and Usenet newsgroups exist to discuss just
 +about every conceivable subject (and some that most of us wouldn'​t want
 +to conceive of!) Although effective participation in these can require a
 +serious investment of regular time, there are real potential benefits
 +for the business person.\
 +\
 + When participating in these lists, make sure that you have a signature
 +file. This consists of a few lines containing your name, organisation,​
 +and contact details, including your Web site if you have one. You can
 +set your e-mail or newsgroup reader to include the signature at the end
 +of every e-mail or posting that you write. This inclusion gives you
 +enhanced visibility within the group -- it is said to take 27 instances
 +of seeing a name to achieve instant recognition,​ so every repetition
 +helps!
 +
 +## Problem solving
 +
 +The participants in these discussions also represent a pool of expertise
 +that can be very useful. Anyone who has recently bought hardware from a
 +store, or a new software product, knows that it can be increasingly
 +difficult and expensive to reach the vendor'​s technical support team.
 +However, posing the problem to the appropriate newsgroup can bring many
 +qualified, and free responses.\
 +\
 + Of course, I do not mean to suggest that all advice or opinions gleaned
 +in this way should be treated as gospel. The same caveats should be used
 +as in any other situation of reading, or hearing information if you are
 +unsure of the reliability of the source.\
 +[Total 'Net Value homepage](http://​www.totalnetval.com/​)
 +
 +
  
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