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The following article
was written by Coleman Patterson and
appeared in the Business section of the Abilene Reporter-News.
presence vital to business success, March 24, 2006, 9C.
the amazement that people experienced when telephones first
appeared in the late 1800s. Its invention and succeeding
proliferation across the world fundamentally changed the way
people communicate. Companies have used the telephone to
enhance the ways they conduct business. They can
communicate with customers, suppliers, and vendors from
great distances in real time.
late 1900s, another communication revolution quickly swept
the world. That “invention” was the Internet and just as
the telephone was embraced by business, so too has been the
Internet. Companies use websites to introduce and promote
themselves to the world, to present and sell inventory, and
to communicate with customers, suppliers, and vendors.
Visitors can access company websites from almost anywhere in
the world at any time of the day or night.
similarities between the telephone and the Internet do not
stop with commonalities in how they are used to communicate
with others. The Internet works much like the telephone
wanting to communicate by telephone need access to
telephones connected to the phone system. To connect to the
system, people typically purchase telephones and sign up for
phone service with a telecommunications company. Once
telephone accounts are established, customers receive
telephone numbers. Phone numbers are given out to others
and placed in phone directories. Vanity telephone numbers
use the letters on the telephone dial to make phone
addresses more memorable. The digits in a telephone number
direct the telecommunications equipment to locate and “ring”
the appropriate phone on the network. Finally,
communication occurs when the parties on the connected
telephones exchange information with each other.
Internet terms, parties wanting to communicate with each
other need to be on the web (which is a network of
computers). They establish Internet accounts with companies
that specialize in connecting people to the web, providing
computer space for websites, and reserving domain names.
Domain names, or web addresses, are analogous to vanity
telephone numbers and are used to identify a particular
computer on the web. Domain names should be submitted to
Internet search directories.
than communicating directly with people, Internet surfers
use browser software on their computers to view web files on
computers elsewhere on the web—one computer requests access
to particular files from a second computer and the second
computer replies. Companies can present text, video, audio,
and interactive content to web visitors through their
websites. Web editing software programs can be used to
design websites and content.
hard to imagine that there are many organizations today that
don’t regularly use and depend upon telephones to help
conduct business. That once new and daunting technology has
become commonplace. To operate without a telephone would
put a company at a serious disadvantage to its competitors.
The time might soon be approaching when lacking a web
presence will be a disadvantage for businesses. If the rate
of adoption of web technologies continues to advance as
quickly as it has over the past decade, companies without
those technologies might find themselves as disadvantaged as
companies today without telephones.
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