A Brief 'Net Primer


While the Internet has been around for 30+ years, most people and companies currently on the Internet joined within the past year. By January 1996, almost 200,000 companies had registered their "domains" to have a presence on the Internet. In 1997, Network Solutions, Inc., the US domain name registrat had registered 960,000 new domains. In 1998, they registered 1,911,000 new domain names (Web addresses), nearly double the 1997 total. In early 1999, AOL alone reported 15 million subscribers.

Most companies start by establishing email gateways to both send and receive email from heterogeneous systems connected to the internet anywhere in the world. Then, many will begin to allow individual computers to have access to internet resources through the tcp/ip protocol. With this protocol, individual computers become a "node" on the internet.

Finally, many of these companies will establish their "world wide web" presence on the internet. Through a World Wide Web server developed and managed by an IS, marketing or outside organization, companies can provide a variety of marketing collateral and other information to other users of the internet.

The following document is designed to assist the reader in using the internet for business purposes, both to develop additional lines of communication with customers/suppliers and partners, and to find new sources of information on their areas of expertise.

Sources of Information on the Internet

A variety of sources of information exist on the internet, too many to list or even adequately characterize. Many search engines make the retrieval process easier, yet the number one method of information retrieval still remains dialog with other users.

The following is a partial list of source types

Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and its own access methods. This paper will provide the detail necessary for a user to gain access to external mail addresses, mailing lists, usenet newsgroups, and the world wide web.

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