Saturday, March 31, 2007

No Dead Ends

My good friend Brian York was once given one of the best compliments I’ve ever heard. A free e-letter reader called his former web site,, a site where, "...every page leads to a sign up."

Very cool, eh? That's truly high praise indeed.

I brought this up in Panama last week. Often when sites are designed marketers & graphics people forget why we are here. We're not in business to have a "cool" flashy site, nor to over think with images... we are here for names. I don't care who likes the sites I work with... well except for Google, as long as it converts visitors to take action. Really... I don't care what it looks like.

So when designing your site make sure you put an emphasis on name collection and don’t waste any opportuntiy to get new subscribers. Always make sure every page leads to your goal. Be it free names, or paid sales. Don't be seduced by a grandiose design, over use of Flash, or promises of "this could be the next yahoo portal!"

It's real simple... just take your visitors by the hand... guide them to your "board of fare" and lead them to your offer. At that point, it's copy time! If it's good, and been tested, you now have another new sub.

In a simple phrase... NO DEAD ENDS


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pro Mundi Beneficio

Pro Mundi Beneficio
"For the Benefit of the World"
- Motto of Republic of Panama
On August 15, 1914 the Panama Canal was officially opened with the SS Ancon as the first ship entering the locks. At the time, no single effort in American history had exacted such a price in dollars or in human life.

The U.S. cost from 1904 to 1914 totaled $352,000,000, far more than the cost of anything built by the United States Government up to that time. Together the French and American spent $639,000,000.

The construction took 34 years from the initial effort in 1880 to actually open the Canal in 1914. It is estimated that over 80,000 persons took part in the construction and that over 30,000 lives were lost in both French and American efforts.


Have you seen the ships line up 24 hours a day to enter the Panama Canal?

Have you have seen the amount of earth that was moved to create this eight wonder of the world?


I HAVE... and until you do... you'll never understand the impact the Canal has had on all our lives. It's truly one of the greatest things the United States has done.

AND really cool to see in person.

I write this STUCK in the Miami airport waiting for my plane to arrive. The flight back to Baltimore is only 6 hours late. The so-called "jet-set" lifestyle is truly overrated.

So having some time... I've decided to post about my trip to Panama. I've talked web marketing for the past 3 days... and I'm burned out. So today instead of discussing my Panama conference, I can get to that later, I'd rather discuss... or rather introduce you to...


I stayed in the old town of Panama City called El Casco Viejo. The area is booming and real estate is hot. These buildings are "fixer uppers." OK - some are crumbling. But that's not stopping investors. It's potential that they are buying, as well as retirement in a city with history, culture, and one that runs on the U.S. dollar.

Remember the dollar? The weak falling dollar? Well not here... it's strong. And you can live very well on little to no money at all.

And did I mention the people are friendly and welcoming too? They actually like Americans.

The trip certainly was a treat.

As to the canal... it's a story of greed, hardship and the power of man forcing his will over nature. We humans can do amazing things when we put our minds to it.

The history of the Panamanian isthmus starts with Spain. The well traveled Spaniards first landed on its shores in 1501. It's a story of treasure, treasure seekers, and exploitation. It's Balboa, (his name is everywhere including a local brew I enjoyed many times) and his trek from the Atlantic to the Pacific in 1513... conquistadors seeking gold for the motherland.

It's hard to imagine this was a century before the English settled Massachusetts Bay. At that time Panama was already the crossroads and marketplace of the Spanish Empire. It was a major player in international trade and a destination for pirate and trader alike.

However, by the seventeenth century the thriving colony entered a period of decline and neglect. The English settlers drove the trade and commerce north to "the new world" and Panama was lost in the shuffle.

I believe it was the Spanish monarchs in the 1500s who first considered digging a canal across the isthmus. U.S. interest wasn't seen until the 1850s... caused by the California gold rush.

In 1879 a French company under the direction of Ferdinand de Lesseps, builder of the Suez Canal, began constructing a canal in Panama. The project fell victim of disease, faulty design, and ultimately bankruptcy and was abandoned in 1889. However, they had excavated a total of 59.75 million cubic meters before abandoning.

By the turn of the twentieth century, the U.S. had become convinced that a canal was needed. In addition to the geographic advantages of the isthmus, President Teddy Roosevelt was attracted by the separatist tendencies of Panama, then a part of Colombia. When Panama rebelled against Colombia in 1903, Roosevelt deployed the U.S. Navy to stop, or rather scare Colombia from intervening in the "self-determination" and thus, help establish the independence of the Republic of Panama.

I told you the locals liked Americans!

The first American shovel started digging on 11th November 1904. By December 1905 there were 2,600 men at work on the canal.

The descendants of those men remain in Panama today... Chinese, American, and Frenchmen alike. Now all proud Panamanians.

Since its completion in 1914, the Panama Canal has been the forefront of Panama's economic base. And although Banking is now a major industry in the capital city, the canal remains an economic force. AND it gives off a great amount of national pride.

To make a long story short... the overall building of the canal was plagued by problems, including disease (particularly malaria and yellow fever) and landslides. AGAIN... as many as 30,000 workers are estimated to have died during its construction.

The length of the Panama Canal is approximately 51 miles. A trip along the canal from its Atlantic entrance would take you through a 7 mile dredged channel in Limón Bay.

The canal then proceeds for a distance of 11.5 miles to the Gatun Locks. This series of three locks raise ships 26 metres to Gatun Lake. It continues south through a channel in Gatun Lake for 32 miles to Gamboa.

This channel through the cut is 8 miles long and 150 metres wide. At the end of this cut are the locks at Pedro Miguel. The Pedro Miguel locks lower ships 9.4 meters to a lake, then takes you to the Miraflores Locks that lower ships 16 meters to sea level at the canals Pacific terminus in the bay of Panama.

AND it's really cool to see in person.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Bridge Of The World

What is the Primary purpose of your web site?
How do you maximize the revenue of your eletter?
How do you use press releases in your web marketing?

And most importantly,

Can you really sell international real estate online?

These are just some of the questions I'll be discussing this week in Panama. As such, I won't be posting this week. I’ll let you know what I learn upon my return. Until then...

Adiós mis amigos!


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Alt Engines

Google... Yahoo... MSN/Live...

These are the top 4 search engines. But have you looked at these?
See where your site is... you may be surprised.



PS - Give my love to Ms. Dewey. rrrrr!


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Welcome To The Machine

People always tell me that building an online business is not easy, especially when you are on a very limited budget. I believe that statement. I think it's easy to build an online business with money for marketing and name collection, but if you're a start-up with little to no budget or just a cheap skate... it's much harder.

Not impossible... just more difficult.

So as we sit here and talk about name collection, budgets and retention... ah retention, yes, the topic of the week... let's discuss something that helps all three and everyone can do...

A "Welcome Letter" for your subscribers!

Virtually inexpensive to send, starts the relationship, takes care of administrative duties, and perhaps makes some money. AND if it's done right it becomes a great retention tool by setting the expectations from day one.

I subscribe to tons of e-letters and am always disappointed when I get the default welcome letter. Most marketers don't put the same amount of time into writing this letter as they do with the converting landing page. AND that's a BIG mistake.

Remember last week when I talked about first impressions in the CVoD entitled, Spikes, But Sorry, No Mulligans? Well... the welcome letter is the first correspondence with the new sub. Now is the time to shine.

So what do you tell them at this crucial time?

I start with administration... confirm the subscription, i.e., tell the new sub what they signed up for, what they are going to get, how often, etc.

Then discuss such topics as white listing, privacy policy, customer service contact information, and fulfill any special reports or giveaways. Next up is the web site. You can describe why they need to go to your site... pushing them to archives, discussion board, or whitepapers.

Once the administration is done... tell them about your e-letter, your editor, and your philosophy. In other words...
"Here's a welcome from XXXXX, describing in his own words what you can expect as a reader."
Don't waste this opportunity. It's time to get your best writer and spend some time on this. The question is...

Are you a new friend and/or advisor to be trusted, with an e-letter that sounds exciting and is to be looked forward to... or are you an unknown spammer that should be complained about?

With The Daily Reckoning we had the great wrtier Bill Bonner and copy like this...

"...The Daily Reckoning is written to underline the point that the world is funnier than you think. And the more you think about it, the funnier it gets. Close inspection reveals the ironies, contradictions, and confusions that make life interesting, but also frustrating. A rational person could do rational things all day long, but then... how boring life would be. Fortunately, real people are only rational about things that do not matter.

"...Our approach in The Daily Reckoning is a little different from that of the typical economics tome or investment advisory. Instead, it is an exercise in what is known, derisively, as "literary economics." Although you will find statistics and facts, the metaphors and the principles that we provide are more important. Facts have a way of yielding to nuance like a jury to a trial lawyer. Under the right influence, they will go along with anything. But the metaphors remain... and continue to give useful service long after the facts have changed.

"What's more, metaphors help people understand the world and its workings. As Norman Mailer recently put it, "There is much more truth in a metaphor than in a fact." But the trouble with metaphors is that no matter how true they may be when they are fresh and clever, when the multitudes pick them up, they almost immediately become worn out and false. For the whole truth is always complex to the point of being unknowable, even to the world's greatest geniuses.

"...Finally, we do not include the typical formulas or recommendations of an investment advisory, nor the detailed expositions of a book on economics. Instead, we offer only a few simple ideas that readers may well find helpful in the years ahead."
If that doesn't tell you exactly what the DR is all about then you're not paying attention. You see the tone, the style of writing and the personality of the e-letter. The reader is told what you will get and what you won't.

But don't stop there...

You have administration and fulfillment out of the way, and you have told them what they can expect... now how about a special opportunity for new subs?

That's right... an upsell. Don't be afraid to offer a front-end low price pub. Your readers will appreciate it. Really. They are here for profitable information, free and/or paid. Don't fool around... offer them your best deal and watch if you aren't surprised with the conversion.

This is just the beginning for both the reader and you the marketer... Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Give 'Em What They Want

Well, its been said before, the world is a stage
A different performance with every age.
Open the history book to any old page
Bring on the lions and open the cage.

Give the people what they want
You gotta give the people what they want
The more they get, the more they need
And every time they get harder and harder to please

- Ray Davies, The Kinks, recorded Jun-Aug 1980 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
I brought in 1,780 names today...

Not bad for a Saturday, eh?

The names are manly from PPC… so my job is done, right?

Ummm, not even close.

Here's what I did in a nutshell... created awareness, acquired the traffic, and converted it, thus creating the most important asset, an email subscriber… a potential customer.

What’s next? You guessed it… create value (for the new to file) or die!

In other words, now the editorial challenge has began. You invite the new to file to the community… ultimately converting him to a sale.

Sure you’re a marketer that needs new names constantly, but if you neglect the newly acquired name and just set off in pursuit of new ones, you’re wasting your time. Your names will leave as quick as they join. If that's the case, what's the point?

It's bad business.... and unfortunately this is what happens in most companies. As a result, most customer databases are littered with email names that come and leave. Or who have only transacted once.

Your goal should be to see free names convert to paid names, and paid names to convert to renewal and multi-buyers. That, dear reader, is marketing to the lifetime value. AND to do that... we need retention.

Oh no... Buzz Word alert!

To do that you need... "RETENTION MARKETING".

Retention marketing is all about converting someone twice without having to acquire the name twice. You don't want to have to go through all that heavy lifting again!

The million-dollar question is how do you do it?

The simple answer… as Ray Davies, one of my favorite singer/songwriters says ...give the people what they want! (Did you know he's still rocking.. and he's got to be in his sixties now - Go Ray!)

It’s communication… it’s community … it’s trust, friendships, and giving special access and special benefits that only the inner circle (your readers) will receive.

What about customer loyalty? Is that part of it?

I don’t think so. Your competition is one click away. Heck the world is one click away. No one is loyal. Everyone is out for himself or herself. We’re all selfish as consumers. So unless you have the money to bribe your new to files…

Just kidding... instead of bribes why not just give them a valuable, entertaining and/or exciting opportunity… one that they’ll want to be involved in.

Ah ha, that’s retention. That’s creating the so-called loyalty.

You want specifics?

Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

3 Components For Success

Before we get back into Retention... my friend and colleague Kim Mateus, Editor & Publisher of the Mequoda Group, asked to republish a Daily Reckoning landing page test I did awhile back. I, of course, agreed without hesitation. As such, I thought you'd want read it.

The article from the Mequoda Daily eletter is published below. To view the original posting, a link to the article on the Mequoda site is at the end of the article. Enjoy....

How email newsletters, conversion architecture
and incentives will help build your audience.
By Adam T. Sutton, Managing Editor, Mequoda Group

Online marketing expert and ecommerce guru Andrew Palmer ran a campaign last year to build subscriptions to Agora’s free email newsletter, The Daily Reckoning. Palmer tested a self-titled “free on free” offer that gave every user who signed up for The Daily Reckoning a free special report titled Real Asset Explosion: Make Ten Times Your Money in the Astounding Resource Boom of 2006-2007.

The tactic was a success. It generated 17 to 55 percent more signups than solely offering a Daily Reckoning subscription and further solidified Agora Financial as a leading website publisher. Lessons taken from Agora’s example, combined with marketing research from the Mequoda Research Team, have helped us identify three essential components to a successful online marketing system.

Email Newsletters - should be free and frequent. An email newsletter must contain valuable content, a featured product and links to the product’s sales letter landing page.

Strong Conversion Architecture - is essential in capturing relevant users and directing them to a conversion—such as signing up for a newsletter or buying a product. Prime examples of strong conversion architecture include deploying OFIEs, OFINs and floaters that drive traffic to rapid conversion landing pages. Publishers should also drive all pay-per-click efforts to rapid conversion landing pages, as Agora did.

Incentives - act as a catalyst for acquiring new customers. They can be free downloads or products that instantly gratify users in exchange for their email address.

These three online marketing system components will increase a publisher's database of names and bring a publisher’s product to more users more frequently. These components, however, are only part of the entire Mequoda Internet Marketing System, designed specifically to acquire, build and monetize the publisher/user relationship.

By attending the Mequoda Internet Marketing for Publishers Executive Webinar, publishers can learn how to fully establish an effective Internet marketing strategy. Internet marketing and online publishing expert Don Nicholas will present the details of a proven marketing system that produces regular, predictable and quantifiable results.


Read the article on
Originally published March 14, 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spikes, But Sorry, No Mulligans

So you’re bringing in names…. Hooray for today.

But what about tomorrow? Are they reading and buying... or unsubscribing at an alarming rate?

(You're tracking this I hope? Of course you are... you're tracking everything, right? Of course right! Good, moving on…)

Over the next few posts I'll be discussing retention, err… customer loyalty, ummm, what do YOU call it?

I see it as the concept of, no the philosophy of, keeping your readers happy and having them looking forward to your company's communications. Building a community… rather than just a business. It's the ability to keep readers on the file long enough to market to their lifetime value.

I’ll delve into how to keep your readers interested and better yet, keep them away from the unsubscribe button. Or worse, keep them away from the "Report As Spam" button.

But first… You must expect and get used to the fact that your list will erode over time. But worse than that... some will leave immediately after joining. AND leave complaining.

Understand that newly acquired names will unsub and complain that your publication is spam everyday... even though you're practicing "opt in" permission based marketing. It's just part of the business and you have no choice but to live with it.

A lists' retention rate will vary based on the source of acquisition. Here are some general retention rates per source of acquisition:

- Outside lists: 78%
- Co-Reg: 74%
- PPC: 71%
- Organic: 88%
So what do you do about this?

Nothing... just incorporate a percentage of loss into your budgeting.

Oh, and keep an eye on it. Certain sites and list may unsub at a higher rate than others... even in the same acquisition source. As such, these names might not be as valuable as you think. Worse off, the source might be full of spam traps and/or spam complainers.

Let me repeat that - someone who signed up is now calling you a spammer.

As I said these complaints are “par for the course” but… BUT when it spikes... that is a problem. Spikes can cause an ISP block or blacklisting. So you always need to make sure that you have above the line practices.

What will cause such an upward spike in spam complaints?

An upward spike probably means many of the people didn't know they were going to get your email. The readers probably signed up a day or two before the spike and reacted to receiving what they perceived as unsolicited email.

In other words, there may be a problem with the language you are using to sign people up or the original source of the names may be of low quality

Remember… Spam is all perception... there is no due process. No do-overs or Mulligans. It's often all about the first impression. And if the first impression to your new to file reader is that of a spammer... there is no changing it.

So keep an eye on your sign up pages AND all online and offline offers that include an email component. It all must be clear. Each name you collect must know what to expect from you... they must know that they are signing up for your email.

New subs need to know what they will get, when they will get it, and how often. If you don't tell them this or if they are the slightest bit confused, this will cause a spike in spam complaints.

One more thing... believe it or not, growing your list too fast can cause problems as well. Seriously… I get worried when someone brings in too many new names at once from any one source. When this happens even the normal ratio of complaints can cause that dreaded spike.

So don't rush. There are plenty of names and plenty of time to get them.

Report on the names as they come in AND as they go out. You might learn of a problem that's causing the exodus. You might end up with a better "control" landing page. You might end up bringing in twice as many names.

And if you only raised your retention rate - yeah, that would suck too! (sic)


Friday, March 09, 2007

It's All About Copy

Surfing around today I ran into a great piece of Internet fodder. It's by Peter Norvig, the Director of Research at Google. It's the Gettysburg Address as a PowerPoint presentation. (Please click on it below.)

I thought this was so good I had to share it. Marketing can wait. Thanks to Matt Cutts for sharing this. Enjoy.


PS - The Gettysburg address is evidence that good writing is timeless. Good copy is needed in good times, bad times, in politics and in marketing.

Here is the original political control in its entirety. It's concise, powerful and brilliant. In fewer than 300 words and delivered in just over two minutes, I'll go so far to say... it saved the nation.

Delivered at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on November 19, 1863. Four and a half months after the Battle of Gettysburg.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Now it's 2007... see the power point version. God save us all!

Gettysburg Address as a PowerPoint presentation.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Are You A Good Read?

So you have decided to buy space on an email list... good for you.

What list?

I'd contact a like-minded site. A site in your niche. A site that discusses the same themes and thus would have the same type of readers. But how do you know it's a good list?

Reputation? High cost? Dumb luck?

Here are some questions... crucial questions to ask before renting a list:

Are lists opt-in?

To what level have they opted in?

How often do individuals on the list receive offers?

Are new names added regularly?

Are unsubscribes removed?

Is the list exclusive to this manager?

What do the message headers and footers look like?

What does the sender line look like?

What's the average undeliverable rate?

Are there creative limitations?

To what level can you target the audience?

What kind of reporting and tracking is provided?

Most importantly... Is it a good read?

This might be THE Question. So what do you do... you subscribe. Get on the list. Check out what you get. Is it interesting? Good content? Are you reading?

If the eletter is not sending valuable information... if you are not compelled to read every issue... why would anyone read the adverts?

Fact is they won’t… and if folks are not reading the adverts why would you buy that space?

Make sense?

I see this all the time with financial lists that send out closing bell “market notes.” The same info at the end of the day that you can get via TV, Radio, Text messages, throughout the Internet and on hundreds of e-letters.

So how is this different?

Most times it’s not… and most times I walk away with my marketing budget still in my pocket.

Plus, try to unsubscribe. See if you can... you'll be surprised how many lists don't let reader unsub or just leave you on the list after you’ve requested the unsubscribe. As such, these lists have thousands of dead names on their lists. Padding to make more money on the CPM.

Bottom line: Running to outside lists can be expensive. Do the proper due diligence. Spend the time to research and if you’re willing to run at a loss, (80% B/E – see CVoD “A Quick One”), I'm certain in the long run these placements will be productive for you.

Do your homework, and get some names with web site list runs…

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Peeps Have Spoken

...stop guessing how your online business is doing and go ask your peeps! - CVoD, 02.13.07
Sage advice I'd say. So with my new eletter I recently asked our readers a couple of questions. One of which was, "Tell us how we're doing?"

Here's a sample of what they said...


"An interesting perspective, and an insightful read"

"Very interesting and informative. I look forward to reading it each time."

"I think that there is no substitute for being there and living it, which is what you, the author have done. Although education is very good, experience is one of the best teachers, so draw your own conclusion!!!!!"

"I can't wait for the next issue."

"I enjoy reading it and thought of a few people that would benefit from reading it."

"Good insights."

"Great and trustworthy. I usually read every word."

"Excellent as always."

"I love the info... you aren't afraid to say you don't know it all, but you present what you do know in a lucid and concise manner."

"I usually read all of each one and continue to get something from them. Yesterday's was especially good & today's was very informative. Keep up the good work.. "

"Very enlightening, informative and interesting."

"I think you are honest and plan on subscribing to [your paid newsletter]"

"Excellent as always... I like the nice homey way of writing - as if you were talking to a friend."

"I think you are honest, even though it must hurt at times. Keep up the good work and I will keep my subscription going until St. Peter cancels it."

"I like to know my financial people as well as possible. You write about your personal feelings as if we were part of your family. I like that."

"I am very pleased with the tone and content of the newsletter, if for no other reason that you have a good take on life in general."

"I enjoy reading your insight & find it very stimulating."

"I trust you..."

"It is straight forward and not preachy. "

"Enjoy the personal musings in conjunction with the thought trends regarding the financial situation"

" is excellent which on average all issues have been. It is nice to get a letter which is timely, written in plain English and does not (unduly) push the reader to spend money on something he does not want"

"Your issues are frosting on [your paid pub] report, and I love frosting."

"Interesting insights to some things that we don't always think about."

"Useful and entertaining information"

"I enjoyed reading it. It was concise and to the point. I'm not a fast reader and enjoy short letters more than long papers."

"Excellent - I really like the way you explain why you suggest certain stocks such as today.

"I really enjoy this email. Keep up the good work.",


Don't just build a business - build a community, eh?

So... are you going to do a survey now?

Me thinks you will - you'd be crazy not to.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Why We Are Here

"The Internet, of course, is more than a place to find pictures of people having sex with dogs."
Philip Elmer-Dewitt, Time Magazine
With the birth of my daughter and the requisite 3-hour feedings, green poops, and lack of sleep, I began to ponder the birth of the Internet.

Where did this ride start and who changed the diapers in the beginning?

We go back to before I was born, and I'm old...

Back to the 1950s... while computers were not a new concept then, but they were not available in laptop form. Computers were the size of buildings, very slow, with little memory and in need of major air conditioning to keep them cool.

The advances in technology came from cryptography, radar, and battlefield communications out of World War II. Some say it was these government activities that led to the development of the Internet.

Cool - Thank you Sammy!

And then it happened... a great day in US history. An infamous day is perhaps a better way to describe it. On October 4, 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik. Yes Sputnik pushed us to the Internet age.

Due to the Soviets beating America into space, the U.S. government under President Eisenhower launched an aggressive campaign to surpass them with the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA).

ARPA was the U.S. government's research agency for all space and strategic missile research. In 1958, NASA was formed, and the activities of ARPA moved away from aeronautics and focused mainly on computer science and information processing.

In the 1969, the U.S. government created ARPANET, connecting four western universities and allowing researchers to use the mainframes of any of the networked institutions. New connections were soon added to the network, bringing the number of "nodes" from 23 in 1971, to almost 4 million in 1994. Happy Birthday Internet!

But what about Al Gore? (sic)

The Arpanet was based on the concept that there would be multiple independent networks that began with the Arpanet as the pioneering packet-switching network but would soon include packet satellite networks and ground-based packet radio networks.

Makes sense, eh?

Connecting everyone and everything via a common protocol and language. So as the size of the network grew so did its capabilities. In the first 25 years, the Internet added features such as file transfer, email, Usenet news, HTML, and eventually a place to view people having sex with dogs!

Ummm, or rather a place to read the paper, do your Christmas shopping and call Mom ALL from the comfort of your laptop.

It seems new developments pop up overnight. The Internet is now the largest growing commercial marketplace in the world, and better yet, it pays my mortgage! I love it.

So who owns the Internet?

Al Gore?

Ummmm... no.

No one actually owns the Internet... so I guess we all do. You see it's more of a worldwide arrangement of connecting computer networks. Looked after by many organizations, such as: Network Solutions Inc., Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), and the Internet Society (ISOC).

So there it is in nutshell form. From bassinet to full grown over achiever.

Now... back to my pink screaming tax deduction.


PS - Other Birth dates...

1972 - Electronic mail was created allowing computers to send, store and receive messages.
1991 - The HTML was created to write documents for the web.
2000 - Create Value or Die business model was born!