January 2, 1997 -- Intranet Development

Transcript of the live chat session that took place Thursday, January 2, 1997.

These sessions are scheduled for noon-1 PM US Eastern Time (GMT -4) every Thursday.

These sessions are hosted by Richard Seltzer. If you would like to receive email reminders of our chat sessions, simply send a blank email message to or go to and sign up there.

For transcripts of other previous sessions and a list of future topics, click here.

For an article on how to make "business chat" work (based on this experience), click here.

Since the chat itself happens at a rapid pace, it's often difficult to note interesting facts in particular URLs as they appear on-line. Here's a place to take a more leisurely look. I've rearranged some of the pieces to try to capture the various threads of discussion (which sometimes get lost in the rush of live chat).

Please send email with your follow-on questions and comments, and suggions for topics we should focus on in future sessions. So long as the volume of email responses is manageable, I'll post the most pertinent ones here for all to see.

Threads (reconstructed after the fact):


Richard Seltzer ( - 12:08pm -- Quick introduction -- The scheduled chat is on Business on the WWW. If you are here for that discussion, please identify yourself.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:09pm -- We're here to share experiences about doing business on the Internet -- particularly the World Wide Web. What works? What doesn't work? Why? What are the trends that matter? How can you/should you adapt to the Internet culture and environment?

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:10pm -- This is my usual intro stuff, for those who are new here -- I work for the Internet Business Group at Digital Equipment in Littleton, MA. In that capacity, I end up talking to people from large companies about how they can use the Web for business. I also have my own personal Web page -- which is content rich and no frills -- which I do for practically nothing and draws a fair amount of traffic and attention.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:10pm -- In a chat session like this things can get pretty frantic. It's sometimes difficult to follow the threads of conversation. And there's no time to write down interesting URLs and facts. So last week, I took a copy of the raw transcript and edited it to make the threads clearer and posted it at my own little Web site so anyone could take a look. You can see it at I plan to do the same today. Barring technical difficulties, I hope to have a transcript up later today.

Todd ( - 12:16pm -- Hi. I'm a DEC developer and general net enthusiast.

Sean ( - 12:15pm -- I'm an independent consultant. Previously, I set up Lotus Notes networks for companies, but now I believe that a combination of a Web server, browser, SQL database and Perl makes for the best Intranet solution.

Laurent ( - 12:10pm -- My name is Laurent Therond... I'm in Boston... Computer and Information Sciences Specialist...

Kaye Vivian ( - 12:12pm -- I'm an independent communications consultant who works with corporate communications departments, primarily helping them to bridge between the content they want to place on an Intranet and the technical professionals who put the infrastructure in place. Marketing/communications is my background prior to falling in love with and embracing the Internet about three years ago.

Lauri ( - 12:13pm -- Hi, Lauri Nahabedian here. I work for DEC too. I'm interested in hearing folks ideas on criteria they use in determining which projects would benefit from Web technology and which don't.

barbara ( - 12:17pm -- Hi! My name is Barbara Hartley Seltzer. I work for Elcom Systems, an electronic commerce software company. Our URL is My e-mail address is We are beginning to talk about having an intranet.

Bob Fleischer, ( - 12:01pm -- Bob Fleischer, Digital systems integration here.

Laurent ( - 12:02pm -- Bob: what about Digital those days?

SK ( - 12:13pm -- Richard -- I liked your piece in Internet World magazine this month -- the best of the web issue. And not just because it mentioned!

Ron ( - 12:10pm -- Ron here

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:13pm -- Welcome, Ron, and others. Today, I'd like to focus on intranet development -- directions, plans, reaons, tools. The opportunities appear to be enormous, but what are the best candidate projects? What should companies focus on first? What makes a good project?

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:15pm -- Is Mark Hayes out there? He works for Microsoft and is involved with their Normandy set of of products, which should prove very important in Intranets. He said he'd try to connect today.

Getting familiar with Chat on

Kaye Vivian ( - 12:00pm -- I don't have much experience with these kinds of chat. And this screen is a little hard to read

Kaye Vivian ( - 12:04pm -- Could someone tell me the optimium refresh rate to set? This is my first time here, and I'm a little overwhelmed by all the gadgetry ...

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:07pm -- Kaye -- I suggest you set the refresh rate at "never" unless you just want to watch what's happening. If you are typing and the screen automatically refreshes, your message is lost. Just periodically click on the tin cans.

Intranet Definition, Startup, and Payback

barbara ( - 12:03pm -- Richard, how does an internet differ from an intranet and if it is only internal as I think, how could anyone make money off of it?

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:04pm -- Barbara -- "Intranet" just means use of Internet technology (the Web etc.) inside a company. The payoff is in cost savings.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:06pm -- Barb -- Re: intranet payback -- there's an IDC report available on-line at which indicates that "typical implementations [of intranets] are achieving ROIs well over 1000 percent." With numbers like those, lots of companies are very interested inheading in that direction, and lots of providers of Internet services and products are very interested in that marketplace.

Laurent ( - 12:06pm -- An Intranet is more a productivity system than a medium...

JCGreen ( - 12:23pm -- I was recently involved in a couple of document delivery intranet systems. In both cases the payback was more responsive field operations, rather than profits. Both were operated out of a cost center rather than a profit center.

barbara ( - 12:15pm -- If a company is interested in setting up an intranet, do they have to go through an outside provider, like TIAC, or is it all in-house, and they just have to buy certain software?

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:17pm --Barbara -- There are several different tiers of Internet providers. Individuals and very small companies typically just get dial-up accounts,like I have at TIAC. Larger companies work with a different kind of Internet provider -- like BBN. In that case, technical folks are talking to technical folks and getting the kind of service they want and need in bulk.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:20pm -- Part of the confusion with Intranets is that some people use the term to just mean email and others focus narrowly on Web-based applications. It's really both and more -- whatever you can do over the Internet you can also do inside your company, in a secure (firewall protected) environment. Some people are still at the point of trying to get the basic Internet connection -- of setting up the infrastructure. Others are looking for the applications that will give them the ROI they are looking for. That's probably the most interesting area to talk about.

Kaye Vivian ( - 12:17pm -- The obvious "starting point" projects are the ones people need to use regularly...internal directories, supply ordering catalogs or forms, timely enterprise-wide news stories. My experience and the experience of others I talk with regularly is that companies should start small when starting an Intranet. Start with one or two test pilot groups who really need or are pressing for an Intranet, get their work data "live" and then gradually expand from there, like ripples in a pond.

Sean ( - 12:19pm -- That's a nice thing about Lotus Notes. Individuals can go ahead and create applications and share them corporate-wide without help from MIS.

Laurent ( - 12:18pm -- Well, first of all I think that too many companies decide to integrate Internet technology without the knowledge necessary to use it profitably. It's why most of them are very soon disappointed and quit...

Kaye Vivian ( - 12:23pm -- I agree, Laurent. And there is another "challenge" most companies face that I have found often inadequately addressed...a well-rounded group of people to steer the development. Very often it seems that the IT/MIS department drives the process because they have the hardware and software and the technical knowledge to make it happen. Management or certain groups clamor for an Intranet because it is a hot topic they hear a lot about, it is supposed to save them a lot of money and improve productivity. Yet, what seems to happen is the technical groups set up a working intranet with little thought about what will flow down the pipes. It is not enough just to have a current newsletter issue or a press release or two...the old "top down" corporate pushing of information. Many companies miss the boat by not getting their communications people in the planning team, planning the various types of information work groups need/want to share and need/want to access. I find this regularly in the companies I talk with and from other communications professionals I know.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:24pm --Laurent and Lauri -- Is "profitable" the right term here? Rather, aren't we thinking more in terms of cost savings? Bob, what criteria does your group use in evaluating potential intranet projects inside Digital and measuring their success after implementation?

Laurent ( - 12:25pm -- Lauri: everything depends on the activity of your company. If your focus is on information and if information is vital for you to succeed, if have to manage significant quantity of information, then you can set up a profitable Intranet.

JCGreen ( - 12:28pm -- It wasn't even clear that cost savings was a driving force; it was being more responsive so the sales force could close deals. Much like project management rather than line management delivers projects faster, not cheaper.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:26pm -- JCGreen -- Yes, the payback seems to be cost savings, customer satisfaction, faster time to market, improved responsiveness, etc. rather than profit.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:29pm -- Kaye -- Yes, far too often there's a gap between the folks who set up the infrastructure and the folks who are going to use it for business purposes. And all too often the business people have been trained by their past encounters with technology to stand back politely, to presume that the technology folks have all the answers when technology is involved. But Internet/Intranet is different. The business folks can and should be empowered -- they should get the training and familiarization necessary for them to recognize opportunities and go after them.

Laurent ( - 12:29pm -- Kaye: I agree with you. In a big company, an Intranet can make sure that the corporate knowledge is in the corporate structure and not in a couple of individuals.

Kaye Vivian ( - 12:30pm -- Yes, JC. True. Getting information to the sales force so they can react to prospective customers quickly and efficiently definitely does have a bottom line impact.

Lauri ( - 12:26pm -- Richard - for intranets, yes it is a cost saving, but for Internet is believe it would be both cost savings and profit.

Laurent ( - 12:27pm -- Richard: "profitable" is the word as long as you consider that you have to invest a certain amount of money to set up an Intranet.

Intranet and "Electronic Commerce"

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:22pm -- Barbara -- If Elcom is in the electronic commerce business, they should be thinking about not just implementing an intranet internally, but also how to market their solutions for intranet use. There are numerous ways in which "electronic commerce" applications (including on-line catalogs) can be very valuable inside large companies (not just on the public Internet).

Criteria for Selecting/Prioritizing Intranet Projects

Lauri ( - 12:23pm -- For the developers and integrators out there, when approached with a potential project for either the Internet or intranet, how to you go about determining that: 1) it will benefit from Web technology 2) it will be profitable

Kaye Vivian ( - 12:28pm -- Lauri, I guess I have the opinion that any project that makes information more widely available across the organization will benefit from Web technology. As far as profitable, it's like Richard said...on an Intranet, you can't look at it as "profitable" in the traditional sense. You aren't going to make more money because your employees have access to information they couldn't find easily before. You'll find that people can work smarter, faster and more confidently because they have a reliable source that is timely and updated. They will get what they need faster and perhaps more in depth than they did before. This is the kind of "profit" you get from an Intranet.

Todd ( - 12:24pm -- The only two reasons I see for not developing for the web are limiting access (such as transfering large sums of money)and that web development is still bleeding edge. Otherwise, I see a lot of upside to web development.

Lauri ( - 12:30pm -- Kaye - I agree that most anything can be made Web accessible, but shouldn't there be some sort of criteria used in determining if it really *should* be made Web accessible? If not, development groups could spend a lot of time putting things/information/systems up on the Web that end up costing a lot of $$$ but don't have any really benefit.

JCGreen ( - 12:33pm -- Kaye, ... but hard to quantify.

Todd ( - 12:34pm -- Kaye - I'm not sure I'm clear on your message, but I think I agree and disagree. If you mean some headcount should be assigned to organize corporate web content, I agree. But it sounds like your also proposing tighter management than I feel is necessary. As content appears, others will see the possibilies for putting their own ideas/work there and it will just grow. Companies should avoid dictating who puts what on the web, whether intRA or intERnet.

Kaye Vivian ( - 12:43pm -- Todd, I guess I wasn't clear. I don't think it necessarily requires headcount (meaning "new" headcount) to assign and organize web content. Xerox corporate, for example, systematically rolled out an Intranet to the first 20,000 of it's 80,000 worldwide employees without adding a single person to the communications department. They simply reassigned priorities for existing staff. Two years later they have added two people, and those were to handle the heavy volume of E-mail they generate. And I certainly agree with you! I'm not proposing tight management at all...Intranets are about the democratization of information. There will be less top-down control--which is why it's imperative to get a process in place that provides parameters for what is acceptable and will be "officially recognized" and what is outside the bounds. Basically, I believe everything is fair game for an Intranet...from Free Kittens ads to Corporate's annual report to databases of information that were previously resident on some secretary's work station to any other information that is not super secret. So I agree with you, Todd (sorry for the long- winded reply)...the information process should be managed and the information should evolve as freely as it will.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:33pm -- I guess both "profit" and "cost" are too narrow. If you implement an intranet broadly in a large company, sooner or later you change the way people work. That's where the real payoff comes into play. People begin to think differently, interact with one another differently, etc. Habits begin to change and slowly fixed costs shift and shrink. At the same time people begin to build new habits of interacting with customers and new expectations of responsiveness both internally and externally. That's the real payoff -- it's hard to measure. But the better we understand what's involved and why it matters, the more we can do to speed up the process of change.

Kaye Vivian ( - 12:36pm -- True Lauri. For example, if you are talking about legacy documents, such as archives of old publications, the cost/value ratio may be low if you are talking about the typical corporate internal newsletter. I suppose I would consider the most important crition in making information web-accessible is whether anyone else outside an immediate work group or department ever needs to find that information. My experience has been that most groups think they are the only ones who need certain banks of information that they control. It's not until the information is widely available that other groups in the organization discover they also needed and can use the information. My feeling is that "if we use it and need it, then it should be available throughout the organization"...of course, not including highly restricted information.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:36pm -- Lauri -- I agree there's a need for some accounting and accountability. "Intranet" is like all things to all people. So why do one project rather than another? I'd like to see Intranet implementations of a micropayment system, like Millicent, to keep track of usage of internal Web pages, etc. Not that there would necessarily be cross-charges for information from one department to another, but simply to keep a clear picture of who is using what and for what -- for better allocation of resources.

Lauri ( - 12:42pm -- Richard - I agree. It would be useful for a company to get an idea what information/systems on the corporate intranet are getting the most use versus development costs, etc. But I'm still curious that as a developer faced with putting up Information A, Application B or Application C...what does one use to determine which, if any, would make the best use of the Web technology? Is it cost savings, ROI, platform independence, etc?

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:44pm -- Lauri -- I believe there are at least two levels of intranet development (after the infrastructure is in place). Basic capabilities and training need to be provided so that business people can go ahead and implement their user-oriented applications. In other words, in takes high-level technical skills today to set up a chat/forum environment, or an electronic commerce environment or to do the underlying server setup for Web pages. But once that work is done, ordinary business people should be able to go ahead and do their own chat, commerce, and Web page implementations, with minimal technical support. (At least that's my personal view). Create the environment that makes it so business people can make their own business decisions and implement them themselves -- then it's up to them to worry about the cost justification.

Kaye Vivian ( - 12:47pm -- Lauri, from your questions, it seems you are in the process of preparing a discussion or justification for management to support implementing an Intranet. Is that true? Are you looking for the "hot buttons" that will get management's attention, or is there some other practical purpose?

Lauri ( - 12:51pm -- Kaye - yes, need to prepare a list of criteria for developers to use when faced with different Web development projects. So the criteria would be projects that fit this criteria X,Y,Z would make good Web project candidates. Projects that have these criteria A,B,C should not be considered for Web projects....

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:51pm -- Lauri -- I'd focus on 1) email 2) Web publishing 3) chat/forum 4) electronic commerce and create an easy-to-build on intranet environment for each. Make it easy for numerous implementations of these to be done with very little technical support.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:52pm -- Lauri -- Another cut would be 1) engineering 2) customer service 3) personnel 4) ordering of internal supplies 5) directory information ... It's potentially enormous. Each of these would have very different goals and measures of success.

Kaye Vivian ( - 12:54pm -- Richard, I agree with you. In my opinion, every single user ought to have the ability/opportunity to have his/her own "home page" on the corporate Intranet and have it contain whatever they wish, from biographical information to personal interests to links to information they use regularly internally. The more people have control over what they view/read/use/display, the more empowered they feel, and the more actively they tend to participate in the medium. Of course, it's not easy setting up a structure that will accommodate such a flood of information as Digital or IBM or others unleashed, but then that is where the "steering committee" and good infrastructure and a visionary "process" kick in.

Lauri ( - 12:54pm -- Richard - See that is what I'm running into. Anything can be put up on the Web...anything really, but when faced with several projects (needing to be prioritized) there must be some criteria used to determine which would benefit from Web technology most -> least. Or maybe not...

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:58pm -- Lauri -- Yes, we need to give more consideration to the question of criteria. Let's try again next week.

Kaye Vivian ( - 12:57pm -- Lauri, I would point you toward a very useful forum related to Intranets: ( The kinds of topics you are looking to find information on are all discussed regularly over there. You might be able to browse old threads and pick up all the guidance you need to write your recommendations. :)

Lauri, ( - 12:58pm -- Kaye - Thanks for the pointer! I'll check it out after the chat. 

Examples of Intranet Projects

Bob Fleischer, ( - 12:39pm -- Some enterprises, including Digital, have been using in-house networks and networked applications for years -- long before the "web" technologies emerged. The Web certainly has added a wealth of choices for internal networked applications that didn't exist before, and lowered the barriers to entry. However, it is still informative to see what networked applications were "profitable" *before* the Web revolution -- those will continue to be some of the most beneficial.

jeff ( - 12:42pm -- I like Bob's comment. What applications were considered the most "profitable" in the "old" networking environment?

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:45pm -- Bob -- Could you provide a quick list of the most beneficial networked applications (in Digital's experience)?

Bob Fleischer, ( - 12:50pm -- Certainly one of the networked applications that companies have found invaluable even before the Web are online bulletin boards, "news", and computer conferencing. AltaVista Forum is a good example of that paradigm moved to and expanded upon using the Web. Digital's experience is that such electronic conferences greatly leverage the expertise within the corporation.

Sean ( - 12:54pm -- One of the most popular IntraNet applications that I developed was a conference room scheduler. Beforehand, managers would go to the receptionist and make an entry in a schedulebook. There don't appear to be many good IntraNet tools out there that would let users develop an application like this.

Bob Fleischer, ( - 12:56pm -- Another networked application that has been important within Digital is an online catalog and repository of marketing and sales literature. No longer is it necessary for each person in sales to maintain personal libraries of product literature. No longer is it necessary for them to worry if what they have is current or complete. This catalog and repository was built in pre-Web days but has been moved to the internal web.

Intranet Staffing and Size

barbara ( - 12:37pm -- Most companies do not have a dedicated person for "Web Site" work. The person who maintains the Internet is usually someone with a little internet knowledge who is asked to update the Web Site on a "when you can, free time" basis. It is still not considered by the higher ups as being a dedicated job which requires some training for.

JCGreen ( - 12:40pm -- Barbara, you're probably correct. However I've been operating in the rarified atmosphere of working with companies with multiple people assigned to the Web project.

barbara ( - 12:43pm -- JCGreen, what companies are they who have more than one person on a Web project. I'm impressed.

JCGreen ( - 12:44pm -- Barbara, Wang Laboratories and Systems & Technologies division of BBN.

JCGreen ( - 12:46pm -- Barbara, I've heard that IBM has over 50,000 intranet hosts, most of them desktop PCs. If true they've probably let their intranet get a little out of hand.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:49pm -- JCGreen -- That doesn't sound like an intranet "a little out of hand". It simply means that they moved their existing networked computers into the Internet/Intranet environment. Digital has done the same. (At last count we had over 900,000 Web pages on our intranet. So long as you have the tools to find what you want when you want it, that's all goodness.)

JCGreen ( - 12:53pm -- RS, As long as the 900K pages are business related and put up by a reasonable number of people it's fine. If a majority of the pages are pictures of employees with their children and dogs done to let 1/6 of the employees play with a new, neat technology, then it might be a little out of hand.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:56pm -- JCGreen -- In a company with about 60,000 employees there's lots of real business information that needs to be shared. People put their personal stuff on the personal Web pages they maintain on the public Internet with public access providers. There's not much point in putting up pictures of your kids, etc. inside the firewall where the kids and relatives can never see them.

barbara ( - 12:53pm -- It would be good to let more people be able to change the intranet content. Too often it is a bit of a bureacracy, where one department needs to approve of what is going on the site before the one person can input the information.

Kaye Vivian ( - 1:02pm -- JC, I agree with Barbara. It's a learning tool for the employees. They all have to start somewhere with the technology, and if they have a personal motivation to get involved, they will. I vote for letting them choose their own motivation, whether work or home related. It will get them hooked, get them learning, and get them involved, which means they will find applications related to their work and apply the techniques they learned doing their "hobby" page or whatever. Intranets must be dynamic and must be used to be a valuable tool and offer *any* ROI. We have to accommodate the beginners.

JCGreen ( - 12:58pm -- Kaye, I guess we differ on whether it's in a company's interest to let every employee put up a vanity page for the sake of learning the technology or to help their self esteem.

Todd ( - 1:01pm -- JC - the cost is low for most vanity pages. The real cost drain would be Net Potatos that aren't getting their work done.

JCGreen ( - 1:02pm -- Todd, I agree

barbara ( - 12:58pm -- JCGreen, Very often people need to experiment with what they can do and have fun with it (putting their kids' pictures up) before they feel comfortable using it for what it is really there for. Eventually, the intranet is used for its main purpose of deceminating information. But sometimes fun is good.

Intranet Solution that Lets Users Easily Create Applications?

Sean ( - 12:35pm -- Is there an IntraNet solution other than Notes that allows regular users to easily create applications and deploy them?

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:38pm -- Sean -- AltaVista WebForum from Digital does some of what you are looking for. Check it at It makes it easy to post documents on the Web and also to create and participate in on-line chats/forums.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:40pm -- Sean -- You also should check out the Microsoft Commercial Internet System (AKA Normandy). I was hoping that Mark Hayes from Microsoft would join us today to shed some light on the applications of that software in intranets. If he doesn't make it today, I'll try to get him for next week. Normandy info is on-line at

Application of "Push" Technology

jeff ( - 12:55pm -- Richard, what do you think of the new "push" technologies as they apply to the Intranet--the notion of having information pushed to the desktop from external "news feeds" sounds exciting and productive.

Richard Seltzer -- Jeff, yes, I'd be very interested in intranet applications of "push" technology, like Castanet.

Development Techniques and Tools

Todd ( - 12:41pm -- How about development techniques/tools? How many of you are doing development? Using CGI, Java or what? Anybody using Tcl for CGI or the plugin?

Sean ( - 12:43pm -- Todd- I prefer CGI scripts with a combination of Perl and SQL.

Todd ( - 12:52pm -- Sean - have you heard of/looked at Tcl for CGI use? It's similar to Perl, but I prefer it. Check out 


Richard Seltzer ( - 12:54pm -- Clearly, this is a large topic. And we're just getting warmed up as the hour winds down. I want to continue with this next week and push once again to get Mark Hayes from Microsoft to join us. I'll also try to get Russ Jones or others involved with Millicent to be able to say something about intranet applications of that kind of micropayment system.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:59pm -- All -- before time runs out, please post your email addresses and URLs for followup. Also, I'll be posting the transcript of this session probably within the next 24 hours. Check

Sean ( - 1:00pm --

Brock ( - 12:59pm -- HELLO ALL!

Lauri ( - 1:00pm --

JCGreen ( - 1:01pm -- JCGreen =

jeff ( - 1:02pm --

Kaye Vivian ( - 1:03pm -- Kaye Vivian =

barbara ( - 1:03pm -- Rich, a really good chat. I learned a lot. Thanks. Barb

Kaye Vivian ( - 1:04pm -- Thanks everyone. I really enjoyed this. Was my first time. :)

Richard Seltzer ( - 1:00pm -- Thanks to all for your participation. I hope you'll all be able to join us again next Thursday at the same time.

Richard Seltzer ( - 1:00pm -- With the transcript I'll post my continually-being-edited list of future topics. Also, please send me email with your followup messages and suggestions for inclusion with the transcripts. You can reach me at

Richard Seltzer ( - 1:00pm -- Thanks to all for your participation. I hope you'll all be able to join us again next Thursday at the same time.

Future chat topics

Richard Seltzer -- Here's my current list of future topics -- subject to change based -- on your feedback and on the response to earlier topics, which may need more than a single session to deal with adequately.

Jan. 9 -- Intranet development (continuation of Jan. 2 discussions, hoping Mark Hayes from Microsoft will join us to explain Normandy) plus micropayments/Millicent -- what's happening? what pilots are in the works? when is use likely to become widespread? what are the barriers and the opportunities?

Jan. 16 -- Techniques for personalizing Web sites and how to make the best use of them -- in particular, I'm interested in Each-to-Each (check for a useful pilot)

Jan. 23 -- Wireless technology and Internet -- what's happening? what are the opportunities? what specialized gadgets are already available? and how can businesses take advantage of them?

Jan. 30 -- Electronic commerce -- how do you spell success in today's marketplace? where should companies focus their efforts to get the best return for their Internet investments?

Feb. 6 -- International aspects of Internet business -- translation, local language, cultural barriers to on-line business; advantages and disadvantages of a local vs. a global approach to on-line business

Feb. 13 -- Distance education/training/on-line meetings -- what does it take to make these work?

Please let me know if these topics are on target for you, and if you have special knowledge/experience that you would like to share about them. I'd also appreciate pointers to on-line examples and on-line background reading so I can pass those recommendations on to our audience.


Memphis Preview at Boston Windows 95 Group

From: Len Segal, Date: Thu, 2 Jan 1997 00:20:43 -0500

Seeing the topics for your upcoming Chats, I thought that you might be interested in our Boston Win95 Group meeting where MS will be providing a preview of Memphis (web-enabled next generation Win95 OS). [If you wish, feel free to mention it in your Thursday chat . . . I'll be missing this one too, I have a client visit on Thursday.]

Info location: <>

Monday - January 27, 1997 - 7:00 to 9:30 p.m.

Speaker at 8:00 p.m.

A Preview of Memphis the new " Windows " Operating System

Location: Microsoft Office, Waltham, MA.

Microsoft will show us Memphis. This is the current codename for the next version of " Windows ", and will include:

Location: Microsoft Office, 6th floor, 9 Hillside Ave, Waltham, MA. Has Parking and Wheelchair access. Lobby is on second floor.

Len Segal, L Segal Computer Consulting, Microsoft - MVP (DTS), ClubWin, CompuServe - CSP

Examples of Intranet Applications

From: "Fremuth, Mary-Ellen" <> Date: Wed, 8 Jan 1997 11:44:38 -0500

I read the transcripts from last week's session. There is a lot of good stuff there. I am the internal webmaster for LEXIS-NEXIS. I am going to try to attend tomorrow's session.

I have a couple of good intranet applications that have worked well for us:

We are lucky in that we have 1 dedicated internal webmaster and 2 dedicated external webmasters. We also have developers working on web-based products. Even so, we still fight the "convince management" battle!! With regards to the intranet, I believe it is vital to get theCommunication group behind you. We have been fairly successful withthis, but still have some work ahead of us.

We've also struggled with the "how much freedom is too much freedom" issue. We allow personal internal web pages (linked to from one specific location). We do not allow personal external web pages that are hosted by LEXIS-NEXIS equipment. We have also set up a test system where folks can learn and test application and cgi-bin scripts without affecting the production environment. You really don't need much h/w to do this!

Well, I hope to read more good stuff on Thursday.

Until then...

Mary-Ellen Fremuth, IS Corporate Computing - Intranet,

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