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Web Sites That Are Changing the World

January 24th, 2008 · No Comments


Web Sites That Are
Changing the World
Or”Gee, I wish I’d thought of that!”

By Chris Kieff

The Internet is simply a communications channel. Much of the communication is one direction-from a web site to the visitor. However, many of us are finding quick and easy ways to communicate with companies and organizations we would never have bothered with before. Email is so easy and quick and you don’t need to leave your desk, find a stamp or worry about what they’ll think of your handwriting, (OK, so that’s my issue). Many of us are contacting all kinds of companies we never would have contacted before.

Some of the things the Internet is particularily good at:

  1. Offering tons of free information on zillions of subjects. Many companies have put their Owner’s Manuals on their web sites, thousands of people have written how to articles on all types of subjects. Check out the Sear’s Owner’s Manual below.
  2. Helping people with similar interests to easily communicate with each other and share their expertise, knowledge and enthusiasm. Check out groups listed below.
  3. Connecting people with stuff they don’t want any more with people who want or need that stuff. Examples are eBay and Freecycle.

Some of the USEFUL things you can do on the internet that were difficult or impossible to do before:

  • Print a copy of the User’s Manual for a 20 year old Sears Craftsman Saw - http://www3.sears.com/
  • Learn how to become a contestant on Jeopardy! (But it hasn’t helped me yet.) http://www.triviahalloffame.com/j2004.htm
    This is but one site of many.
  • Write a letter to the Editor, of almost any major news outlet in the country
  • Find knowledgeable people who will give you GOOD free advice on almost any subject.
    Google Groups
    Yahoo Groups
    AOL Groups
    NOTE: Groups typically work through email. You join the email list and any member can send an email to every member of the list. They usually have a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) that you should read to understand how they operate.
  • Freecycle, is a group on Google Groups. The idea is if you have something that’s still useful, you can offer it - not sell it- to someone who can use it.
  • Find a group of people who meet in person in your area to discuss selling on eBay - or nearly anything else:
    eBay seller’s group in Northern NJ.
    Find a Group with your interests here.
    NOTE: Meetup is free and it’s huge- you should check it out. There are meetings on everything!
  • Find people, their phone numbers and addresses. It’s now become a verb:
    Googling- to look someone up on Google. Also works on AOL, Yahoo, MSN etc…
    (Go ahead I know you want to Google me.)
    NOTE: This is a double edged sword- but you should know what information is out there on you.
  • Newsgroups, also called Usenet or Bulletin Boards. They are the precursor to the Email Groups mentioned above. Newsgroups are usually accessed using your email program (Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird…). The difference is you Post a message, just like sending an email to the Newsgroup. The message is then displayed for everyone to read. Then they can reply to your message by posting another message for everyone to read.A series of posts on a topic are called a “Thread.” There are “Lurkers” who just read messages and seldom post. Newsgroups are popular for technical support of software and hardware because you can Lurk and often find a Thread that solves a problem you have.Before posting to a Newsgroup read their FAQ, you can usually find it in the list of posts or here. Warning, Spammers always harvest email addresses from Newsgroups. You can change your “Reply To” email address for just the Newsgroup section of your email program. Mine is ChrisNOSPAM@1GoodReason.com- people reading that on a Posting I’ve made know to remove the NOSPAM when they write me, but Harvesters don’t.

If you have any questions or problems give me a call or send me an email.

Chris Kieff

If you wish to reprint this article in whole or in part you are hereby granted permission to do so if you do the following, send us a copy and a link if it is posted on your website. You must also have a link to www.1GoodReason.Com if the article appears on the web.

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