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Chamber News Article - From our February 2001 Newsletter


The Alameda Chamber’s Technology Committee hosted a focus group for members
to share concerns, frustrations and needs as it relates to using technology in
their business.

Sandra Foster, Ph.D. donated her services to facilitate the group discussion.
Foster has expanded her practice to Alameda and provides consulting services for
performance enhancement specializing in the high tech market.

The Technology Committee had asked for specific areas to be covered during the

Training: Overall, the focus group emphasized the need for help and coaching, noting that most users don’t even know what kind of software is best for their business. They
suggested the Chamber set up a HELP DESK as a central resource for members
who can assist them or offer training. There was great interest in the College
of Alameda working with the Chamber to offer affordable computer classes for
managers and their employees.

Website Development: The Chamber was asked to help Alameda businesses become better educated and connected to reputable internet/website providers. Serve as a resource for businesses on what questions to ask when selecting a provider.

Workforce Recruitment: The Chamber should place a job board on its home page to provide easy access to job openings in our community. Sponsor business fair opportunities to display services and products.

The focus group noted they enjoyed the Q&A Technology column appearing each
month in the Chamber’s newsletter.

There were many ideas shared during the 90 minute format.


Technology Q &A Column - From our February 2001 Newsletter


More than 30,000 domain names are reserved every week in the U.S. alone. Your
domain name becomes your permanent street address on the Internet and directs
visitors to your home page. A .com web address is recognized worldwide, but .net
and .org are also widely used. These are called top-level domains, or TLD’s.

Your TLD is your business address and location on the Internet. As the old rule
for retail businesses says, "the key to success for any retail store is location."
The same rule applies on the Internet except "your location is determined by your
domain name." In order to build high traffic, and most importantly, make more
sales on your web site, you need an intuitive and easy-to-remember domain
name. It does not justify your investment in building a web site if no one comes
to the site. In addition, one of the main purposes of a web site is to make the
experience of gathering information and/or buying products more convenient and
accessible to your customers. Thus, your domain name should also be easily
accessible and memorable to serve the purpose of the web site.

Setting up a custom domain name allows you to have custom email addresses,
such as or for all the different
needs in the company. These "email aliases", as they are called, are much easier
to remember and more practical for your customers and suppliers. A domain name
is an invaluable tool in your company's online strategy. As the Internet grows in
popularity, a good domain name will help build valuable brand equity for your

It is important that your domain name is registered as you being the owner with
your street address and your email address. If you are not the registered owner
listed in the InterNIC database, you could loose it to some unscrupulous people.

There will be seven additional TLD’s coming out soon. The board of directors of
the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) selected
seven additional top-level domains for further consideration. These additional
seven TLD’s are: .aero, .biz, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, and .pro. It is to early
to tell when these TLD’s will be available and what, if any, restrictions there will
be. However, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's
consumer protection agency, scam artists are taking advantage of the news that
the ICANN may make new top-level domains available to the public.

The FTC says consumers are getting fax and email solicitations that offer a
chance at a new top-level domain name, for a fee, as soon as it becomes
available. Some unscrupulous registration services are guaranteeing new top-level
domain names or promising preferential treatment in the registration process.

However, these offers are premature. Because ICANN has not yet announced its
intentions, it is misleading for any service or entrepreneur to offer
pre-registration or accept fees for domain names that may never come into

In addition, if ICANN decides to add top-level domain names to the current mix
(e.g., .org, .com and .net), it is likely to set rules about their availability and
allocation to ensure fair access by all. Currently, the rule of thumb is to stick to
the .com, .net, and .org, the most recognizable being .com.

The first question you may ask is how do I register a domain? It is best to have
an authorized Domain Registrar do that for you. The fee is generally $35.00 per
year and can be registered up to 10 years

Jack Bertram, a Registered Service Provider of domain names, wrote this guest
article. In association with TUCOWS, Inc., has the required
tools to register domain names for their clients. For further information, you can
contact Jack Bertram at (510)-521-0100.



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