Start an Internet Business in 5 Easy Steps!

Want to start an Internet business? Great! Let’s get started quickly by looking at five simple and necessary steps to getting your Internet business off the ground.

1. Select Your Domain Name – It is very important to select the proper domain name for your business. Why? It’s how customers will find you online. A couple of simple pointers: shorter is usually better, I’d stick with a .com name – not one of the other top level domains. It can also help search engines to list you higher if your domain name contains some of the keywords you want to be found for.

Believe it or not, there are still a huge number of domain names that have never been registered. Sure, the so-called ‘dictionary’ and common single word domains have all be registered long ago, but there are strategies to circumvent this issue.

Why not simply add a modifier to a word in order to create a compelling domain name? For example: let’s say that you sell bicycles and bicycle parts online – here are some domain names that come to mind that are almost certainly taken:

bike.com

bikes.com

bicycle.com

bicycles.com

bikeparts.com

bicycleparts.com

So how can we modify these common names to create names that are available? Let’s try adding some simple descriptive terms either before, or after the main word. For example:

Deluxe

Premium

Best

Superior

Cheap

Discount

Online

Universal

I’m sure you can think of many others that apply to your products and business. If you simply add this short list of modifiers in front of the original short names, you can create multiple new names that are available right now!

You can search to see if your domain name is available here: http://www.dotster.com.

2. Hire a Web Designer – Ask around to locate a great designer that someone else has used. The design of your site can make you look professional, or like an amateur – it’s clear which way you will want to look.

An alternative that can be very cost effective when compared to a custom designed web site is to use pre-formatted templates – either put together by another company, or filled in with data yourself. For example, Affinity Internet, Inc. offers a professional web design product through it’s ValueWeb brand that is billed out at a low flat monthly fee. According to the ValueWeb website the ReadyWeb product offers the following advantages: “A professional web designer will set up a consultation with you to better understand your business and online goals to ensure your web site is not only impressive but successful.Our web site professionals will make updates to your website on a monthly basis as needed. ReadyWeb includes two hours of maintenance and updates each month at no additional charge.” You can learn more about the ReadyWeb product at: [http://www.valueweb.com/readyweb/readyweb_learn_more.htm].

Alternatively there are do-it-yourself templates available at sites such as http://www.templatemonster.com.

3. Choose Your Web Hosting – Every small business that sets up a web site online will need to host it somewhere. According to industry expert Tamara Field, President of Apollo Hosting (www.apollohosting.com) these are the top three things to consider when selecting your web hosting company.

* REAL Live Support – Call their tech support number NOT their sales number, and see if you can talk directly to a technician. Or go on their live chat and see if you are able to talk to a technician. How long did it take for you to get someone on the phone or live chat? That’s very important. Just because they say they offer live support, doesn’t mean they really have people there when you need them.

* Guarantees – Money back guarantee, price freeze, uptime, and a guarantee of a refund on unused portions. There are so many hosting companies that don’t offer money back on unused months if you cancel early! If you sign up for 1 year, believe it or not, many hosting companies won’t give you ANY money back if you cancel 3 months later. A money back guarantee is important as is a prize freeze guarantee. But these days, look for the refund on unused hosting. Many companies don’t mention it because they don’t offer it.

* Upgrade Path – If you see your business growing, and you might want more products/services in the future, then you will need an upgrade path. It is a real hassle changing hosting companies. Just getting lots of bandwidth and storage is not the answer. Many customers don’t use near the amount of bandwidth and storage that many hosting companies are offering. This is really just a marketing technique for a lot of hosting companies. Look for extra products that they offer. What about ecommerce? Do they offer the best ecommerce products, SPAM/Virus filtering, marketing tools etc. Remember that these days hosting is not just about storage and bandwidth. It’s about a whole lot more. Don’t settle for just space on a box.

You can easily compare web hosting options by looking through web hosting directory sites as well. These sites offer information about multiple hosting providers, and special offers and product information. Several of the more useful directories are: http://www.websitehostdirectory.com, http://www.cheaphostingdirectory.com, and http://www.tophosts.com.

4. Set Up Your Email – It may seem like a no-brainer to some, but you simply cannot adequately conduct business on the Internet without an email address. Your email address will let your customers and potential customers communicate with you, and give you valuable feedback on your web site, products, services, and ordering processes.

You’ll also need a way for you to communicate with vendors and others who can help you market your web site. Each hosting provider has different protocols for setting up your email account, so you’ll have to look to your provider for help with your specific account. One other important note: be sure to include a signature line at the bottom of every email that includes your business name, URL, and a brief description of your products and services. This idea alone can increase your business.

5. Promote Your Site – There are so many ways to get traffic to your web site that it would require several separate articles to cover the topic. Here are a couple of basic ideas. Try to educate yourself about, and get listed on search engines. A few basic steps can go a long way towards traffic driving in this way. A great step-by-step manual is at http://www.searchenginewatch.com.

If you have a budget to advertise, you may want to try Google AdWords as a method of reaching the search engine keyword market. Information is available at: http://www.google.com/ads. Alternatively, if you simply want to pay someone else to manage your online search engine advertising campaign for a flat monthly fee, you could check out ValueWeb’s ValueTraffic program. ValueTraffic costs $100 per month, and guarantees traffic and impressions to your website. You can see further details at: [http://www.valueweb.com/online-marketing.htm].

Of course, you should print your web address on all of your existing marketing materials such as: business cards, stationary, brochures, newsletters, product sheets, etc. You may find that driving qualified traffic to your website is as easy as releasing information on where to find it in your company promotional materials. Customers are always eager to utilize faster and more convenient forms of communications with companies.

Good luck with your new site, and remember – it takes a while for any great project to get real traction – the same holds true for your website.

India – A Future Warehouse of the World

Abstract
India has the world’s second largest population and one of the fastest growing economies in the world. India has a promising future, given the unprecedented growth in economy and its clout in the global issues. India is now riding on the wave of a gigantic boom in computer driven new economy. Many developed countries of the world are seeking the huge pool of English speaking talented software professionals in India. As the world is transforming towards knowledge society, India too is moving proportionately competing with the world. With the increase of Internet users and the advancement of information and communication technology in India had boasted the development towards e-commerce in global economic society. In IT sector India is booming as a super power. In the last few years India has made rapid strides in the IT sector especially in the software services and IT enabled services. In this paper we analyses the picture of IT industry in a very near future in India & contribution of India in world’s Information Technology Sector.

Introduction
From the 1950s, IBM had a virtual monopoly of computers in India. The 360 series release in 1960s was the major workhouse of the large organizations. They even maintained a chain of programmers who could write down software’s for their machines. However in 1978, when George Fernandes, ministry of industries at that time, commanded IBM to take local shareholders into its subsidiary, the company refused strictly and went back after winding up its all operations in India. Its ex-employees then set up Computer Maintenance Corporation, with the primary object of maintaining IBM computers.
During the period of 1995-2000, the Indian IT Industry has recorded a C.A.G.R. (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) of more than 42.4 percent, which is almost double the growth rate of IT industries in many of the developed countries. For Details contact AMCHAM National Secretariat, New Delhi Foreign companies particularly American companies have played a vital role in making India an emerging IT super power in the world. These MNCs account for nearly 22 per cent of Indian software exports. According to the latest NASSCOM estimates, in 2001-02, multinational infotech companies exported software worth Rs. 6500 crore from India. Country’s total software export was pegged at Rs. 29400 crore. In terms of investment and growth, U.S. companies like Cognizant Technologies (largest export revenue earning MNC) IBM, Oracle, GE, Cisco, Compaq, Intel amongst others lead the MNCs in the Information Technology sector. Nine out of top 20 Indian IT firms are from United States. These account for over 37% of the turnover of the top 20 firms operating in India. Despite their significant contribution to the IT sector, these companies have to face a number of procedural and operational problems in India.
However, the volume of e-commerce, in India, is far below the levels achieved in USA, which was about 1 percent of the total GDP in 1999. Further, the expected volume of e-commerce in India in 2001 (US$ 255.3 million) is also below the levels expected to be achieved, which in comparison to Australia (US$ 3 billion), China (US$ 586 million), South Korea (US$ 876 million) and Hong Kong (US$685 million) is quite less.

Time has changed the way businesses are carried out. What was supposed to be known to few and limited to the home towns, appears to be an ancient methodology of carrying out the work. The present day brands work on world wide scale, that is they are successful in not just one particular region but have deepened their roots to all the corners in the globe that you can think of.
Information Technology is what constitutes the most important sector in the present day trend of carrying out business. It is because you can not be present everywhere to monitor the work, but with networking and communications, you can always stay in contact with the other business sites of yours.

ICT Approaches of India
A spate of reforms-post-1991 economic crisis-have given impetus to the Indian economy, particularly to the ICT sector. As part of the reform agenda, the Indian Government has taken major steps to promote ICT including the creation in 1988 of a World Market Policy, with a focus on software development for export; telecommunications policy reform; privatization of the national long-distance and mobile phone markets; and development of a more comprehensive approach to ICT. Although India’s success is commanding increasing attention and investment, it has yet to result in the distribution of social and economic benefits across a broader base of the population. Challenges-including the perception of an unfavorable regulatory climate, an overloaded judicial system, poor infrastructure and costly access, and limited use of ICT-remain. The emerging shift in government strategy, toward knowledge-intensive services, has created a climate more conducive to addressing enterprise, domestic infrastructure, education and the use of ICT to meet development needs.
Policy: India’s focus on self-reliant industrialization in the 1970s and 1980s has been replaced with reforms aimed at positioning India in the world economy: the foreign direct investment process has been streamlined, new sectors have been opened up to foreign direct investment and ownership, and the government has exempted the ICT industry from corporate income tax for five years. These reforms have helped India to become increasingly integrated into the global economy through growth in the export of software and skill-intensive software services, such as call-centers.
In 1986, the Indian government announced a new software policy designed to serve as a catalyst for the software industry. This was followed in 1988 with the World Market Policy and the establishment of the Software Technology Parks of India (STP) scheme. As a result, the Indian software industry grew from a mere US$150 million in 1991-1992 to a staggering US$5.7 billion (including over US$4 billion worth of software exports) in 1999-2000-representing an annual growth rate of over 50 percent.
The establishment of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was a key step towards effective implementation of telecommunications reforms. In 1992, the mobile phone market was opened up to private operators, in 1994 the fixed services market followed, and finally in 1999, national long distance operations were opened to private competition. Prior to these reforms, the Department of Telecommunications had been the sole provider of telecommunications services.
In addition, to attract foreign direct investment, the government permitted foreign equity of up to 100 percent and duty free import on all inputs. Government-created technology parks also offered professional labor services to clients, a cost-effective program for India since ICT labour is so inexpensive by global standards.
Infrastructure: Teledensity in India has reached 3.5 percent of the population. Approximately 1 percent of households have fixed line connections, compared to 10 percent in China. The mobile sector has approximately 3 million users, growing at 100 percent per annum, and is expected to outstrip the fixed line market in the near future. The number of Internet accounts is around 1.5 million, growing at 50 percent per annum. India also has very high penetration rates of terrestrial TV, cable and radio. Voice and data wireless solutions, for both domestic and export markets, are increasingly produced and used locally.
Access to telephones in Indian villages has improved in the last five to six years through the introduction of the Public Call Office (PCO) run by local shopkeepers. More than 60 percent of the villages in India have at least one phone. This also includes over 800,000 Village Public Telephones (VPTs). Worldtel is undertaking a pilot in four states to secure financing to upgrade the Village Public Telephones so they will soon be Internet-accessible.
In some urban locations, India’s Software Technology Parks (STPs) provide infrastructure, buildings, electricity, telecommunications facilities and high-speed satellite links to facilitate export processing of software.

India also has a number of progressive computerized networks in place, including a stock exchange, the Indian Railways Passenger Reservation System, and the National Informatics Centre Network (NICNET), which connects government agencies at the central, state and district levels.
Enterprise: India’s well-established framework for protecting intellectual property rights has been an important inducement to business investment: well-known international trademarks have been protected by Indian laws, even when they were not registered in India. In 1999, major legislation was passed to protect intellectual property rights in harmony with international practices and in compliance with India’s obligations under TRIPS.
Much of the initial domestic demand stimulus for ICT and ICT services industries in India has come from government: 28 percent of total IT spending to date can be attributed to government and public sector expenditure. Major areas of government expenditure include: financial services, taxation, customs, telecommunications, education, defense and public infrastructure. As a result of the growth in ICT use in India, the ICT industry itself has also increased its domestic economic activity, for example, a number of ICT companies have developed accounting and word processing packages in Indian languages. The potential impact of this growth on the domestic economy is much broader than developing software for export only.
Human Capacity: In spite of relatively low literacy rates among the general population, India has several key advantages in human capital: a large English-speaking population and world-class education, research and management institutions-a direct result of investment in self-reliance in science and technology. In addition to establishing Indian Institutes of Technology in various cities around India to create a large pool of technical skills, the government has a computer policy to encourage R&D in personal computers. The IT training sector continues to grow at a rapid rate: total training revenues in 1998 were estimated at US$225 million, 30 percent up on the previous year. However, one of the biggest challenges to the Indian software industry remains the difficulty in attracting and retaining talented professionals.
Content and Applications: India has a large population with great linguistic diversity. Creating and maintaining locally relevant content for a country with 418 languages is a challenge. Nevertheless, local language content is slowly making ICT more relevant and accessible to a broader cross-section of the population. For example, India’s Center for Development of Advanced Computing has recently launched a scheme called iLEAP-ISP to create a free multilingual word processor to be made available to all Internet subscribers. On other fronts, some states such as Tamil Nadu have launched their own initiatives to support the standardization of local language software through interface programs that can be adapted to word processors, dictionaries, and commercial keyboards for use in schools, colleges, government offices and homes.
An emphasis has also been placed on the development of relevant e-government applications in India. Some states such as Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh have started to introduce applications which allow citizens to have faster and more transparent access to government services-for example, the provision of information on laws and regulations, and the procuring of licenses and official documents online.
Strategic Compact: Public-private partnerships, catalyzed by the IT Ministry, have played a key role in India’s ICT-related development. One of the positive results of this effort has been the IT Act of 2000, which was based on the recommendation of the National IT Task Force, and aims to set the overall strategy for the IT sector. In addition, the government and the private sector are starting to come together to foster ICT development. For example, a joint effort by the Computer Science Automation Department at the Indian Institute of Science and a Bangalore-based private company have developed Simputer-a cheap micro-computer that enables illiterate users to browse the Internet.
India’s development and contribution in world’s information technology sector is of highest reputation. Cities like Bangalore have become the favorite(most preferred) destinations of all the big banners like HSBC, Dell, Microsoft, GE, Hewlett Packard, and several Indian multi national firms like Infosys Technologies, Wipro, and Microland who have set up their offices in the city. It is because the city offers good infrastructure, with large floor space and great telecom facilities. This can be judged on the basis of the high growth statistics of India and the changing outlook of the companies towards India .

It is because of this growth many popular brands that have not yet build up there rigid offices in the country are making it fast to have a destination in India too. For example, Sun Microsystems, a global IT major, announced in Bangalore to double the present workforce of the company’s Sun India Engineering Center (IEC) from the present 1000 to 2000 in the next two years time. IEC, which is the largest R&D center for Sun outside the US , would also focus on developing products in India to suit the needs of the Indian market, which would be benchmarked globally.
This speedy growth of IT Sector is undoubtedly due to the efforts of Indian government and the other developments that took in the other parts of the globe.

The country has seen an era when after the IBM shutted its shop in India in 1950, the mainframes that were imported into the country were all from Russia . Western computer could not be imported because of an American embargo on export of high-technology equipment to India , which was considered an ally of the Soviet Union .
Slowly, with the time the country could develop its first powerful parallel computer in 1991 known as CDAC, by connecting together a string of less powerful computers.
With time and the continuous growth across the world, the country continued struggling and came up as the world leader in Information Technology Sector.
The industry has grown up to US $ 5.7 billion (including over $4 billion worth of software exports) in 1999-2000, with the annual growth rate not sliding below 50 percent since 1991.

It exports software and services to nearly 95 countries around the world. The share of North America ( U.S. & Canada ) in India ‘s software exports is about 61 per cent.
The Indian labor is not only cheap but is technically skilled too to the world class level. It is due to the Indian Education System that includes in its course curriculum the practical knowledge of the latest technology that is developed in world along with the fluency in English Language that imparts compatibility in an Indian technician to communicate and work through out the world.

Further the geographical location of India serves it the advantage of being exactly halfway round the world from the US west coast, which is another reason why India is preferred destination of many big brands.

Also, The presence of a large number of Indians, especially engineers, in the US gave India an easy entry into the US software market.
What adds more to the dominance of India in Information Technology Sector is the government policies like the enactment of cyber laws to protect and safeguard the interest of software companies in India .
Setting up of the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), by the Ministry of Information Technology, Government of India and the International Technology Park in a joint project by the State Government, the TATA Group and the Singapore Consortium to promote and facilitate the software exports is another major step towards the growth of Indian Information Technology Sector.
Similarly an industrial park, known as Electronic City , was set up in 1991 takes more than a hundred electronic industries including Motorola, Infosys, Siemens, ITI, and Wipro, in an area of around 330 acres.
The Export Promotion Industrial Park , built near International Technology Park , gives an exclusive 288 acres of area for export oriented business. GE has its India Technology Center located at this park and employs hundreds of multi disciplinary technology development activities.
The other promotional activities that brought up India to this position include the IT Corridor project. Conceptualized by Singapore ‘s Jurong Town Corporation Private Ltd, the IT corridor Project was initiated by the Department of IT and the Bangalore Development Authority in order to develop state of the art facilities for the development of knowledge based industries.

Thought’s of some World’s IT leaders about India

“Economic growth will force better governance, and better governance will feed more economic growth”

SV, NYC, USA
The people and communities at large feel that they don’t have the ability to make a difference

Juzar Singh Sangha, Bedford
India has to take more care of the village population who are still struggling to live properly

John Karondukadavil, India, Living in Poland, Jaslo
India can become a superpower if she concentrates on the technology market niche

Devyani Prabhat, Jersey City, USA
India must counter its skills and wage crisis

Pallavi, Sydney, Australia

Hopefully India will lead the world towards a more humane and tolerant future

Nilesh, Antwerp, Belgium

India needs to take strong and clear cut decisions to emerge as a global player

Nivedita Nadkarni, Madison, USA
India is a country gaining economic ground in the world

Justin, Bristol, UK
Indians now have to develop a sense of national pride

Leila, USA
India will never be a superpower, much less a global power

Jonathan, Boston, USA
India has had a sharp increase in the estimated number of HIV infections

Sezai, Eskisehir, Turkey
India’s economic success is built on the sacrifices of previous generations

Shekhar Scindia, Edison, NJ, USA
While India’s economic growth is encouraging, its sustainability is doubtful

Sigismond Wilson, Sierra Leonean in Michigan, USA

Conclusion
India is a perfect solution for all those companies, which seek for cheap, yet technically skilled labor who have innovative minds and state of art to work over a project. The ample of facilities provide in a perfect working conditions. For rest, cyber laws are there to monitor and safeguard everyone’s interest related to IT sector.
All these reasons contribute for India to be as the most adored destination to many companies. . So we can conclude:

•India poised for an explosive growth in ICT
•India emerging as a global R&D Hub
•From brain drain to brain gain
•Millions of jobs will be created in ICT & other emerging technology areas
•Quality issues will have to be addressed
•Private Sector world class institutions will emerge with global collaborations
•India will reclaim its ancient heritage of the world’s most advanced knowledge-based civilization called “Bharat”.

India will become Warehouse of IT in the world
.

References
1. Goodman, Seymour E.; Burkhart, Grey E.; Foster, William A.; Mittal, Arun; Press, Laurence I.; and Tan, Zixiang (Alex), The Global Diffusion of the Internet Project, Asian Giants On-Line, Chapter 3 (India) and Chapter 4 (China), The Global Information Technology Assessment Group, Fairfax, VA, November 1998.
2. Press, L., Developing Networks in Less Industrialized Nations, IEEE Computer, vol. 28, no. 6, June 1995, PP 66-71.
3. [http://www.stpn.soft.net]
4. An Indian Perspective on IT & Engineering Programs ,Vijay Bhatkar, International Institute of Information Technology, Pune, India
5. Nasscom
6. Anuranjan Misra ” Software outsourcing from India” National Seminar on Strategies in Business Process Outsourcing”, IIMS, Bareilly, INDIA, Dec. 08-09 2004.
7. Anuranjan Misra” India – An Emerging IT Super Power” International Seminar on India 25 Years and Hence, IIMS, Bareilly, INDIA, Fev. 08,2006.

SaaS – Ecommerce Sites – Twitter Case Provides Critical Lessons in Administrative Security

In June, 2010, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled charges that Twitter’s micro-blogging site had engaged in lax security practices that amounted to “unfair and deceptive trade practices”.

While previous cases brought by the FTC for lax security procedures focused on lax electronic controls, the Twitter case focused on lax administrative controls. Webmasters of SaaS and ecommerce sites who fail to learn and apply the critical lessons of the Twitter case do so at their peril.

Twitter Case Facts – Two Hacks

The FTC’s complaint against Twitter alleged that lax administrative controls for data security permitted at least two hackers to acquire administrative control of Twitter resulting in access to private personal information of users, private tweets, and most surprising – the ability to send out phony tweets.

Here’s how the hackers got access to Twitter. According to the FTC, hacker no. 1 was able to hack in by using an automated password guessing tool that sent thousands of guesses to Twitter’s login form. The hacker found an administrative password that was a weak, lowercase, common dictionary word, and with it the hacker was able to reset several user passwords which the hacker posted on a website that others could access and use to send phony tweets.

Hacker no. 2 compromised the personal email account of a Twitter employee and learned of the employee’s passwords that were stored in plain text. With these passwords, the hacker was then able to guess the similar Twitter administrative passwords of the same employee. Once into Twitter, the hacker reset a user’s password and was able to access the user information and tweets for any Twitter user.

Twitter Settlement Lessons

The FTC noted that Twitter’s website privacy policy promised: “We employ administrative, physical, and electronic measures designed to protect your information from unauthorized access.”

Focusing on Twitter’s administrative controls (more accurately on the lack thereof), the FTC alleged that Twitter failed to take reasonable steps to:

* require employees to use hard-to-guess administrative passwords that they did not use for other programs, websites, or networks; * prohibit employees from storing administrative passwords in plain text within their personal e-mail accounts;

* suspend or disable administrative passwords after a reasonable number of unsuccessful login attempts;

* provide an administrative login webpage that is made known only to authorized persons and is separate from the login page for users;

* enforce periodic changes of administrative passwords, for example, by setting them to expire every 90 days;

* restrict access to administrative controls to employees whose jobs required it; and impose other reasonable restrictions on administrative access, such as by restricting access to specified IP addresses.

* The FTC settlement included (among other things) the requirement that Twitter set up and manage a comprehensive data security policy that will be reviewed by an independent auditor periodically for ten years.

Conclusion

The FTC represents consumer interests to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices. Privacy and data security have been high-priority issues for the FTC, as evidenced by the 30 cases brought over the last few years for lax data security practices.

In its investigations of data security cases, the FTC looks at 2 standards:

* what the FTC considers as “standard, reasonable” security procedures, and

* what a website’s privacy policy promises to consumers regarding data security.

If the website’s actual data security practices do not measure up to either of these standards (a worst-case scenario would be the failure to measure up to both), the FTC concludes that the website has engaged in lax security practices that amount to “unfair and deceptive trade practices”. A complaint and costly lawsuit may follow.

The reason that the FTC publishes the results of its settlements is to provide lessons to others regarding what the FTC regards as an “unfair and deceptive trade practice”.

Do you know if your site measures up to the two standards?

Copyright: 2010 Chip Cooper