March 7th, 2009
Web Based Internet Publishing For Profit And Fun
By Dale Roethlisberger

A few years ago, R & D Enterprises began registering domain names we believed might have some future value based solely on the domain name itself as ‘intellectual property’. In fact, there is a whole class of businesses and organizations that regularly engage in what is known as ‘domain name speculation’. Think of domain names as virtual properties and the Internet as the ‘Meta-Verse’ where the virtual properties exist. There are some domain names that do have rather large speculative values because the names themselves are ‘naturals’ (i.e. common words and concepts that people on the Internet might naturally enter in a search engine or in a web browser, such as, ‘dog.com’, ‘pet.net’ or ‘cat.com’).

There have been some financially rewarding successes for speculators on certain domain names. For example, the original registering group that sold ‘ecommerce.com’ supposedly received a seven figure price for the domain name alone. We believe the days of that kind of domain name speculation are over. Almost all three-letter and four-letter ‘natural’ names like ‘car.com’ have been registered and owned for a decade or more. There is also a dark side to domain name speculation. One cannot ‘cyber-squat’ on a domain name like ‘coca-cola.com’ where the intellectual property already exists and is a registered trade name or copyrighted material in other media. Extortion and piracy exist in cyber-space just like modern day Somalia based sea pirates raid the nearby coastal waters.

Effective use of ‘natural’ domain names involves monetizing them through the use of advertising. Advertising is the primary method for generating revenues on websites that do not directly sell a product or service through the website. Advertising pays for the content and is exactly the same revenue model employed by the ‘commercial’ broadcast TV industry. Effective use of ‘natural’ domain names goes beyond just providing a long list of paid advertisers. Once visitors to the website find what they are searching for, or worse, don’t find what they want, they may never return to that domain name. We maintain that some unique content, in addition to the paid advertisements, will guarantee some continued traffic to the domain name and keep the ad revenues flowing. Employing web-based publishing to develop unique content will make sure you have at least something to offer besides just a pure advertising medium.

March 19th, 2008
Employment Globalization
By Jeffrey Goodman

Even though white-collar jobs are leaving the United States for growth-heavy regions like India and China, the placeless geography of e-commerce always works both ways. For those willing to make certain sacrifices, a new breed of American worker is following tech jobs out of the country; in essence, out-sourcing themselves. The software necessary for such an arrangement already exist, is easy to procure, and could change the way business is donearound the world.

Until recently, the movement of workers between the developed and developing world has been characterized as a ‘brain drain’ of the most skilled to the rich economies of America and Western Europe. But now that jobs tied to computer technology, with rare exceptions, can reasonably be done from any terminal connected to the Internet, work has been completed divorced from a
physical location, and the worker, similarly, can be located wherever is convenient. Virtual telephone service allows tech workers to choose from any number of area and country codes, and an email address is accessible from anywhere.

The main barrier to large numbers of American workers moving abroad is not technical, as those issues have been solved, but the perceived social difficulty in being located far from familiar sights and sounds. Perhaps the more likely scenario will be a slackening of job-related immigration to the States, as Internet-based opportunity opens in the developing world.

July 9th, 2007
Large Companies and Government Agencies Pay too Much for Telephone and Telecom Services
By Dale Roethlisberger

Normally, we do not report on Internet services designed for the largest business and government organizations. In most instances, R & D Enterprises rarely has the opportunity to consult and contract services for these size entities. We are mostly a small business Internet, telecommunications, and consultancy partnership. However, from time-to-time we are asked to render our opinion on other Internet based services and their potential for growth and market share in the ‘online’ services universe. Recently, a group of venture capitalists asked us for our analysis of Invoice Insight and we have to admit it’s a winner.

If your company or organization spends $50,000 or more per month on telephone or telecom services, you are probably overpaying by 10-30% and maybe more. Invoice Insight has developed a proprietary online system that utilizes the electronic record-keeping and automated payments systems of the major phone carriers nationwide to more effectively analyze usage, correctness of billed services, and employ their electronic payments systems efficiently. Some may say it isn’t sexy, but when we took a look at the typical monthy savings versus the cost of the service, we decided that you should take Invoice Insight to breakfast, lunch and dinner when you go to the telephone and telecom services cafeteria.

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July 2nd, 2007
Web Based Advertising Models for Internet Revenues Are Big Winners
By Dale Roethlisberger

We have been in the online services business since the mid 1980’s. R & D Enterprises, our Maryland Partnership, began as a BBS (Bulletin Board Service), one of those old (gosh, it seems like ages ago) dial-up systems where people primarily exchanged e-mail, hung around in chat rooms, and uploaded or downloaded a few relatively small data/software files. It was big news as ‘modems’ grew in speed and capacity from 1200 baud to 56k baud over a decade. The online world was dominated by the likes of CompuServe, GEnie, Prodigy, and eventually the premier privately subscribed AOL.

At first, customers paid by the hour on a tiered speed based connectivity rate. These systems were almost exclusively text-based, except for AOL, and it was very hard to entice advertizers to embrace these systems. Why spend your advertizing dollars in some clunky text-based or low resolution graphics environment when you had TV, radio, or glossy print periodicals that could really show off your product or service in style. As a result, the pre-Internet online services were forced to rely primarily on subscriptions as their chief revenue source. Only AOL has managed to make the transition to the Internet age as a subscription system, and we suspect that nowadays, even AOL derives the major source of it’s income from advertizing dollars. Today, even if you only have one web-site, you can derive advertizing income from the domain by participating in one of the many advertizing revenue sharing services. We use Google’s AdSense program and we are very pleased with the results. Read the rest of this entry »

July 1st, 2007
Profitable Internet Service Models for Commercial Real Estate Owners and Real Estate Management Companies
By Dale Roethlisberger

We have spent years working various angles on basic Internet connectivity issues for commercial real estate. We find it hard to believe that the majority of commercial real estate buildings do not offer basic Internet connectivity to their tenants as a standard service. It would be impossible, for example, to operate a successful commercial office building without plumbing for restrooms and drinking water sources, or without electricity for lighting, heating and cooling, and operation of tenant office equipment. In today’s world, having Internet connectivity in a commercial office complex is as important as being able to turn on the lights.

Commercial real estate owners and real estate management companies appear to be content to let ‘outside’ service providers like the major phone companies or cable operators to deliver Internet connectivity on a tenant-by-tenant basis. This is the result of two quickly discernable factors. Before the Internet, the PUC regulations for telephone services provisioning were the sole responsibility of the Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC) to the building ‘demarc’ and, internally to the building, the connection to the demarc was done as an ‘install’ contract by the ILEC or an independent telephone contractor. This was an area where, technically, real estate owners and management companies were hard pressed to develop an economical in-house engineering and generic equipment service for their tenants. Secondly, there was no economic way to become a telephone ‘exchange’ carrier to participate in the monthly revenue stream from the recurring service fees for the actual usage of a telephone system.

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