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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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