Opportunities and Challenges of the Internet In a world of light-speed data transmission, any individual with little training and expertise can make a fortune from the Internet. Many companies, like E-bay or Amazon.com, thrive from business done only through Internet transactions. As computer technology progresses, data transmission becomes faster, and as high level encryption becomes available for public use, the amount of Internet consumers also grows. Technology advances also allow employees to work from home faster and safer. A manager’s first challenge is to create a presence on the web. With a phone line, computer, and HyperText Markup Language ( HTML ) authoring tools, a business can advertise or do business over the Internet. HTML authoring tools can be freeware, like Sausage Software’s Hot Dog, or advanced and expensive utilities like Microsoft Front Page. Any computer user familiar with a word processor can effectively use these applications with minimal training. Putting the HTML and graphic files on an Internet service provider’s (ISP) servers is sufficient for relatively low traffic sites. Some online businesses, like Amazon.com, handle hundreds of thousands of people, or hits, everyday. They require specialized hardware and cabling to control the vast amount of traffic on there site per day. A manager’s second challenge is to make the business’s web site visible on the Internet. The first step in this process would be registering a domain name. Every computer connected to the Internet has a unique number attached to it called an IP address. To simplify finding specific computers on the ‘Net, the numbers where substituted with alias called domain names. The names come in two levels, before and after the dot. Fees are generally a $70 startup cost then $35 per year to hold the license of the name. Network Solutions Inc. is the official registrar of domain names. Individuals in the past have registered company names, like Coca-Cola, to themselves and then sold the domain license to the company for thousands of dollars. There are currently more than four million domain names registered with Network Solutions. Domain name registration is not required but makes your site much easier to find. Another way to make your site visible is to register certain keywords with the most popular search engines like Yahoo! and Alta Vista. Keywords are a small number of words that describe your site and business. These are the words web surfers will most likely type in to find your page.