Privacy is Dead!
July 23, 2001

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'                   WEBSITE101: READING LIST
                   Reaching Great Minds Online
               July 23, 2001               Issue #101
           Mike Valentine, Editor,


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                  FEATURE ARTICLE
                  Privacy is Dead! 
               by Mike Banks Valentine 

WebSite101 has long  been an advocate of bringing *all*
businesses, big and small online. We have focused most of
our energy on bringing the home office online, assuring
that mom and pop businesses get their share of the internet

Now the big boys have come to recognize that almost anything 
and everything can be accomplished online and the world is 
shrinking. Mom and pop, meet global business. Hewlett-Packard 
has announced that they are leading us all toward eConnection. 
Their television ads suggest the melding of every aspect of 
our lives through the internet.

Imagine the possiblilities of linking online from your health- 
care providers to your local paramedics through the internet. 
Extrapolating from that point suggests linking to medical 
records, health databases, family medical histories, DNA maps 
and onward toward complete knowledge of *your* physical being.

Now Microsoft has proposed that they be the "Keeper" of all
this information as the host of .Net or Dot Net. A sweeping
proposal that suggests not only that they be the guardian
of all our information, but that we pay them to do so!
.Net is a big dot NOT for me. I can't imagine Bill as the
Gatekeeper of my personal information while charging me to
access all of it when needed! 

The possible invasion of privacy seems nearly as immense as 
the good to be done by these vast linkages of information. I 
predict that the biggest debate to emerge this decade will be 
how to preserve your privacy in the developing network of 
databases which house some aspect of your lives. It seems
that since Bill Gates suggested .Net, a new proposal has
come from the "Open Source" crowd that information should
not be "owned" so they've suggested their version of .Net.

               Nyet! Not Yet! Dot Net!

Online advertiser DoubleClick got a giant dose of a bitter 
reality pill when they attempted to merge two databases of 
previously unlinked information. They have gathered infor- 
mation on the online behavior and preferences of millions 
of web surfers and thought they'd link that information to 
a database of the physical addresses and telephone numbers 
of those surfers. The resultant uproar stopped them cold. 

People love convenience, but demand privacy. 

I am a lover of technology, and as such, I've established 
online accounts with banks, retail stores, virtual offices, 
employers and virtual business partners that I've never met 
in person. The majority of my income this year was derived 
from virtual employment on projects. In order to gain that 
business, I spread my qualifications and resume far and 
wide over the web in publicly accessible databases. 

The idea of providing that information to the world is just 
short of horrifying to my wife. She has nothing to hide and 
much to be proud of in her career and professional life, but 
will not make it publicly accessible. This is a possible 
stumbling block to the eConnection of the world. If you want 
the convenience of universal information sharing, sort of 
an "Open Source" of personal data, you have to agree to tell 
the world everything.  

When you do, you open yourself to some major inconvenience
as happened to yours truly. I became the unwitting innocent 
victim of "identity theft" recently when an unscrupulous
evildoer somehow got my personal information and committed 
major bank fraud using a fake driver license and withdrawal 
slip. The good news is that the transaction was videotaped 
and the FBI is on their tail. Clearly, it'll take some time 
to recover from the damage done to my credit and I'll never 
recover the days of time spent doing police reports and
bank fraud forms.

The bad news is that now I don't trust online databases
either. I've lost my innocence and my credit's gone to hell.
But since I've spread my digital self so widely, I'll never
recover all that information and I need to remain vigilant.
The odd thing is that I still prefer online shopping, online
banking and online work because of the convenience.

How are we going to reconcile the need for privacy and the
promise of instant access to information? If paramedics
had access to medical records of accident victims they'd
be able to save more lives. If your cell phone is used to
call 911, you can be located within twenty feet by medical
emergency personnel or police. But who controls access to
those sources of information and how secure the database?

Eli Lilly, the maker of the anti-depressant drug called
Prozac, recently exposed the names of a group of people
who subscribe to an email reminder service they operate.
Take your pills today, and by-the-way, here's everyone
else on this list with you, we hope you all enjoy getting
to know each other. This incident is clear proof that
nobody can be trusted with personal information - yet.

No doubt laws will be passed, speeches will be made and
more personal information will be intercepted, abused
and exposed to public scrutiny. How do we fix this?
I haven't got a clue. I guess my wife was right though,
don't share info with anyone online unless you want to
spread that information around the world.

WebSite101 "Reading List" Weekly Netrepreneur Tip Sheet
Weekly Ezine emphasizing small business on the Internet

e-tutorial online at:
By week's end you're ready expand your business to the web!

                  GUEST ARTICLE

Speed Kills on the Web! 

I only have to point to the 555 plus failed .com companies
(according to Web Mergers) as the poster children of the
Ņspeed at any costÓ business mantra that clearly doesnÕt work.
And, these were companies who burnt through significant
amounts of capital  (in the millions, tens of millions or
hundreds of millions in many cases) while they were rushing
to get to market. 

Do you wonder why every time you talk to someone he or she
seem to be in such a hurry that they donÕt really have time
to talk with you? But, if you want to work with them you have
to try and converse on the phone as a first step, or even
worse, setup some type of a face-to-face meeting. WhatÕs
going on Š why arenÕt we all slowing the pace down so we can
focus on business processes that are based upon viable models? 

I think we are experiencing some type of a .com hangover
effect. Everyone was in such a hurry during the heady GBF
(Ņget big fastÓ) .com days trying to do the Ņland grabÓ while
Ņdriving an Ņonline brandÓ that would lead to a quick Ņexit
strategyÓ that they forgot to really define a viable business
model that included development of tangible goods and services
for real customers. 

I still come into contact with many people that act like
theyÕve been hard wired to a double espresso Š they arenÕt
sure what they are doing, where they are going, but they want
to do everything in a hurry! And are till trying to build a
business the same way they did during the last two years -
when fundamentals and many niceties of business went out the
window, while greed became the order of the day.  

We are telling our clients speed can and does kill on the web Š
its time to slow down and think strategically about what they
want to do and then build marketing campaigns and processes that
convey tangible value to their market demographics (read
customers!). Here are some fundamental marketing rules for
living life in the slow (but safe) lane: 

1) Ensure all marketing collateral (web and offline) are in
synch Š invest sufficient time and resources to ensure there
are no discrepancies between them to build a cohesive brand
that effectively communicates what you do.  

2) Take time to really evaluate business opportunities, donÕt
just blast through relationships, meetings or assessments Š
many times you can build viable partnerships by sitting down
and taking a hard look at how third parties complement your
business and vica versa.  

3) Use the web for whatÕs its really meant for Š as a highway
for communications and commerce, its not the Ņsaving graceÓ
its been touted to be by many companies; 87% of Internet
users today utilize the web to research goods and services. 

4) Make time to look at your competitors, whether they are
across the road or on the other side of the world Š the web
has created a commerce model where a competitor is just a
click away; so carefully analyze what your competitors are

5) Communicate with your customers and partners Š it doesnÕt
do much good to build a beautiful web site that does not make
it easy for people to contact your company. IÕve seen hundreds
of web sites the last year that donÕt have e-mail contacts or
phone numbers listed prominently Š take/make time to build a
site that lets people communicate with you. 

6) Hire people with some gray hairs Š they may not flash the
latest PDA at you or wear the latest trendy clothes, but many
of them have years of experience building companies slowly and
carefully, by paying attention to business fundamentals. IÕve
got nothing against youth, but it seems like many over 40-
somethings got left by the wayside in the .com mania and to
the detriment of many companies. 

7) Think small when your building a business, the billion
dollar days are gone with last yearÕs PR hyperbole.  I get no
royalties from E.F. Shumacher, but I really think his ŅSmall
is Beautiful As if People MatteredÓ is a wonderful book and
the forward is done by Paul Hawken, a brilliant serial
entrepreneur, well known for his landmark PBS (Public
Broadcasting Service for global readers) series on ŅGrowing
a BusinessÓ that inspired many of us to take the
entrepreneurial plunge. 

So, good luck to all of your tortoises out there Š keep
plodding along! Lee Traupel has 20 plus years of marketing
experience He is the co-founder of a Northern California
and Brussels Belgium based, privately held, Marketing
Services and Software Company, Intelective Communications,
Inc. Intelective focuses
exclusively on providing services to small to medium sized
companies that need strategic and tactical marketing
services. He can be reached at


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              Copyright © 2000 Mike Valentine
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  June 22, 2001