Cue Cat E-learning Tool Digital Convergence

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Cue Cat E-learning Tool Digital Convergence

Thousands of small business webmasters briefly lose their domain names at expiration, due to a simple lack of understanding about the roles of three key players in the drama: domain name registrars, web hosts and internet service providers. Fortunately for most, they learn quickly how to save their web site from oblivion by using the 30 day redemption period for expired domain names enforced by ICANN. One simple solution is to extend domain registration for the maximum ten years. The other solution is to treat domain registrar data as the critical business element it is.

Search the WHOIS database to see who your Registrar is on your business domain! Transfer your domain name to take advantage of our lower prices.

I Can't Remember Where I Purchased My Domain Name!

It wasn't until my third client had called asking how to regain control of her domain name that I realized that it was a common problem for small business webmasters to forget where they had registered their domains. WHOIS my registrar? Why didn't I get an email about renewal? Why did my site stop working today?

People rarely realize how important it is to keep their domain registrar notified of changes to their email address and and other contact information. The registrar will send renewal notifications to the email address last on file. For most domain owners, the only time they think about contacting a registrar is the day they reserve their domain name. If they move to a new city and get a new internet service provider, it doesn't occur to them that the old email address will change and that meeans that the registrar can no longer contact them through the previous address, or phone or fax as each of them change and we rarely notify the controller of our domain of those changes.

Sometimes the first indication a business owner will have that there is a problem is the day their web site stops working. If they failed to notify their domain registrar of changed email address, they may never have received their domain renewal notice. Since many registrars honor a 30 day "redemption period" allowing expired domains to be redeemed, it may be possible to save the registration within 30 days following expiration by contacting registrars during 30 day domain redemption periods.

The following URL leads to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (AKA ICANN) discussing the grace period and redemption period rules it enforces.

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Techno Gizmo Gadget
by Mike Banks Valentine

There is an infomercial running these days by a company that makes a Techno-Gizmo Gadget. The production values are high, the writing is clever and the goal is the clear. Get this "gadget" into the hands of consumers and it allows immediate interactive advertising! Use this goody, connected to your computer to scan a bar code on a product and you are taken immediately to a web page with more info! I can't imagine what more I'd want to know about my soda-pop, but what a great idea for interactive learning!

I can see both the good and the bad here with two major scenarios.

1) Immediate interactive TV ads with privacy invasion implications.

2) The potential for powerful and immediate interactive learning and community building!

OK, maybe many more things, both good and bad, but at least these two highly polarized ends of the spectrum are possible. To me, the latter is worth the risks of the former.

If it is used only to give you the ability to let you scan product barcodes to visit an online advertisement, then it is definitely junk. But hang on a second.

This has huge implications for learning! Imagine a kid sitting in a classroom, scanning a bar code from a textbook to go directly to an online dynamic lesson with more engaging learning potential than that of the dead tree, fixed information text book. This could revolutionize teaching, learning and yes, even advertising.

Let's look at the possibilities here, instead of the mind-numbing stupidity of using it for it's primary purpose of interactive consumer monitoring, privacy invasion. How about the potential for quality, interactive learning?

There is another aspect to this tool. If you connect it to your TV, a special tone takes you to a dedicated web page. Now when used for soft drink sales, this is plain dumb. But used for education and learning, it becomes wonderful and potentially invaluable!

*You* can now get your own barcode to take those same consumers to a specific page at Will you take the opportunity to promote your product or service? You bet you will! But consider doing this in a valuable manner by promoting a discussion list or even connect them to a chat room to discuss a valuable TV show on the Discovery Channel or present a webcast or to study community building techniques and web learning trends. Product sales follow.

Let's go to the Learning Channel. I have a cable modem for blazing fast information transfer online. It happens to come with my local cable TV. New ways to connect online suddenly become apparent. I'm watching a show on the Learning Channel and decide I want to know more about the subject. A special tone sounds on the TV and takes me to a web site dedicated to that subject with links to more resources. If my computer is separate, that means I must have it in the same room and pay attention to both the TV and the computer.

But hold on! What happens when the TV can display that web page on a split screen? Now I can watch the educational Television and surf to and bookmark relevant information related to the subject that interests me! Take this technology wireless and it translates to radio interaction, interactive college courses with combined video and web chat live during a lecture or presentation, even remotely attending meetings and events with the ability to participate.

Use it for laudable and worthwhile ends rather than soda-pop sales! This tool makes learning engaging and immediately interactive! I've personally sent for a techno-gizmo gadget of my own! They even got me to pay shipping. But I am so jazzed about the possibilities that it's worth it and I can't wait to get it. Forget the stupid intentions of interactive advertising!

What about the potential for LEARNING? I've not doubt that there will be attempts by dog food makers to get me to surf to their kibble page online, but I intend to use this cool tool to visit reference material, reasearch articles, learn new skills and then pass them along to others! Watch for the WebSite101 bar code to appear on your cereal box soon!


Mike Banks Valentine operates WebSite101 Short Course, Small Business Internet Tutorial                 


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