Internet for Contractors - Understanding the Web

October 22, 1998

William W. Zeigler


I.                  What is the Internet and How Does it Work?


A.     Server Network [implications of on and offline availability]

B.     Addresses [general style / syntax]

C.     General composition and source of information

D.     Future:




       Windows 98


II.                Getting Connected


A.     Hardware Required

B.     Access Account - Internet Service Provider [ISP] comments

C.     Software - operating system and browsers [general]

D.     Modem and Phone Line speed

E.      Training/Orientation


III.             E-Mail Use and Function [demonstration very useful here]


A.     Addresses - syntax

B.     Creating and sending a message - online and offline

C.     Address Books and Management

D.     Special features, eg, spell check

E.      Special items to include - file attachments, hotlinks, embedded and/or attached images or objects [sounds]

F.      Mailbox history and management

G.     Send out project information

H.     Send out bid information, addendum and drawings

I.        Send and receive AutoCad Drawings. Some of the newer estimating software allows take off on the AutoCad drawings. If the AuotCad drawing input is proper the take off of quantities is automatic.


IV.             Web Site Development [overview only, basis to understand what's found with the browser plus some info on practical aspects of setting up and maintaining one's own site]


A.     Description of how Site Development and Publishing works

B.     General available features and options in Web Site account

C.     Logistics of getting and then maintaning a site

D.     Web Page development tools and software plus integrated desktop application feature, eg, 'Save as HTML' in Word

E.      Search Engine Targets, what keywords and where on the page[s]

F.      The LCCA Web site

G.     Uses of your Web Site:

       Company information

       Bid Schedule

       Location Map

       Advertisement with hot links


       Set up a web site for each projects to give a place to store common information. Ie. Photos, Schedule, Staff names and phone numbers, information exchange forum, status of payouts, etc.


V. Browsers - Web Page viewers [orientation]


A.     Define - by example

B.     Comparative Comments between Netscape, Explorer and embedded ones

C.     Icons and Commands

D.     Viewing Techniques to save time and understand what's seen

E.      Retrieveing and Saving Information of offline use

F.      Security and Secure Transactions

G.     Safety - the other direction [viruses]


V.               Techniques to Get Needed Information from the 'Net BILL


A.     General Discussion on Info and Functions Available

B.     Searching

1)    Search Engines - defined and brief comparative comments

2)    Techniques - keyword strategy

C.     Navigating Search Results - linking sequence described and economized

D.     Bookmark collection and management


VI.             Web Current Development Direction and Future Prospects


A.     Transmission speed - both line and page content technology

B.     Video Conferencing

C.     Long distance calling

D.     Collaberative Tools

E.      Operating System and Application Integration

F.      Interent II


VII.          Sites of Specific Interest to Contractors [heavy on demonstration here but allow a LOT of time as browsing can be slow compared to delivering presentation material]


A.     General Business Interest

B.     Government Information - taxes, regulations, licensure

C.     Products and Services

D.     Way of Doing Business - EDI, Stock Check / Purchase / Shipment, Plan Distribution, Job Progress Monitoring


VIII.        Conclusion


A.     Inet Access - Easy, Inexpensive, Useful and Becoming Necessary

B.     Contractor Specific Application and Info Available Summary

C.     Future Direction and Related Implications