Most large companies have a Web site; and soon most medium companies will have a web site. Currently a couple of thousand companies throw up a new Web site every day. Kevin Deary, a surfer buddy of mine, runs the Coca Cola bottling plant in Anaheim that makes all those great Minutemaid drinks we all enjoy. When I asked him about their Web site he didn't even know they had one. He has since discovered that not only do they have one "The Galaxy of Coca-Cola - The Coca-Cola Company " but they have several. Some of them may be internal web sites which are becoming commonly used by companies to replace paper. He's not the only one that doesn't know their company has a Web site. George Lysak, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Huntington Ritz Carlton, was completely unaware of the Web site about their hotel. Mr. Lysak said the company would like to develop a Web site for the Hotel but is still at the most neophyte stage of Web development. They are definitely not the only ones in that predicament.
So--be sure to find out if your company has a web site. The company grapevine may not pass along everything about your company. In many cases you can learn something that is news to most of the people you work with. Chances are high that you will be one of the few in you company that know about the site (knowledge is power).
Remember the Web is so easy to use that finally we can all enjoy the Internet. In fact, the growth of the Web as part of the Internet can be directly attributed to its ease of use. Literally all you do is point and click. The text on these pages have highlighted words or phrases which when clicked on send you to another page of the same document or around the world to some exotic far away corner.
Web graphics can range from basic and not very useful to very high quality clickable images. If you haven't had a chance yet try Cye's home page at WWWiz, then try it out. It is full of little trick techniques. When you enter his home page keep a very close eye on Cye's eyes in his painting (you must have Netscape to see this feature). This is just one example of things to come for the Web. If you want Cye's trick to replay then reload the image. The quality of any page is a direct result of the abilities of the designer matched with the browser used to view it. All browsers allow you to easily cruise the Web but they are not all equal. What you see when you get there and how fast the information on pages become available are functions of the browser you choose.
It is great fun surfing or clicking your way around the world. You will notice that people refer to the experience as if they "went there." You would expect them to have their passport stamped with all these wonderful places that they have visited. Another interesting side effect for these virtual tourists is the tendency to spend hours cruising the web any time of the day or night without noticing the time that has passed.
Expect that once you come online you will spend more time than you first think. With a local number and a good online provider you can spend hundreds of hours online for as little as $20 per month.
With most providers you are now offered free time and some offer more time than most people need for one fixed price per month. Some services such as America Online and CompuServe are more expensive for using the Web and it can cost a lot of money each month if the service doesn't exactly fit your needs. There is a big cost difference for browsing the Web AOL's browser vs. Netcom. Netcom is known for being very inexpensive and yet they are available as a local call all over the US. However, AOL offers a lot of services that Netcom does not. Like an integrated new and database of information. While sorting through AOL's vast stores of information you will find that the Web is fully integrated and you can leap out to the Web with a click as required.
Your best bet for quality and price is to check out the local provider in your area; some providers offer very inexpensive connect time, a more direct connection and great support. For $10 to $20 per month you can get lots of free hours of connect time. Spending 100 hours on the Web can cost $20 to $300 depending on the provider you have and the hours you are on line.