Ancient History

Like any other self-respecting internet consultant who worked in the late 90s and early 2000’s, I have a whole portfolio full of startup website clients who made a go of it and never really got off the ground. Here’s my list:

Invida Outcomes Network
Idea: Community of people with various conditions who participate in and report on new drug treatments.
Now: domain name on sale for $7,940

Idea: Sports-theme games community so people can choose their favorite team’s logo/ avatar while playing games online.
Now: DNS error
Idea: Community website based on matching clients with Application Service Providers. Or,
in the alternative, community website for developers interested in ASP technology.
Now: search ad farm

Idea: CRM + Project management. From

IntraBlocks creates persistent, dependent e-business relationships between professional service providers and their clients, with significant benefits to both. With it, service companies can differentiate themselves in the market, acquire clients more efficiently, serve them more effectively, and re-engage them more frequently.

Now: search ad farm; domain for sale.


Another CRM.

Now: CRM ad farm

Media Bullet

Buy & sell content to media organizations, publishers, and consumers.

Now: seeq search engine ad farm for bullets

National Safety Council Driver Safety Course

Developed the requirements, led the design process, and managed the project for this Driver Safetry Course for MetLife and the National Safety Council. The system has the following characteristics:


Training: Bilingual (Spanish/ English) Computer Training

Today after 12:30 Spanish language mass at Queen of Angels Parish (2-4 PM), I led a class for  basic computer skills– operating system, word processing, internet searching, to Spanish speakers. Some upshots:

  • Over 20 people attended
  • 5 biluingual speakers who served as proctors/ translators/ helpers for others
  • All attendees succeeded in obtaining Yahoo! Mail acocunts
  • People immediately got to work– emailing relatives in Mexico, emailing the 12:30 Mass Lector schedule, etc.

The cool thing was that there was a matrix of language and computer skills— great english speaker/ bilingual/ great english speaker; no email account/ mid-level internet browser person/ tech geek— that it became something of a salon. Everyone taught everyone else. It wasn’t a classic stand-up teacher/ listen-up students type-thing. People got VERY passionate and it sparked alot of action.

Here are some great resources we used:

  • We had all levels of computer skills– from complete beginners to people with their own websites
  • We all helped each other
  • More to come!

Training: Discussion Board Software for The Jane Collaborative

Today I helped out with training on discussion board software with dozens of Illinois libraries at the Burpee Museum of Natural History. Here’s how they describe the project:

Welcome to The Jane Collaborative Forums, sponsored by the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, Illinois in partnership with sixty-one small urban and rural public libraries throughout Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin.

If you’ve reached this page, you have been invited to join the Jane Collaborative Forums, a unique community space for librarians and museum staff to interact with each other, learn about the Jane exhibitions, and increase interest in and traffic to the museum and participating libraries.

You will be able to pose questions, start discussions, and interact with each other as we plan and execute activities surrounding the Jane exhibition and special library programs.

The Jane Project

Poetry: Family Reading Night at Stone Academy

This afternoon I participated in Family Reading Night at Stone Academy in Chicago. We had three sessions of “Grab Bag Poetry”.

We had cut out words from magazines and put five in a bag. A student and their family takes a bag and must write a poem using these 5 words somewhere in it. They will then glue/write the words of the poem on a piece of paper to take home. I facilitated the activity for all.

Training: Week-Long Computer Camp for Kids at Wright College

This month I taught a course of 15 elementary and high school students in a week-long “computer camp”. We had a great set of people who were eager to learn and well-behaved. On the first day of class we learned about our backgrounds with computers and the rules that we all followed at home about Internet access. We all decided that we were not going to do or learn anything in class that was not allowed at home.

Software Tool Review
We covered a wide variety of software tools. The common thing to remember is how to approach software– learn the menus, use teh Help files, and remember that software is logical. Most important lesson: you’ve got to waster your time to learn anything worthwhile.

  • We learned FrontPage in class, which is a Microsoft-based product that is well-integrated with other common MS Office software
  • We also learned a little bit about Macromedia Dreamweaver. This is the best WYSIWIGeditor around. You can get a free trial version of it, along with other products, here
  • We covered Microsoft PowerPoint, which many of the kids have already learned. Good for doing animations and making crazy things move. You can also publish to the web from this application and just about all of the other ones we covered if you have FTP access to a website
  • We downloaded and learned Site Spinner, which is the tool that we used to create this page
  • We also took at look at Micosoft Excel, which is a very powerful program for managing numbers and formulas
  • We learned Adobe PhotoShop and saw how software treats each object separately, allowing us to control the properties for each item. You can get a free trial version here
  • We also spent some time on Microsoft Publisher

Web Site Hosting Resources
Just like we talked about in class, the most important thing when approaching the Internet is to adhere to your household’s rules. These links are provided as some possible free resourecs.

  • Yahoo! – good page-builder tools for free. A GeoCities Plus account with FTP access will cost $5 per month.
  • Angelfire – free. Lots of kids use Angelfire and there are kids communities there.
  • AOL Hometown has free accounts with unlimited space and free FTP access
  • – free, lots of space, free cool layouts
  • DMOZ Listing – a great list of age-appropriate hosts

Here are links to some of the sites we made in class:

Other Resources
Anything you need to know about the Internet is on the Internet. And remember– don’t pay for anything.