Richard Seltzer's home page  Publishing home

Business on the Web -- where "word of keystroke" begins

Richard Seltzer and Sudha Jamthe are now running a new series of business chat sessions, on alternate Wednesdays, from 3-4 PM Eastern Time. Check for news about
upcoming sessions and also to access the chat room.

Transcript of the first two of these sessions:
Who Needs a Desktop? Part 1 -- Web-Based Applications, March 22, 2006
The Magic of Blogs. Part 1, April 5, 2006

Richard Seltzer used to run weekly chat sessions Thursdays 12 noon-1 PM (US Eastern Time = GMT -5 when Standard Time, GMT -4 when Daylight Savings). These sessions ran from June 1996 to November 2003. For an explanation of why he discontinued them, see the chat farewell article at

He will continue to write articles related to Business on the Web topics and post these for free access at his Web site. If you would like to receive email alerts when such articles are posted, send a blank email message to or go to and sign up there.

Transcripts of past sessions are available here. See hyper-linked list below.

Please send email with your follow-on questions and comments, and suggestions for topics we should focus on in future sessions. So long as the volume of email responses is manageable, I'll post the most pertinent ones here for all to see.

For an article on how to make chat work for your business, see

"Who needs a desktop?" first of a new series of business on the Web chat sessions, Wed. March 22, 2006

Transcripts of previous chat sessions

Selling at eBay: focus on research techniques

November 6, 2003 (edited transcript) Tracy Marks (who has an eBay feedback rating of over 2470) sharing tips and insights about selling at eBay.

Virtual teams

April 17, 2003 (raw transcript) Simon Priest talking about virtual teams. "Virtual teams (of two or more members) work together on aligned tasks, maintain healthy relationships, and use online communication to overcome barriers of geography, time, language, and culture. Online communication technologies include: chat, email, fax, whiteboard, telephone, video,web browsers, and other conferencing tools. Electronic facilitators enhance virtual team performance by guiding members to reflect on their teamwork processes such as trust, communication, collaboration, problem solving, decision making, planning, and leadership."

Using Email Discussion lists for marketing

April 10, 2003 (raw transcript) Shel Horowitz talking about how to find the right emaildiscussion groups, how to market online without being flamed, and how to harness the viral power of the list to become seen as an expert, and more.

Personal extranets with Ashu Bhatnagar

March 13, 2003 (raw transcript)

Teleseminars with Jenny Hamby and Preston Campbell

Feb. 13, 2003 (edited transcript) -- Conducting, promoting and archiving teleseminars, with Jenny Hamby and Preston Campbell (suggested by Heidi Perry  Related article

The Bombast Transcripts by Christopher Locke

January 23, 2003 (raw transcript) -- Christopher Locke, author of The Bombast Transcripts and co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto. He was on two previous chat programs of ours talking about Cluetrain (with David Weinberger and Rick Levine). Those transcripts are available at
February 3, 2000
Feb. 10, 2000
See my review of The ClueTrain Manifesto
See my review of The Bombast Transcripts

Brainstorming about international communities

Jan. 16, 2003 (raw transcript) -- with Berthold Langer, manager of IS Client Support Services at Avid Technology. Born in Germany, Berthold has, like many expatriates, tried to stay in contact with his family, friends and culture throughout his stay in the US or travels around the world. With the commercialization of the Internet and the advent of the Web he has found more and more ways to keep in touch and explore options to bridge the gap. Prior to joining Avid, Berthold was a technical and marketing consultant at Digital Equipment Corporation for over 10 years, where he was an early member of Digital's Internet efforts. Berthold is a native of Germany and lived in the USA for over 13 years now. I worked closely with him in Digital's Internet Business Group, back 1994-96; and in January 1994, he and I put together the pioneering videotape "A Glimpse of the Future", which helped wake up many companies to the business potential of the Web. If you are in the mood for Internet nostalgia and have a fast connection and the RealPlayer,
you can view that tape at (It's only a few minutes long).

Radio, elearning, ecommerce, and shareware, with radio talk-show host Dave Sciuto

Dec. 19, 2002 (raw transcript)  -- with Dave Sciuto, host of the weekly radio show "The Computer Report," heard every Sunday from noon to 2:00 pm on WOTW in Nashua, NH and WGAW in Gardner MA, and co-author of the syndicated column weekly column, "The Shareware Report" that appears in such newspapers as the Nashua Sunday Telegraph and the MetroWest Daily News. Part-time, he also teaches Intro to HTML, DHTML, XML, JavaScript, and e-Business management courses at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Boston University, and University of Phoenix. Full-time, he is a learning engineer at Hewlett-Packard in Nashua NH and Littleton MA.

"Smart Mobs" by Howard Rheingold

Dec. 5 (raw transcript) -- with Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs and The Virtual Community. In my review of Smart Mobs, I wrote: "Even before the Web, Rheingold sensed the importance of social interaction in his experiences with the online community at the Well. He explored the implications of new kinds of behavior and relationships on the Internet in his seminal book The Virtual Community. Now that much of what he foresaw has become reality, he looks ahead at the changes likely to transform our world -- socially, business-wise, and politically -- in the next wave, based on wireless communication. Technology makes it possible that wireless person-to-person interaction, without central control, and with very inexpensive access available to all could change our world even more profoundly than the Internet has."

Small Pieces Loosely Joined by David Weinberger

Nov. 21 (raw transcript) -- with David Weinberger, author of Small Pieces Loosely Joined and co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto. Small Pieces emphasizes the human and paradoxical aspects of hte Web -- how we behave and interact there and what that says about what it means to be human. He was on two previous chat programs of ours talking about Cluetrain (with Chris Locke and Rick Levine). Those transcripts are available at
February 3, 2000
Feb. 10, 2000
See my review of The ClueTrain Manifesto
See my review of Small Pieces.

PR in tough times

Nov. 14 (edited transcript) -- What you can and should do differently. Online PR opportunities you may have overlooked. What to do until you have money to spend. Ethel Kaiden

Training ROI

Oct. 31 (raw transcript) -- Ray Vasser

The classroom as a database

Oct. 24 (edited transcript) -- Kathleen Gilroy, CEO of The Otter Group, an e-learning company.

Where and how to buy things to sell at online auctions

Oct. 10 (edited transcript) -- Heidi Perry, and Evette Eleese (author of How To Make Money With Internet Auctions: A Proven Method)

Update on selling at online auctions, especially eBay

Oct. 3, 2002 (edited transcript) -- Evette Elise, author of How To Make Money With Internet Auctions: A Proven Method shared her experience and provided useful tips.

Roberta Kalechofsy -- novelist, essayist, speaker, and publisher

May 16, 2002 (raw transcript) -- Roberta Kalechofsky ( talked about her works and also about experiences and learnings from the realms of traditional small press publishing, print-on-demand, and marketing over the Internet. I first met Roberta in the mid-1970s when we were both exhibiting frequently at small press books fairs. Now that my venture of publishing books on CD ROM is taking off -- with good response to collections of public domain books -- starting with Roberta, I'm going to begin publishing contemporary, copyrighted works, paying royalties to authors. I hope to have a CD with half a dozen of her books available in a few weeks. (Please check out my other offerings at my online store

Developing applications for speech, with Ken Ingham of Amazability

May 2, 2002 -- Kenneth R. Ingham, President of Amazability, Inc. talks about applications developed for speech as opposed to voice adaptations of graphical presentations. The discussion centers on an alternative technology for assistive systems (for the blind/visually impaired), wherein   the where speech is the initial design goal, versus the typical approach, where the starting point is the visual presentation. Here "speech"  includes both voice recognition and text-to-speech. Related article: "With voice for input and output, computing enters a new realm"

A new way to make quality "spoken" books

April 18, 2002 (raw transcript) -- guest Nick Hodson explained his method of "massaging" etext files so they sound good when "read" by a speech engine (text-to-voice converter). For now, he is focusing on ISpeak from Fonix. Click here to download a 2 Mbyte, 17 minute audio sample (in mp3 format) put together by Nick, 100Kbyte, 25 second audio sample (in mp3 format) created using the latest version of ISpeak

Building, selling, and reading ebooks the easy way (for use on PCs, without encryption; e.g., plain text ebooks on CD ROM).

April 11, 2002 (raw transcript) -- Mainly talking about the CD books we're building at Samizdat Express. See our online store at

Yaga, business models for selling content

March 28, 2002 (raw transcript) -- guest Arnaud Fischer from Yaga. Yaga has been striving to build a digital content marketplace based on P2P  and online payment technology. We want to find out what they have learned -- what works and what doesn't and why. (transcript not yet available)

Chatterbox, a new voice conferencing platform

Nov. 15, 2001 (text notes from the discussionstreaming audio [for RealPlayer] of the full hour of discussion  related article). Discussion and demo of a great new voice conferencing platform, with Peter Carlson, vp of technology with Simple Software (the company that developed it), and George Buys, an enthusiastic user.

Business use of voice recognition

Nov. 1 (edited transcript) -- guest Bill De Stefanis, vp of product development at Lernout*Hauspie (the company that bought Dragon). They just released version 6 of Dragon Speaking Naturally. related article

Radio and the Internet

October 25 (raw transcript) -- guests Dave Sciuto and Bill Dubie of the weekly radio show The Computer Report, broadcast on WCAP in Lowell.

Yaga, a P2P company with new revenue models for content providers

October 18, 2001 (edited transcript) Arnaud Fischer from Yaga explained the company's new business model and how content providers can benefit form it, including a paid subscription service, with the content providers sharing a large portion of the subscription money. see related article "Yaga, Yaga do! -- P2P meets micropayments" at

Quick Topic Document Review

Oct. 11, 2001 (raw transcript) Dan Kalikow demoed a unique online discussion tool, where your comments are tied to specific parts of particular documents, using Quick Topic Document Review. See related article A great way to get feedback -- but will anyone use it?

Global Learn Day

Oct. 4, 2001 we held a "rehearsal". To see archives of this event (both text and voice), go to

Tapped In MOO

September 27, 2001, (raw transcript) Guided tour of TAPPED IN ( an online conference center hosting an international community of education professionals. Teachers, librarians, professional development staff, researchers and students engage in professional development programs and informal collaborative activities with colleagues and attend online dicussions and classes. Led by Keiko Schneider.

Impatica for Powerpoint

September 20, 2001, notes not yet available.

Being found by search engines

On Wednesday August 29, 2001 at, I delivered a full-blown presentation (including audio and slides) about  How to use content to attract traffic to your Web site, even when branding rules saddle you with a search-engine unfriendly design at HorizonLive The archive of that presentation is now avaiable at Please let me know if you'd like me to hold a followup discussion on the same topic as one of our upcoming chat sessions.

Getting ready for Global Learn Day

August 23, 2001 -- summarizing the results our experiments with text-chat platforms. Edited transcript.
July 26, 2001 -- testing Bravenet chat, with a brief addendum testing AOL Messenger's chat-room capability. Raw transcript
July 12 and 19, 2001 -- no transcript (testing multiple applications) See related article "Text Chat Choices"
July 5, 2001. We tested the capability of merging the capabilities of PalTalk (telephony) to the Franklin Telephone Room and archiving of same. People in the PalTalk room could hear the people talking in the telephone room, and people in the telephone room could hear the people talking in the PalTalk room, without confusion. An annoying background buzz interfered; but discovering and fixing such problems was an important goal of the experiment. That session prompted me to write a description/explanation of the importance of Global Learn Day (audio version at

Experimenting with voice discussion

For a white paper based largely on this series of experiments, see
June 14, 2001. Part 7: Using HorizonLive. The archive for the first fifteen minutes the June 14 presentation is available at:
The rest of the session is at This URL is case sensitive and that there are underscores between the groups of numbers. There is no audio for the first couple of minutes since, while people were logging on. Just let it play and the audio will begin. The text chat comments are available at: Thanks to Steve Salik, Technology Support Analyst, College of Business, Arizona State University,
June 7, 2001. Part 6: Using Webtrain as a distance ed platform. No transcript. (Notes to come).
May 31, 2001. Part 5: Using Paltalk to discuss voice chat issues and possibilities. Audio file available at, summary at
May 24, 2001. Part 4: Paltalk revisited (32 participants), audio file available at, details at
May 17, 2001. Part 3: Paltalk. Third in our series of voice chat experiments. for details see
May 10, 2001. Part 2: Telcopoint. Second of a series of experiments dealing with voice chat and related solutions.
March 1, 2001. Part 1: Plain Old Telephone System (POTS). First of a series of experiments dealing with voice chat and related solutions.

Search engine update

March 15, 2001, March 22, 2001 What's new? What's changed? What's your favorite tool and why? Tips on how to search well. The edited transcript is not yet available. Meanwhile, pelase check the raw transcript.

Discussion tools and voice

March 1, 2001 What's available today, what's free, what's desirable? This session will be run by John Hibbs, using both this chat room and also voice over ordinary telephone lines. The edited transcript from this session is not yet available. Meanwhile, please check the raw transcript.

What free stuff is left and why

February 15, 2001Februrary 22, 2001 What free stuff is left and why? Many companies used to offer free stuff and services to quickly build a large audience, with the idea of either selling advertising or selling the business based on the number of registered users. With the dot-com stock market crash, lots of free offers and the companies that depended on them have disappeared over the last year. What's still available? What's useful? What isn't worth the price? And what's the future of the Internet business model of giveaways?

DSL vs. Cable for high-speed access

January 18 DSL vs. cable and hooking up multiple systems for your home office (see related article at The edited transcript from this session is not yet available. Meanwhile, please check the raw transcript.

Global Learn Day

January 11 -- guest = John Hibbs, Director of the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Global Education, in San Diego, talking about distance education and collaboration, and, in particular, Global Learn Day. ) The edited transcript from this session is not yet available). Meanwhile, please check the raw transcript.

MangoMind, your shared disk drive on the Web

Thursday, December 14 -- Scott Davis, vp and cto of MangoSoft, talking about their MangoMind service. Now you can have your own disk drive on the Web -- disk space that you access with the same commands and the same ease as the hard drive on your computer or the shared hard drives on your LAN, only this disk is out on the Web and accessible from anywhere. The space is secure and you can share it with designated partners and colleagues. Check my article about it at and their Web site at For a brief bio of Scott Davis (an early developer of clustering technology) see edited transcript from this session is not yet available. Meanwhile, please check the raw transcript.

DEC, not Digital

Thursday, December 7 -- How would you write the DEC story? An editor at Wiley has expressed interest in the proposed book "DEC, not Digital." So Richard would like to take this opportunity to get your suggestions/reminiscences etc. about DEC. You can see the proposed book intro at To see reader reactions and react to them forum-style, please go to the related discussion space at The edited transcript from this session is not yet available. Meanwhile, please check the raw transcript.

Global Learn Day

November 16 -- Guest = W. Sean Chamberlin, PhD, Online Coordinator/Assistant Professor, Fullerton College, standing in for John Hibbs, Director of the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Global Education, in San Diego. Talking about distance education and collaboration, and, in particular, Global Learn Day. The edited transcript from this session is not yet available.

Practical experience in distance education

October 26, Guest = Kathleen Gilroy, founder and CEO of the Otter Group, an e-learning company that focuses on programs for university alumni. She has been developing e-learning programs since the early 1980s and has pioneered the use of satellite communications and the Internet for professional audiences. Her current clients include Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where she is developing an e-learning series on leadership, and MIT's Sloan School of Management, where she is developing an e-learning program on financial technology and investments. She also developed the first e-learning program for scientists in the early 1980s and developed Harvard Business School's first e-learning program in the early 1990s. In 1995 her company developed the first e-learning program on e-commerce. The edited transcript from this session is not yet available.

Java Puzzle Cards

October 19, guest = Scott Cramer, talking about Java puzzle cards, an interesting new app, now in beta. On the one hand this goes one better than e-cards. You can quickly create puzzles from any photo with whatever words you want right on the image and email them. The recipient gets a URL that takes him/her to a Web page where the pieces are scrambled. You click and drag to put the pieces together (this is very slick). The puzzle solving is fun and addictive (this is far is involving/participative, while e-cards are not). And depending on the complexity (number of pieces chosen in the creation process), it can be quite a surprise as the picture and the words come together. These puzzle cards could have interesting benefits as part of viral marketing campaigns and for early childhood education. Please try it out at works best from Windows PCs. There are still a few bugs to be worked out for Macintosh).

Business implications of free massive disk space on the Web

Thursday, October 12. See related article at

New directions in scifi, with author Patrick O'Leary

Thursday, October 5, guest = Scifi author Patrick O'Leary. If you don't have them already, run out and buy his works: Door Number Three, The Gift, The Impossible Bird, and Other Voices, Other Doors. Check my book review. Check his Web site.

Print-on-demand from the perspective of the do-it-yourself publisher

September 21, 2000 guest = Michael Joyce (translator of Good Soldier Svejk) review of his book

Internet-based market research

September 14, 2000 guest = Ray Deck from

eBookIt: a quick way to create multimedia books

September 7, 2000 guest = Bob Zwick, talking about his eBookIt project and other ebook alternatives. Check The Lizard of Oz, for an example of an audio book made using eBookIt. To hear the narration, you need to use Microsoft Internet Explorer and you must have RealPlayer.

Coola: a fast new way to move info to your palm

July 20, 2000 -- guests: Sameer Agarwal and David Agress from Coola,

Punktown by Jeff Thomas

July 13, 2000 -- Jeff Thomas, author of "Punktown" a powerful collection of short stories that creatively pose age-old questions through bizarre and intriguing circumstances on another planet in the future. See review at

Identity is Destiny

July 6, 2000 (transcript not yet available) -- Larry Ackerman, author of Identity is Destiny To see an excerpt and other info about the book, check

Metro and Ministry of Whimsy Press, including the role of ebooks the Internet in small press publishing

June 22, 2000, June 29, 2000 (guests: Jeff Edmunds, author of the novel Metro, and Jeff VanderMeer from the publisher, Ministry of Whimsy Press) The complete book is available online for free at See review at

Recruiting for Internet starups

June 1, 2000, June 8, 2000 (edited transcript not yet available)

Differentiate or Die

May 18, 2000 -- (guest: Jack Trout, author of Differentiate or Die You can see his profile at , an excerpt from the book at, and a related article at (edited transcript not yet avaliable)

Clicks and Mortar

May 11, 2000 (guest: Terry Pearce, co-author with David Pottruck of Clicks and Mortar: Passion Driven Growth in an Internet Driven World) related article

Affiliate selling

April 20, 2000 (guests: Greg Helmstetter and Pamela Metivier, authors of the book Affiliate Selling: Building Revenue on the Web. For details and an excerpt see related article

Sales channels and the Web

March 30, 2000 (guest: Jay Owen) Related article (related transcripts from April 6 and April 13 still in the works, sorry for the delay)

Virtual worlds and 3D shopping/advertising

February 17, 2000 See related articles Internet-on-a-Disk #34 and

The Cluetrain Manifesto (with three of the four co-authors)

February 3, 2000 Feb. 10, 2000 (guests: Christopher Locke, Rick Levine, and David Weinberger). For a review of this book see related article

Sprint marketing: what should you do when time is more important than money?

January 27, 2000 (still editing that transcript, sorry for the delay)

Grassroots democracy: is the Internet making a difference

January 20, 2000 (still editing that transcript, sorry for the delay)

FairMarket: hosting branded auctions

January 13, 2000 (guest: Bob Supnik from FairMarket)

Online shopping, lessons from the holidays

January 6, 2000

Online auctions

December 2, 1999 (guest: author Joseph Sinclair), December 9, 1999 (guest: Calvin from AuctionRover)

Selling content/getting paid for content on the Web

October 21, 1999 , October 28, 1999, November 4, 1999 (guests: Greg Schmergel and Carolyn Unger from; Chris Wills from

What's happening to Money

October 14, 1999 (transcript not yet available) (guests: Richard Rahn, author of The End of Money, and Russ Jones, marketing manager for MilliCent, a microcommerce system from Compaq)

Wireless Internet

September 30, 1999 October 7, 1999 (guest: Alan Reiter, president of Wireless Internet & Mobile Computing, a wireless data consulting company) Related article on wireless Internet, Second article on wireless Internet

Business opportunities opened by high-speed Internet access

September 23, 1999 (guests from The Computer Report, radio show broadcast in Lowell, MA, Sundays, 7-8:30 AM, on WCAP 980 AM in Lowell/Boston, MA) an article based on this discussion

DSL vs. Cable for high-speed Internet access

September 16, 1999 (guests from Acunet and MediaOne), see also an article based on this discussion

Ebay and ecommerce lessons

April 8, 1999, May 6, 1999, May 13, 1999, May 20, 1999, May 27, 1999,June 3, 1999, see also articles based on these discussions, eBay for sellers, and more practical advice for eBay sellers

Business implications of the Linux development model

March 18, 1999, March 25, 1999, April 1, 1999 (book review of The Cathedral and the Bazaar by Eric Raymond)

The new Web business environment and how to cope

January 7, 1999

Shopping on the Internet

November 12, 1998, November 19, 1998

Finding jobs and getting consulting work

October 8, 1998, October 15, 1998, October 22, 1998, October 29, 1998

Selling books and magazines on-line -- Getting paid for content

July 9, 1998, September 24, 1998, October 1, 1998

Internet marketing/advertising tactics (including brand)

June 18, 1998 July 2, 1998

MOO, an environment for on-line discussion, business communities and distance education

May 7, 1998 May 14, 1998 May 21, 1998

Live demo of AltaVista Forum, a tool for building business communities and for distance education

April 23, 1998

Building business communities

March 26, 1998, April 2, 1998, April 9, 1998, April 16, 1998

Distance education and training

March 19, 1998, March 5, 1998 , February 26, 1998, February 19, 1998, February 12, 1998 February 5, 1998,January 29, 1998, January 22, 1998 , January 15, 1998 , January 8, 1998 December 18, 1997

Bazaars: Low-cost store fronts

December 4, 1997, November 20, 1997

The Social Web -- varieties of "community" experience and their implications for business

November 13, 1997 , November 6, 1997 (also discussing Placeware), October 30, 1997October 2, 1997,September 25, 1997, September 18, 1997 , September 11, 1997 September 4, 1997, August 28, 1997 ,

Value-added services from ISPs and others: an alternative business model for commercial Web sites

August 7, 1997, July 31, 1997 , July 24, 1997

Internet telephony and FAX

July 17, 1997, July 10, 1997, July 3, 1997,June 26, 1997

Web-access to databases and database-enabled Web applications

June 19, 1997, June 12, 1997 , June 5, 1997,May 29, 1997

Web-hosting prices, modular Web sites, chat, and other subjects

May 13, 1997

Putting a face on your Web presence and serving customers on-line (including Groceries to Go and a study of 1000 commercial Web sites

May 1, 1997, April 24, 1997

Serving customers on-line

April 17, 1997 April 10, 1997

On-line advertising/promotion and electronic commerce

April 3, 1997, March 27, 1997 , March 20, 1997, March 13, 1997,March 6, 1997 February 27,1997

Distance education/training

February 20, 1997 (plus Internet stats)

International aspects of Web business

February 13, 1997 (plus distance education/training), Februrary 6, 1997 January 30, 1997 (wireless Internet)

Wireless Internet

January 23, 1997

Techniques for personalizing Web sites

January 16, 1997

Intranet development

January 9, 1997, January 2, 1997

Year-end wrapup

December 19, 1996

From Internet World in New York City

December 12, 1996

Impact of search engines on Internet business

December 5, 1996 , November 21, 1996 , November 14, 1996 , November 7, 1996

New kinds of money

October 31, 1996 October 24, 1996

Low-cost Web-access devices (like WebTV)

October 17, 1996 , October 10, 1996 , October 3, 1996

International business

September 26, 1996 (plus Malaysia)

Virtual companies

September 19, 1996, September 5, 1996

Chat/Forum and related applications

August 29, 1996


August 22, 1996

Video over the Internet

August 15, 1996


August 8,1996, August 1, 1996

Electronic Commerce

July 18, 1996

General Internet Business

July 25, 1996, July 11, 1996

How to Make Business Chat Work an article by Richard Seltzer  privacy statement