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Five last articles
  • Building a Web Store on Shoestring Budget in less than Four Hours

  • Thursday, May 12, 2005
  • Effective Web Search with Google's "My Search History" Tool

  • Monday, April 25, 2005
  • Beware of Spyware

  • Thursday, April 7, 2005
  • How to Build a Business Website

  • Tuesday, March 22, 2005
  • Effective use of your online time

  • Saturday, March 5, 2005
    Your Daily Dose of .NET From India

    This is more like a Business Blog. Rusbiz.com is a B2B portal with features that cover a wide range of online business activities. As the CEO of Rusbiz.com, it is my obligation to be in touch with e-business related issues that concern Rusbiz members. I am planning to write about some of these topics over here. I hope that subjects that personally interest me will not go unattended either.
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    E-marketplaces from Seller's Perspective Monday, January 20, 2003

    What is an E-marketplace anyway?

    E-marketplace is a business to business web based venue, where buyers and sellers meet online, generate business leads and conduct business transactions. The e-marketplace features are tailored in a manner so that a large numbers of buyers and suppliers can be serviced as a community. A participant of an E-marketplace can be a buyer, a seller or both. Unlike an E-distribution portal which is oriented to assist suppliers selling their products or an E-procurement system which is focused on buyers solely, an E-marketplace is a platform which caters buyers and sellers equally. As a participant of an E-marketplace you are able to explore buying and selling opportunities, make sales offers and buy products and services, add products and services to aggregated e-catalog and use numerous other value added features.

    E-marketplaces are tremendously beneficial to all businesses that decide to participate in them. However, the potential benefits that a company can accrue from an E-marketplace are directly proportional to the factor how heavily the company uses the offered features of that E-marketplace. Naturally, a company that makes e-marketplace as its primary sales channel and integrates its sales resources to supply chain solutions of the E-marketplace avail more in sales and administrative overhead cost savings, reduced paper work, better customer service, reduced product distribution costs and online sales growth than a seasonal user of the e-marketplace.

    A committed participant of an E-marketplace can benefit from and improve two primary factors of company productivity: Revenue Growth and Cost Savings.

    Revenue Growth

    Expand Customer Base
    A seller, once registered with an E-marketplace, gets immediate access to a large community of prospective buyers of his products or services.

    Revenue Increase from Existing Clients
    Existing clients get faster and easier access to product information, quicker response to their requests, get better customer support and buy products online.

    Revenue Increase from Value Added Services
    Once an E-marketplace is set as primary sales channel, freed resources can be used to create more value added services for clients. Some of the services that the E-marketplace offers also can be utilized to generate more value.

    Cost Savings

    Order Processing Cost
    The supply chain solutions of E-marketplace allow sellers to reduce order processing cost significantly. Studies show that cost of processing a purchase order can be reduced from US$ 70 down to US$ 6 only.

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    Sales and support costs
    By automating sales and customer support processes companies can reduce over head costs over 25-30% easily.

    Inventory keeping costs
    Clearer visibility and forecasting ability allow companies considerably reduce inventory keeping costs.

    Most executives agree that primary reason why they feel that the companies should participate in E-marketplace is its ability to streamline supply chain mechanism. Many inherent inefficiencies of supply chain process can be eliminated thanks to integrated to e-marketplaces supply chain solutions.

    What sellers have to do in order to participate in E-marketplaces and reap numerous benefits that it can provide?

    As most of the administrative and operational tasks are done automatically by the e-marketplaces, participation in them is not a difficult process.

    These are the basic steps that a seller must take to participate in an E-marketplace:

    Registration might be an easy job of filling up a form. It is much better to take some initial preparations before doing this.

    Choose a good login name: your login can be used by the E-marketplace to give you subdomain name, i.e. login.e-marketplace_name.com.

    Profile: A well-written profile increases company image.

    Logo: your logo helps you brand your company.

    Add your products or services to E-catalog

    Most E-marketplaces furnish with easy to use forms or wizards for sellers to add their products to E-catalog. As the product and service classification used in the E-catalogs often is an industry standard, it is important to spend some times to find the perfect subcategories for your products or services. If you have any doubt contact the customer support of the E-marketplace. Fill up as many given fields are there for a product as you can. The more information buyer gets right away the faster his buying decision would be.

    Create offers

    Most sophisticated E-marketplaces have various sales platforms apart from the E-catalog inclusion. Make general sales offers, time sensitive offers (hot offers with offer expiry dates) and auction offers of your products and services. Determine the terms and methods of price, payment and shipment.

    Decide how you will handle portions of the supply chain that you have to do offline.

    Although, most of the supply chain process can be done online, not all e-marketplace offer a complete end to end solution. You also have to figure out what part of your back office can be integrated to the E-marketplace.

    Fighting Spam - III Wednesday, January 1, 2003
    You can use reverse DNS lookup tool to find out, who is the owner of this DNS. http://www.zoneedit.com/lookup.html has a convenient tool to do this. Another great site is http://www.Samspade.org, where you will find most of the tools needed to fight spammers.

    Often novice affiliates in their effort to promote merchant site start spamming, if you feel that the site that you got onto is a serious site, send a complain to abuse@site?s domain. If abuse is not a valid email address, try postmaster or webmaster. The whois tool will help you finding the owner of the site and contact email address as well.

    Most of the legitimate online business do not support spamming, and will probably close down the rogue affiliates account with them.

    If this does not help, and you still continue receiving same spam contact the host or upstream provider of that site and make a complaint. This most certainly will bring result. No Internet Service Provider wants to host a site that promotes itself with spamming.

    Finding who to complain using the mail header

    The problem with the header nowadays is almost everything what you will see over there can be forged, except the first line where you can see from which mail server this mail was delivered to your mail server. Sending a complaint to them may help but considering, in most of the cases, these servers belong to large providers; and usually they are overwhelmed with the number of complaints they receive a day. They are more concerned about the junk mails, where their server was used as source rather than a relay center.

    The forging of traces in the email header is called ?spoofing?. Email spoofing is the practice of concealing the email senders' identity with that of a third party in order to make the email more desirable to open and to obfuscate the ability to trace the sender.

    You may try to dig out who is behind the spam by checking the header thoroughly, but most probably stumble on a unsuspecting person, whose computer was used to spew out this spam over the Internet. How the spammers do this?

    The spammers use open relays to send large amount of spam via third party SMTP email server. The relay feature is a part of all SMTP-based servers, which means that most modern e-mail servers, if the relay service is not turned off, are vulnerable to misuse.

    Spammers periodically scan the Internet for unsecured relays or Proxy servers, and use them for their malicious work.

    Spammers even use viruses to compromise a computer so that they can send spam through it.

    Sobig.E, a worm virus, was opening up proxy server channels and with that, if a spammer knows that a machine is infected, he could get in and use that machine to send out spam. Windows-based systems infected by mprox, another virus, also provide spammers with an open relay or proxy server, which can be used to send junk mails.
    Fighting Spam-II Wednesday, January 1, 2003
    While simply deleting and filtering your emails at the gate might be a way of handling the problem, this does nothing to stop the spammer; and cost you and your company extra bandwidth expenses.

    One of the ways of fighting spam is to complain about it to the right administrator, who can do some thing about it.

    If you are willing to make a complaint, but do not want to spend the time to find out for a particular spam email which would be the right authority to lodge complain, use spamcop.net or other similar anti-spam sites. These sites, once receive a report from you will send an email on your behalf to the appropriate network authority.

    If you would like to do it by yourself follow these steps:

    View the spam with full header
    First get the full header of the spam email. In Outlook XP you do it by going to View from the main menu and clicking on Options. For other mail programs if you are not sure how to view an email with full header consult this page:


    Check out the body of the spam
    Often the message in the email will invite you to visit a website or there would be an email address to contact the spammer. If this is the case, go to the site and see if the content of the site corresponds to the message that you received. If it does, you found the perpetrator easily. Next - find who is the host or ISP (Internet Service Provider) of this site by tracking the route to the site. In Windows Command Prompt, which probably you will find in All Programs, then Accessories menu. Use tracert command with the name of the site. Example: tracert rusbiz.com

    If tracert command is unavailable go to the following site: http://www.traceroute.org, over there you will find a handful of web addresses categorized by country, which provide the traceroute service.

    The URL right before the sites url at the end of the query is called the upstream provider of the site. They are probably the appropriate abuse contacts to complain to. Tracert will most likely show the urls in IP addresses.

    To be continued...

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    Fighting Spam Wednesday, January 1, 2003
    If you are a resident of California, you must have heard the new anti-spam law that the Golden State is planning to enact. According to this law the Internet providers, the state attorney general and spam recipients may sue spammers and the promoter of the products or services who use deceptive information in the subject line of an email, enclose invalid reply addresses or try to cover up tracking path. The limit for civil judgments against spammers is $1,000 per message or $1 million per incident.
    In UK a similar law will go effective from December 11. Companies that practice sending unsolicited emails could be fined up to GBP 5000.
    No doubt, that spam is a huge problem! According to studies, due to spam this year US companies alone will lose more than US $10 Billion in lost productivity. However, state regulations solely will hardly be able to solve this problem. Average Internet users like and me also have to take some decisive steps to curve down this rising nuisance.

    If you are overwhelmed with growing numbers of spam that you receive each day; and tired of scrupulously deleting them off, below I jot down some methods of fighting back, hopefully that will help some of us.

      1. Use inbuilt filter that comes with your mailing program.
      2. Complain to Internet Service Provider of the Spammer.
      3. Trace down the real account of the spammer and block it.
    Use inbuilt filter that comes with your mailing program
    Make a list of all the words that are common in the spam emails, i.e. Viagra, Nigeria, etc.
    If use Microsoft Outlook as your mailing program, do the followings:
    • Open Outlook
    • Click on Tools from man menu
    • Choose Rules Wizard from the drop down menu
    • On the page Apply changes to this folder: Click on New
    • Select Start creating a rule from Templates
    • Choose Move messages based on content
    • Click on specific words link from the box at the bottom
    A small window will appear, add each and every phrase meticulously from the list you created earlier.
    • Once finished click on OK to close the window.
    • Click on the link specified at the same box
    • Open a new folder by clicking on the New button under the name Spam emails
    • Click on OK
    • Click on Finish From now on all emails that contain words from your list will be moved to the Spam emails folder.
    • All you have to do is time to time delete the emails, which appear there.

    To be continued ..

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