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Lesson One -
Ecommerce and Telework Readiness Skills

Lesson Goals

         Get Comfortable with the Class Format

         Join the Class Listserv (online mailing list)

         Review the Essential Internet Skills

         Learn about eBay Online Auctions

NOTE: To begin this lesson, you already should have read the "Welcome to the Class" bulletin at http://lone-eagles.com/ecom-welcome.htm .

This class will provide a hands-on overview of your key opportunities related to Ecommerce and Telework.  You'll review what has already been proven to work for others and will learn where to find specific information when you need it. If you're an adult, don't try to force yourself to try to remember everything. Try to loosen up and approach the lessons with a sense of play and exploration.

Plan on spending one hour per lesson reading interesting articles and one hour exploring online with the hands-on activities. Keep a personal listing of the strategies you plan to adopt as you progress through the lessons. Trust your own first impressions regarding what sites you like the best, and remember you're looking only for the best-of-the-best instead of everything under the sun. The more great sites you explore, the more naturally selective you'll become. Eventually you'll feel more and more in control and better able to find what you need.

Enjoy the Journey and Don't Let Yourself Feel Pressured

It may take some time for you to become comfortable and confident with learning to learn online. At first, the technology is strange, even foreboding to some. But if it is useful and you use it regularly, soon it becomes second nature.  One major strategy for this class is for you to get comfortable learning online in order for you to become a self-directed Internet learner.

Three Indisputable Historical Firsts
Internet access gives us three key historical firsts;

1.      The ability to access specific human knowledge within seconds of having the need (using tools called search engines).

2.      The ability to collect the best resources from worldwide sources and self-publish these globally with original contributions as web pages.

3.      The ability to collaborate with individuals and groups worldwide using email and listservs (also called "mailing lists").

With such tools at our fingertips, we are limited only by our imaginations.

The course you are now taking requires point and click skills, only, and focuses on providing an overview of ecommerce and telework opportunities and resources. AFTER you complete the ten two-hour lessons of the current course, you are invited to develop your essential Internet skills using the Internet the self-directed skills lessons below. 

Essential Skills for Internet Readiness

1.      Level One - Searching and Browsing Skills
(The Power of a Self-Directed Learner)

Successive hands-on experiences are presented to build the basic Self-Directed Internet Learning Skills for web browsing, cut-and-paste, and using search engines to learn anything from anywhere at any time.

2.      Level Two - Creating Your Own Web Pages
(The Power of Self-Publishing Globally)

Learn the basics of Web Self-Publishing Skills, creating and posting web pages with text, images, and hyperlinks.

3.      Level Three - Communicating and Working Together
(The Power of Building Learning Communities Through Internet Collaboration)
Learn about efficient uses of Online Collaboration Skills. It includes many related resources for advanced learning.

The full listing of skills lessons is at http://lone-eagles.com/essential-skills.htm

Hands-on Activities

A listserv is a "mailing list" with multiple email addresses which is used for group communications. Anyone can send a message to the single listserv address and everyone on the "mailing list" gets a copy of the message. For this class we have a listserv ready to go and it is easy to subscribe to get on the list.

1.      Subscribe to the Class Listserv and Post an Introduction Message.
First, subscribe to the listserv by going to

http://mm.isu.edu/mailman/listinfo/isu-ecommerce and following the instructions.  Or, email your instructor (frank@lone-eagles.com) and ask to be added to the listserv. 

2.      View a sampling of the past listserv messages via the web archive. Go to
http://mm.isu.edu/pipermail/isu-ecommerce/.  Take a look. Click on "Subject" for a listing of message subjects. 

3.      Send an introduction message to the class listserv using the listserv's email address:
isu-ecommerce@mm.isu.edu  Include an introduction with who you are and your personal goals for this class. Listservs are a convenient way to ask questions and get help! You are invited to ask questions on the listserv as that is what the listserv is for. You're also welcome to privately ask questions of your instructor at anytime - Email: frank@lone-eagles.com.

      You should receive a copy of your message with [ISU-Ecommerce] in the subject line of the message, as will everyone else registered for the class who has also subscribed to the listserv mailing list. You can review other listserv features, such as subscribing and unsubscribing, whenever you like at the listserv information web page at http://mm.isu.edu/mailman/listinfo/isu-ecommerce

4.      Exploring a few great resources.
Before conducting the step-by-step instructions below, you might find it convenient to first print this page so you'll have your instructions handy OR you can open another browser window by selecting File/New Window and then switch between windows at your convenience.


A.     Go to the eBay Learning Center and read "How Does eBay Work" http://pages.ebay.com/education/index.html.  Click on "Selling" on the left to see what more you might like to read.


B.     eBay is an easy way to start making money online!
Click on http://www.ebay.com/ and look over what is there. Then, click on "What is eBay?"  Follow the tour by clicking on the "Continue" button on the lower right of the screen.  Return to the main eBay screen when finished and then click on "How to Shop on eBay" and follow that tour. Use any of the many tutorials available at this site to learn more about using eBay. Note the "Site Map" is a good way to quickly see all that's available.  Explore and see what you can learn.

You're advised to set aside several hours to get online at eBay and browse around, study listings, read the help pages, understand the various tools and how you can use them, check out the forums and get comfortable with how the site works.

Did you know that over 114 million eBay users exchange over 100 million dollars daily! Over 430,000 people now work for themselves full-time buying and selling online and many don't create their own products - they buy them and then resell them at a profit. Learn more in the eBay overview lesson at http://lone-eagles.com/auctions.htm

C.     There are many fine sources on the Internet for learning about Ecommerce.
Review the following easy Ecommerce curriculum.

Access Ecommerce http://www.access-ecom.info/

Click on the link above, then click on "Electronic Commerce Basics" and then click on "Defining Electronic Commerce" and read that one page. Hit the BACK button three times to return to this lesson page.

The Access Ecommerce site is dedicated to enhancing rural development through electronic commerce and provides an easy curriculum for those new to the idea of rural Ecommerce. (An inexpensive booklet is also available.)

To Complete This Lesson

1.      Send an email to your instructor stating what new skills you plan to develop.


2.      Send an email to the listserv (send to isu-ecommerce@mm.isu.edu ) with the web address for at least one interesting resource not specifically given in the lesson.

Optional Skill-Builders:

1.      Perhaps you'd like a fun beginner's tutorial on browsing?
Go to the Cyber Playground
Click on Beginner's Tutorial on the right.


2.      Perhaps you'd like to learn more about using listservs?
Level Three - Communicating and Working Together
(The Power of Building Learning Communities Through Internet Collaboration)
Learn about efficient uses of Online Collaboration Skills.


3.      Ecommerce Start-UP Training Resources Web Tour.
Spend only a few minutes at each site to first get a quick idea of the vast resources available, then return to those sites you found most exciting.


4.      Seven major sites with extensive Ecommerce training resources.

The National Small Business Development Center's Ecommerce Resources
(Worth the time for a thorough review!)

The Access Ecommerce Guide
(Excellent lessons on Ecommerce.)

The SBA's online lessons on starting a business
(Their home page is at Small Business Administration http://www.sba.gov/.)

The Minnesota Virtual Entrepreneurs Network
Read "Becoming a Business"
and look for the entrepreneurial community champion handbook ($10).

The Small Business Knowledge Base
(Resources on how to start a business, marketing, financial management and international trade! (Too many ads, but if you keep digging you'll find serious resources.)

The Wall Street Journal Start-up Journal and Center for Entrepreneurship
(This includes a toolkit for creating a business plan, trademark searches, and more.)

ABC's of Rural Teleliteracy and Ecommerce
(Downloadable guides for the ABC's for Ebusiness, Egovernment and more. For a fee - CDROMs and Videos are available.)

NEW!!! June 16, 2006


It is almost impossible to separate the scams from the opportunities regarding making money on the Internet these days. Unless you have a friend in the business to give you a "heads-up."  Hey, Heads-UP!!!

This is new and looks VERY interesting!


The world of ecommerce is changing faster than I can keep up. If you google "affiliate programs" you'll find this is a new model that's proven very profitable.

Free affiliate programs are available at http://www.affiliateshop.com  Read "what is an affiliate."  Briefly, Shane at http://batsbatsbats.com has 1000 affiliates that have his graphic button on their sites, and if you click through and buy a bat, the web site owner gets an automatic commission check. Software keeps track - you don't have to do anything.  This is one main way Ecommerce businesses grow, these days.

Amazon will pay you 17% for all products sold through your web site. All you have to do is register as an affiliate and cutnpaste their products onto your page. This is NO scam!!!  Read more at http://amazon.com  Scroll down the left column to the section titled "Make Money" and click on "Associates."  Another site http://linkshare.com allows you or your organization to sign up as an affiliate with many businesses all at once.

Walmart and hundreds of big businesses have jumped on the bandwagon. The idea is pretty simple, if your web site helps them sell their products, they you deserve a commission just like any other retailer.  The more you learn the more opportunities you'll find. The key issue here is that if you don't have a product to sell, this is your best opportunity to get involved learning about Ecommerce by helping them sell their products. There is no risk, no cost, no product handling and no shipping responsibilities.

Sounds crazy? Once you understand it you'll see how simple it really is. Amazon has a million "associates" and paid them over $400 million in commissions last year.

At my last Montana Choice workshop I met PJ Mahoney, a retired gent who is exploring the MadeBig affiliate program. The idea is that if you make online purchases through his account, he gets a commission and it costs you nothing. If you join MadeBig, he gets another commission. If you get everyone in your church or community organization to do the online purchasing through a single I.D., they it becomes a fundraiser to sustain the church or organization.

Their free tour might be of interest. They promise not to send spam messages or give out your email address.

And NO, I'm not going to make any money if you take the tour or join. I've not taken the tour, but y'know, I'll bet you this will prove to be a hot opportunity and if you look around you'll be amazed how many similar businesses are popping up based on the affiliate program model.

Let everyone on this listserv know what you discover, please!!

All the best,


From PJ,

I'm not a very good writer, so please edit this as you see fit.

If you or a friend have been looking for a home based business that has no product to deal with,
no selling and is working for you 24/7, would you take the time to investigate it, to see if it is a program that would work for you.  If yes, there are several way to get more information.
First:  Go to www.MadeBig.com  use the VIP #31478901  enter your user name and password to view this free shopping site, and you can play Lotto, 10 tickets every day for 1 Million $'s; there is much more to this then I can explain here. 
Second:  Go to www.PJMahoney.incometicket.com   you can take a tour, with no obligation,  of the TMii site, if you wish to be an agent of the next big Internet Giant before it launches  September 9, 2006. 
Third:  Email me at tendel@bmt.net
Forth:  Call me at 406-683-3590
Patrick "PJ" Mahoney