Montpelier Ecommerce Pioneers Lead the Way

Montpelier's first New Age Garage sale and hands-on digital demonstrations of digital art, music, wireless laptops, and Ebay online auctions was held last Thursday and Friday at the Bear Lake High School hosted by the Greater Bear Lake Chamber of Commerce, Frank Odasz of Lone Eagle Consulting, and the Idaho State University College of Technology. Digital photographs of donated items to support the Chamber’s fund raiser to provide a downtown information center and a life-size statue of "Old Ephraim" to be located in the King’s parking lot have been posted on the Ebay online auction at (search for "Montpelier" to see them).

Direct Communications demonstrated their wireless high-speed Internet with wireless laptops connected direct to a major fiber optics pipeline which is now available for home use in Montpelier for $50/month (but not yet in most Idaho communities). This service is twenty times faster than phone lines.

Those attending were treated to their first hands-on experiences with the amazing capabilities of low-cost digital art tablets, digital musical keyboards, CDROM digital cameras and learned about how they can increase their incomes via Ebay and Ecommerce. Demonstrations on how anyone can create his or her own web page in five minutes or less using free software were very popular.

An online listing on Montpelier citizens willing to share their Internet skills will be listed on the Internet. (Web address to be announced.)  Everyone who indicates an interest in sharing their Internet skills with Montpelier community citizens will be posted on this list.

A new online course designed specifically for rural citizens as a first online learning experience is now available "Rural Ecommerce and Telework Strategies" Over twenty Montpelier citizens have signed up for this online course as early pioneers ready to put their stakes in the ground - homesteading the Ecommerce frontier.

Anyone interested in selling crafts, antiques, or other items via Ebay is invited to contact Jared Caldwell (call between the hours of 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.) who will post digital photos of your items on Ebay for a 20 percent commission for each item that sells. The ISU College of Technology’s Special Programs office and Jared will be hosting a presentation on how to use Ebay later in July followed by a hands-on workshop on how you can do this yourself with a minimum of technical knowledge. Upcoming articles will tell more about the Ebay and Ecommerce successes of Montpelier citizens.

Montpelier was founded by pioneers crossing uncharted territory seeking to make a better life for themselves; today's online pioneers continue this tradition. While some might say there is apathy and fear of technology, the number of local pioneers and success stories is growing so rapidly that Montpelier might soon be a model community success story inspiring rural communities world wide. Be a part of it!

A formal paper on Montpelier's opportunities and Ecommerce visions (online at will be presented for representatives from 15 countries in Australia from August 26-29. Those interested in participating in upcoming community events, taking the online Rural Ecommerce course, and/or sharing their Internet skills with others should contact Margaret Phelps at or call (208) 282-3372, Frank Odasz, Lone Eagle Consulting,, or Teri Eynon, President of the Bear Lake Chamber of Commerce at or