Much as we might complain about the slow rollout of ISDN in the US, it appears that ISDN is arriving just in time to meet the need of the public for high speed access to online multimedia via the World Wide Web and commercial online services.

There is a certain synergy between ISDN and the Web. Not only does the Web generate demand for ISDN, it is also an ideal way for ISDN vendors to provide product information to online service providers and end users choosing ISDN equipment and services.

Automated Web indexers like Lycos make it possible for people to find out about ISDN offerings without knowing the details of where the info is on the Web. At least in theory, a single search for "ISDN" will find all the relevant pages. Unfortunately, the search often takes a long time to execute, and produces a disorganized, repetitive, and 'dirty' result that takes some effort to make use of. So, vital as automatic indexers are, they can't match the ease of use and high quality of indexes generated by hand.

That's where my ISDN page comes in. It is a distillation of many hours of Web and Usenet surfing, plus tips from many helpful readers, into a reasonably concise and organized collection of pointers to just about every online source of information involving ISDN. With just a few clicks, you can read up-to-date information from the vendors' own Web pages, on topics like ISDN phone service, videoconferencing, networking, hardware, software, Internet access, standards, user groups, consultants, and pricing. You can even search many online databases for more up-to-date ISDN information with a single click.

I originally started the page to share what I'd found on the Web re ISDN with my coworkers, but it has become quite popular. Its top level menu was accessed 20,000 times in February, and was accessed by 24,000 unique hosts from its creation thru Feb '95. Since some hosts may be firewalls or multiuser systems, the true size of the readership is probably closer to 30,000. The readership appears to be loyal, as many of the accesses are from repeat customers. The number of accesses per month has grown by 3000/month fairly steadily.

Building and maintaining the page has been a rewarding hobby; although it isn't easy given my RSI, the many thank-you notes and compliments have made it worth the hassle. The page is freely available on the Web, on a machine at Caltech. To reduce the load on the poor computer, I'm looking for sites willing to mirror the page on their Web servers. One mirror site, in Poland, is already in operation.

Anyone offering an ISDN product or service can reach potential users and developers easily and cheaply- all it takes is a text editor and an account on a Web server. I think demand-driven media like the Web are the future both of advertising and of education; come check out a glimpse of the future sometime at http://www.alumni.caltech.edu/~dank/isdn/ !


Copyright 1995 Dan Kegel. All rights reserved. <-- copyright 1995 Dan Kegel. All rights reserved.>