Letter From Editor
Internet and Iranian sites

Internet is going through a maturity phase and is reconstituting itself as a legitimate source of information and commerce for the 21st century.  The experimentation phase is over and the shift is more towards constructing sites that meet specific needs and objectives.  Internet hobbyists are loosing their attractions and are making rooms for practitioners and implementers.  Internet visitors’ expectation has been raised greatly. Nowadays people surf the net with purpose. Iranian Internet sites are also undergoing the same transformation.  Publishers of some of these sites have clearly recognized this change and are trying to define their sites goals and objectives.  Some have come to realize that providing a directory of other Iranian web sites or re-verbalizing the news are no longer enough to attract visitors. So what distinguish one site among so many that is out there, are the additional services they offer.  Unfortunately, offering additional services requires major financial and personal investments. This is compounded with the high level of uncertainty for recovering the expansion costs.  In the next couple of years, we will witness some of the Iranian publishers struggle with this fact, trying to decide if they are ready to take the next step. 

About two years ago, we decided that we are in this for the long haul and planned Iran Online site design accordingly.  Our objective was to create a unique forum (Iran Online Forum) that offers the widest range of services to our visitors, while offering advertising opportunity to businesses.  We think many of you would agree with us, if we said Iran Online was just that.  However, we will be the first to admit that we must do more.  Some of our upcoming additions to Iran Online Forum are the evidence of our commitment. 

Coming soon

We are in the process of redesigning Iranian Online Yellow Pages (www.IranianYellowPages.com).  Iranian Online Yellow Pages is  probably the first Iranian Online business directory available on the Internet.  It is an Integral part of Iran Online Forum.  It is being hosted and maintained by Manou & Associates Inc.  who also 
sponsors Iran Online.  We hope to have the enhanced site fully operational within the next couple of months.  The new business directory will offer unique features that would allow its visitors to quickly and easily locate individual businesses.  Additionally, it will allow business owners to add basic information about their business free of charge. 

What have we done lately?

Since the last issue of the Iran Online Magazine, we have been adding new features and have been updating the existing sections of Iran Online Forum.  We have added a new section about Kurdistan. We have started hosting School of Planning and Computer Applications (SPCA) Alumni and NEDA organization web sites as part of Iran Online Forum. We have also posted new issues of Iran Gohar newsletters.  Additionally, two new issues of Iranian Cultural Clubs of Orange County newsletters have been posted.  The Anti-Violence Campaign section has been expanded.  We have installed a new version of the Chat Server software that offers a more robust encryption techniques.  Finally, we have added Iran Online Bookstore. 

About Iran Online Bookstore

Iran Online bookstore supports two purposes.  First, it provides Iran Online visitors an easy access to a large selection of books.  The second purpose is to generate revenue to help off-set Iran Online development, expansion and upkeep costs. 

Our visitors can purchase books from two sources via Iran Online.  The first source is Amazon.com. Books about Iran available through Amazon.com can be purchased in Iran Online Bookstore.  The second source is Barnes and Noble bookstore.  Our visitors can buy any book available through Barnes and Noble via Iran Online. We invite you to visit Iran Online Bookstore and buy all your books through us. 

This Issue

As always the articles posted in this issue are from a pool of viewers provided material.  We thank our viewers whose articles are included here. The articles presented here cover a wide range of topics.  They do not necessarily reflect Iran Online or its staff viewpoints. We also thank you and would like to remind you that we value your opinion. Please continue to send us your articles and comments. 

Happy New Year 

Iran Online 
March 1998