eGovernment & Technology


eGovernment use of technology has grown over the years from using totally internal systems open only to government workers to today’s internet based systems that allow citizens to interact with their government. Government services today allow citizens to pay local utility bills online, pay taxes, and seek out government services to assist with building a business to getting a road repaired. Citizens can even read the minutes of the last board meeting and download a copy if they wish. Much of this interaction between government and its constituents can be done 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year (Joseph, 2015).

But there will be a mix of ePortal style government sites in use for the foreseeable future. Much of this is due to the cost of creating and maintaining these web properties. Most local governments are ill-positioned to spend the tax dollars. Nor do they have the qualified personnel to manage the current system or to change to an internet based system. And, a basic mistrust on the part of local governments in using an internet based system; mostly with the security of such a system and their ability to control it. This post will explore various aspects of eGovernment and m-Commerce.

eGovernment Portal or Social Networking

The advantages of changing eGovernment from an ePortal system to a social networking system are in improving the efficiency over of the current system of paper-based work. It reduces the need for manpower needed in dealing with the bulk of paper-based work. Thus, it allows for involvement of the process by fewer employees, quicker service, and, therefore, leading to reduced operations cost (Tolley & Mundy, 2009). Other benefits include an increased participation by citizens in the activities of the government due to more information being literally at your fingertips. There is greater transparency in how the government operates and less chance for corruption to occur (Andersen, 2009).

Will government switch from an ePortal, or even paper based, system to a social networking system? The answer is an unequivocal yes. The reasons are that the technology will force the change. Society will force the change. Other levels of government will force the change. Changes in support for equipment, as well as the expense of maintaining the equipment, will cause local governments to switch to cloud-based applications. Constituents will make demands for information or assistance that requires easy access 24 hours a day.

Internal Initiatives

Internal initiatives provide tools that make government operations efficient and effective. Such applications as e-Payroll can consolidate dozens of different payroll systems into one easily managed system where employees can input their time worked, and the system automatically deposits their paycheck into their bank account. Other initiatives include records keeping, training of personnel, litigation case management, procurement management, personnel management and equipment management (Turban, 2012). All of these different apps run on an enterprise system very similar to what is used in many corporations today. All of these systems run across the enterprise on the internet successfully and securely.

The Role of Wikis and Blogs

Wikis and blogs serve the system by allowing groups and departments to collaborate on solving issues and problems. Many of these problems are cross-functional, and wikis allow the participants to be able to share information quickly and at less cost than having to make numerous copies for everyone. Wiki’s allow everyone to access all documents needed to hold a meeting. Wikis and blogs are valuable tools for sharing information and making decisions in government.

Strategic Advantage of m-Commerce

The strategic advantage of m-Commerce includes increasing the geographic area in which even a small company can sell a product. Many companies that make it big on the internet wouldn’t have done so if the internet didn’t exist because it would force them to sell in a smaller geographic location. These companies may be selling a specialized service or product which locally there isn’t much interest, but worldwide there is a huge market. The strategic advantage these companies have is the ability to reach those customers using m-Commerce that they would otherwise have to employ other methods such as advertising in national publications or on television; both very expensive alternatives. m-Commerce is growing by leaps and bounds every year. Two years ago sales for smartphones was greater than sales for laptops. Forecasts have sales for Ipads and tablets overtaking laptop sales by 2016 (Blodget, 2013).

m-Commerce provides true personalization because it provides the means to access personal information immediately from the palm of your hand. Medical Insurance companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Medical providers such as Advocate Health Care, provide mobile apps that provide immediate access to patient information. Patients become more involved with their care, and the portals provide information, such as what medicines they take and in what doses, upon request.

Conducting m-Commerce on Social Networks

The benefits of conducting m-Commerce on social network include increased sales because of being able to order from anywhere at any time. The ability for location-based sales benefit local business people, whose wares sell only in the local area; an example is a local restaurant that caters to the local community. M-Commerce provides a local channel for coupons providing a wider reach. It provides for improved customer satisfaction due to real-time apps providing direct information which helps increase sales. Reduces costs such as training and help-desk support staff. It improves the productivity of mobile employees such as service technicians repairing in-home appliances. iPads and tablets have been programmed to provide technicians with the tools in which to test or look up parts information; being able to place an order for parts saves time and money for both customer and supplier. Entertainment comes right to the user’s smartphone allowing them to watch a movie or television show any time of the day or night. Pizza can be ordered from your smartphone while on the way home from work, paid for using a credit card, and be on your table 20 minutes later. M-Commerce comes to users over a nationwide private communications network that the users do not have to maintain, yet regulated by the government for the good of all.


It stands to reason that what New Zealand is doing has helped to make their government run more efficiently because they’re sharing information across departments by using the various wikis and blog tools available. Internet technologies allowed them to share that information with the general public thus affording them valuable feedback that otherwise would have been cumbersome to gather. Many governments here in the US could certainly learn how to improve their m-Commerce sites by studying what New Zealand is doing today.


Andersen, K. V., & Henriksen, H. Z. (2006). E-government maturity models:

Extension of the Layne and Lee model. Government Information Quarterly, 23(2),


Blodget, H. (2013, December 11). Number of Smartphones, Tablets, and PCs –

Business Insider. Retrieved from


Joseph, S. (2015, September 1). Advantages and disadvantages of E- government

implementation: Retrieved from

Tolley, A., & Mundy, D. (2009). Towards workable privacy for UK e-government on the

web. IJEG, 2(1), 74. doi:10.1504/ijeg.2009.024965

Turban, E. (2012). Electronic commerce 2012: A managerial and social networks

perspective. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

To Blog or Not to Blog

Starting a Blog

Friends and family members often ask me how to start a blog, and I always enjoy explaining the advantages of a blog over a traditional website, but it is a lot of information to take in over dinner. I thought I would document the process to make it easier to understand.

Decide What You Want To Blog About

There are a lot of bloggers on the web already. If you want to attract readers, you are going to need to establish your credibility. Don’t just blog about anything. Pick a topic you are passionate about. Something that you have lots of experience with.

Decide: To Host or Not To Host

When it comes to starting a blog, your biggest decision will be whether you want to host the blog yourself, or use a free blogging service that is hosted for you.

Free Blogging Services

Yes, it’s free, but nothing is really free. When you start a blog with a free blogging service, you don’t get your own domain. You get something like (where there are a million other blogs at and you don’t actually own the blog. If you ever do decide to move to your own domain, you have no way to take your readers with you, because you have no control over the site.

Cheap – Host your own blog using WordPress free Blog software

This is the method I suggest, because it offers much more flexibility and freedom to do what you want. You will have your own domain name, like You can get this for as little as $30 per year. In my experience, WordPress is excellent free blog software that allows you flexibility and room to grow.

If you want to go the free blogging service route, check out links to free blogging services.

Free Blogging Services

WordPress is one of the best, and most flexible blogging platforms. As well as distributing their blogging software, they also offer free hosting at There are books galore that can teach you how to setup full blogging, website and even an eCommerce site using WordPress.
Start a blog at by Google is probably the most popular free blogging platform. It’s easy to set up, and easy to start blogging.

If you want to host the blog yourself, read on.

Start by finding a Domain Name

For me this part is fun. You know what your theme is already, so now you have to find a good domain name. Choose one that is easy to remember and self explanatory.

Find a Web Host for Your Blog

By far, the easiest way to get a website is to go with a hosting company that offers single-click installing, or instant installations for Blogging and Forum software. Blogs and Forums make it possible for someone with no experience to get good started fast.

GoDaddy Blog Hosting

Another great blog host I recently learned about is GoDaddy. They have a ‘one click install’ Economy WordPress hosting plan that is really a great deal (as low as $3 to $5/ month (that’s $36 to $60/ year) depending on how long you sign up for). Go to GoDaddy to check it out.

Standard Hosting

Prices start at free and go up from there. Usually a monthly charge.

Install WordPress

Most hosting companies do this for you.

Choose a WordPress theme

This is the fun part, picking a WordPress theme and telling it to install

There should already be 2 theme folders in the themes folder, “classic” and “default”.
Just drop your new theme folder in with them. (remember, it must be unzipped first)

But do realize that today there are literally thousands of free themes and even more that will cost you from minimal to large $$$. You are bound to find one that will fit your theme and your budget.


Playing around with a Uniden Bearcat BC 100XLT scanner that my girlfriend found sitting amongst a bunch of electronic junk that I keep in a plastic tub. It’s mostly there in case I need something because you never know when you’ll need it.

Anyway, she decides to see if it works. She thinks back to the days when she would leave the scanner on hoping to be able to catch some action going on with the police department. It brought a smile to her face. She looks so pretty when she smiles like that.

My dad and mom used to sit in the living room listening to their scanner. They had a little tabletop model. Dad would come into the room and sit down in his chair first thing in the morning. By this time in his life he was well into his forced retirement due to his failing health. Dad had emphysema and was on oxygen 24 hours a day. He would turn the scanner on and start to listen. If it squelched you would hear an audible “shhhhush” because he thought something big was going to happen. He wanted us kids, who were bustling around the house trying to get ready to go to our jobs, to be quite so he wouldn’t miss anything important. 99% of the time it would just end up being that single squelch and then dead air. But that didn’t matter because there was always that possibility it would be something big. He would remember the time this happened or that happened…and he would bend your ear if you let him.

So, back to the Uniden BC 100XLT Scanner radio. I’m waiting for the owners manual to download. We have ATT DSL line here. When I lived in my townhouse I had Comcast cable. What I liked about cable was it was a much bigger wire and so it was much faster, it could handle a boat load of data. ATT’s puny little telephone wire can’t handle butkus. I’ve been trying to download the pdf manual I found online and for some strange reason it is taking forever to open this file online. Once it does I will save it to my hard drive. But until then I am writing this post.

What I need to find out is how do I get the battery cover off so I can replace the battery. There’s this arrow on the left side pointing to the left. I get the idea that I should push on it so it will slide to the left. Guess what? It doesn’t slide. The closest I’ve come to removing the cover is to pry open the very bottom. This doesn’t remove the cover because it is pinching the top into the main casing of the scanner. I can pry it up, but I cannot pry it off. I see the battery pack. It’s 3 AA’s shrink wrapped together. I used to sell these way back in the 1980’s and 90’s for cordless telephones.

Well, the manual finally downloaded and I saved it to the hard drive. It’s useless. Doesn’t say a word about the battery. Oh well, delete it. I’ll have to look at my list of vendors and see if any of them either have worked on this model or they know someone who has.

Retail Leads On-Line Ad Spending

Data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PWC show retail, telecom and financial services industry leading the pack with on-line advertising dollars spent in 2009-10.

Retail leads them all with spending of $4.53 billion in 2009 and $5.16 billion in 2010. It’s estimated that spending will increase to $9+ billion by 2015. Retail accounts for 20% of the overall on-line ad $ being spent.

Following behind retail and estimated to lag further behind by 2015 is the telecom industry with $3 billion spent in both 2009 and 2010. Telecom is estimated to spend a meager $5 billion in on-line ad $ by 2015.

Financial services follows with $2 billion in 2009 and $3 billion in 2010 with an expected jump to $4 billion by 2015.

Holding up the bottom  is Healthcare/Pharma, Media, and Entertainment with < $1 billion each and are not expected to go very much higher by 2015.

Other industry groups will increase their on-line ad $ spending by significant percentages: automotive by 14%, CPG by 29%, and healthcare by 13%. But none will be able to match retails spending levels.

What this means to the my industry is that marketers should concentrate their efforts on the top markets for drawing in customers. The action is going to be with retail, and telecom and financial services are following close behind. But keep an eye on automotive as they’re expected to leap into second place by 2015.

For affiliate marketers it means you should be adding more retailers to your list of advertisers. They’re going to be spending the big bucks and it will pay to tag along.

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4 Mile Hike

Walked my usual 4 miles this morning. I find it invigorating exercising daily. I don’t get drowsy come middle afternoon. I actually sleep better at night. My girlfriend says I move around less. She likes that rather than my usual jitters. I have a path laid out at several local county forest preserves. Lake County has some wonderful forest preserves located throughout the county.

Kittens in Hiking Boots

I’m in need of a new pair of boots. I had a pair of Sonoma’s for the past 15 years. These boots were comfortable from the get go. Before the Sonoma’s I had Lowa boots. Lowa’s are made in Germany. Great boot, once you got them broken in. I have a problem where one foot is wider than the other. Most shoe stores don’t want to break up a pair so that I have one boot/shoe wider than the other. Understandable, but it means a painful walk for me until the one boot stretches. I didn’t have to do the breaking in with the Sonoma’s. I liked that. But recently I bought a pair of Sonoma hiking shoes. I thought they would last me a while, especially consider how long I had the other boots. Nope! Within 4 months they fell apart. You can imagine my surprise. And my dismay.

So now I search for a better pair of hiking boots. I will chronicle my adventure further. Meanwhile, any suggestions are certainly welcome.

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