the glories of the internet

the internet has the potential to give equal opportunity, to allow the free distribution of information, to employ a slef-guided education.  the internet has the potential to allow the small guys to compete with the big guys, to identify niche markets and communities organized around similar philosophies.  to allow all access to information. and eliminate the need for tremendous overhead.   with only a few dollars every person can have access to the entire world of information.  the internet changes everything.
what a load of bullshit.  remember a few years ago when there were new books every day saying all of these exact same things by re-arranging the words?  they were books published… by publishing companies in soft cover.  everyone loves to explain the internet as this glorious land of the free, all the while getting a couple bucks from a publishing company for hawking another book.
meet the new boss, same as the old boss.  what i love to hear about is  people talk about this like they are so innovative.  they seem to miss the fact that is the very antithesis of what the internet should be.  amazon is the preservation of various middle men which supposedly no longer need to exist.  why do we need amazon to sell us the books when we could buy them directly from the publisher?  why do we need the publisher to sell us books, or even make books for that matter, when we could see them directly at the author’s web site?
why?  because good luck finding that author’s web site.  the power of the internet lies within the ability to navigate its information.
“Most of the top sites are portal sites, which gather and classify
information for their users. Ms Gorman says: “Only a few companies,
such as Yahoo, can do this. They are big companies with deep pockets,
the mass marketers.”
However, as more pages are published, being seen on the Web is
becoming more difficult. Even the best search engines catalogue only
16% of the Web’s 800 million pages.
The World Wide Web, widely thought of as an endless myriad of choice,
appears to be shrinking.
It is not shrinking in the total number of Web sites being published –
that is rising faster than ever – but in the number of Web sites surfers
visit and how long they spend there.   (Web is shrinking)
the reason that has been so well received is that it provides a power transition.  as consumers it allows us to remain within the comfortable and limited mass media culture we have grown up in.  we can still take joy in the fact that someone else we know will know how cool we are when we read that book because they’ve at least heard of it.  we have become dependent on the filters of mass media to tell us what to read, in the case of search engines, to find us what to read.  people go to for news because that is the company that they got their news from before.  they are ‘trustworthy’.  of course, they programmed that trust.  now we have the possibility of an inversion of mass media.  instead of millions of silent listeners sitting around a radio, we have millions of writers speaking to no listeners.  in the end, most people just want what everybody else has.  this is how mass production works – producing masses.
the big question of e-commerce is the ability to control.  you often hear television and radio stations saying how the internet is a porn filled hate filled place and that laws must be enacted, censorship must take place.  but the larger control question is apparent in, they could upload all those books and let everyone download them, but how would they control the distribution?  how would they make money and preserve the middle man (them)?  what is to stop someone from downloading it for $5.00 and then posting it for free on their web site?  well, there are numerous devices which can be employed.  adobe is coming out with a text locker that will put a lock on the file until the fee has been paid, similar to software keys.  so we have another middle man – adobe.  over the next couple months you can expect to hear an all out media blitz for where anyone can post their writing and receive royalties.  that is, 50% of their royalties.  the other 50% goes to  for doing what?  anyone can post their own internet site and submit it to the search engines right?  why do we need  so that they can bring the users and control to you.  from a consumer standpoint, it is the same as going to wal-mart.  from a writer’s standpoint it is the same as renting a space in the mall.  you could set up shop in the back of your truck in the parking lot by the intersection… but who is going to find you?
so this is the internet now… that great bastion of free speech becomes inundated and slowed to a crawl with innumerous ads pointing to gargantuan sites and indexes where we can download no longer free information guarded under lock and key and pay someone 50% for doing nothing.
on the plus side, guaranteed there will be a crack for the key….