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Internet publishing, business and mayhem – #1

 Internet publishing, business and mayhem – Levelling the playing field #1

[Originally published in Menu Magazine from Olympia, Washington, circa 1999]

The Internet was originally created for communication between military, academics, research institutions and the like. Not surprisingly, marketers salivated at the idea of turning the whole thing into a mall / multi-level scheme. While on-line commerce has many benefits, I see the Internet more importantly as a communications tool & publishing medium that allows a new breed of artist/entrepreneur to reach a bigger, yet more focused, audience.

Fine web sites provide a subtle concoction of art design, content and entertainment with new ways of commerce and (importantly) use this new medium without replicating old, tired, inefficient models of business, entertainment or publishing. You can break all this down into three emerging Internet trends: e.commerce, virtual community building, and multi-media. I will go easy on the buzzwords.

Electronic commerce provide an efficient, easy way to do your business anonymously, discreetly, 24-7 and with no irritating humans providing poor service and/or breath. Whether you are buying, selling, seeking the unusual, or just buying groceries, the potential of on-line sales abounds, no question about it. E.commerce is not a fad, it will be the primary way to buy things in the very short-term future. The problem now is the lack of easily implemented, adaptable, affordable e.commerce technology. Thus, most on-line stores provide impersonal, non-exciting on-line shopping experiences. This bugged me more before I remembered that going to a real store is also uninspiring and a drag, unless I am browsing or shopping for fun. I still want to browse and shop at neat stores I like, I just don’t want to have to go to the grocery store every week to buy the same 50 items, when I could choose my food list on-line, and have it delivered or ready for pick-up.

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