From: Bill Polhemus <bpolhem(--nospam--at)swbell.net>
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 20:44:50 -0600
> It seems
> that the Internet has created a potential market and that each of the
> professional organizations and Associations (SEAOC included) recognize an
> opportunity to increase revenue for support of programs.
Ironically, those organizations and institutions that have sought to use the
Internet to provide "free" information (paid for typically by advertising, e.g.)
are now having to HEAVILY retrench!
For example, virtually ALL the electronic and print media that now have a
presence on the 'net--major newspapers, news magazines, cable news outlets,
network news divisions, etc.--have found that they are MONEY-LOSING
They are all trying to figure out how to back away gracefully, reducing their
online staffs, reducing expenditures, even making some portions of their online
content "by subscription only".
They tried to adopt the broadcast model of "free content paid for by
advertising" to the Internet medium, with apparently desperately disappointing
[N.B.: Now, whether this is REALLY because it "failed" where broadcast
"succeeded" is a matter of conjecture, since being an interactive medium, the
Internet "knows" if the advertising has snagged a customer or not. I remember a
few years ago when they first began using realtime electronic sales tabulation
services in music stores, where each sale was electronically transmitted via
landlines to a central information clearing house, it absolutely DESTROYED the
longstanding credibility of Billboard Magazine, the music industry trade rag.
For one thing, Billboard had for a long time downgraded the popularity of
Country & Western music, and played up Rock titles. When they had REAL,
per-transaction data finally available, it was found that, suddenly "Country was
king" and Rock music not NEARLY as popular as the "conventional wisdom"--which
usually isn't--had long held].
I know I've gone far afield here, but my point is this: While the Internet may
have "upset the applecart", the fact is that "the times they are (STILL)
a-changin'". I think that "professional organizations and associations" to which
Dennis alludes are probably already finding deep disappointment with the
"reception" their online sales are getting relative to the expense of
maintaining the online sales channel.
I may be completely wrong in this, but the near-collapse of Amazon.Com (yes,
surprisingly it is still on the ropes) and other such outlets tells me I have a