The failure of the Internet

in General Discussion edited January 2014
You know it's dawned on me that the Hype and Hope of the Internet as a medium that will vastly change our way of life is waning.

Sure I wouldn't want to live without Internet access but if you had asked me 5 years ago where the Internet would be by now and I'm sure I would have guessed more than today.

Sites are struggling to stay afloat. Pay Per View is becoming increasingly common but let's look at this.

The Internet can offer Audio and Video files over their Dead Tree counterparts but the Internet does not come close to the pinnacle which is Televison.

Frequently favorite sites of mine are going to paid content but instead of offering something new and exciting which is only available on the Internet I'm supposed to pay for Articles and Premium Access to Messageboards.

Frankly it's all pretty pathetic. There is a stunning lack of tools and technology that actually make a tangible difference in the lives of the general consumer. We're short on time but long on hope.

Where does the internet fit in?


  • Reply 1 of 23
    digixdigix Posts: 109member
    What's the Internet?

    It's an uber mail network system. And so far I concern, it's quite a success story. As for all of those fancy future stories about the Internet, remember, it took centuries for the mail networking system to evolved into the current stage. Maybe a few more decades will made the Internet more like what some people want.

    In the mean time, I think that I will do just fine by exchanging messages with other people using text.
  • Reply 2 of 23
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,368member
    [quote]Originally posted by digix:

    <strong>What's the Internet?

    It's an uber mail network system. And so far I concern, it's quite a success story. As for all of those fancy future stories about the Internet, remember, it took centuries for the mail networking system to evolved into the current stage. Maybe a few more decades will made the Internet more like what some people want.

    In the mean time, I think that I will do just fine by exchanging messages with other people using text.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Yeah you're probably right. I regard P2P file sharing as a pretty good invention. I just feel for websites that must generate profits to stay alive..the big battle is how to sell what once was free.
  • Reply 3 of 23
    amoryaamorya Posts: 1,103member
    I run a site in my spare time. As such, I'm not running it as a business. At the moment, me and a friend are covering all the costs ourselves. Soon, though, we'll have some extras available for purchase. These are things above what the site normally offers: for example you can order printed books of material on the site. We'll offer more as we think of them. There's no adverts at all on the site, and the only reason we're considering these extras at all is to cover bandwidth costs.

    To get more sites like that, we need to make web design 'cool' again (in a geeky sort of way). When the net first started, people put up sites because they could, and they had something to share. Now, everyone expects a site to be a business in itself. Running a business via a site is one thing, but don't expect the site itself to be your sole product!

  • Reply 4 of 23
    sc_marktsc_markt Posts: 1,398member
    I don't think the internet is a failure. If anything, (and this is strictly my opinion) I think it was way overhyped a few years ago. Just look at some of these overnight internet companies that were worth billions without making a profit. What the heck were we thinking (or smoking)?

    What I think hurt the internet (again, just my opinion), is the low bandwidth connections that most people have. If, some day most or everyone had super-highspeed internet access, I could see it really taking off again with all kinds of new companies being started.

    I just hope that the powers to be don't get their way with the internet and limit our freedom of speech on it. There are already signs of this happening and I suspect it'll only get worse.
  • Reply 5 of 23
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    While the internet is not the be-all and end-all of our entertainment, I find that it's completely invaluable in other ways. Getting stuff for my Mac would have been next to impossible in Athens, GA. But with the internet, I not only can get stuff, but I can get a really good deal on it too. Paying bills online has changed the way I do things. If a credit card company doesn't have a way for me to pay my bill online in a fast, easy way, forget about it, it gets cancelled after getting an earful from me about being backwards (well, not really, but I'd like to do that).

    I only use checks once or twice a month now, thanks to the internet. Postage stamps? Sometimes I'll use one a month. Most of the time, I don't even do that. Anything that can't be gotten quickly and easily over the internet isn't really worth my time.

    On another note, the internet is becoming a great medium for the delivery of basic psychological services. I'm going to be doing my dissertation on an internet based treatment for relationships. There are a bunch of other sites that target depression and anxiety disorders. The internet is a great tool for learning about stuff that you would never have been able to learn about otherwise. That's the promise of the web, to me, at least. The hype was overblown, as most hype is when something is new. But I don't think that its failed in any way. The business model has changed, but that's not the web's fault.

    BTW, good topic.
  • Reply 6 of 23
    The Internet is far from a failure!!! I remember back in the day before we had Internet and I would connect to BBS's with my 286 Epson on a 2400bps modem. The Internet has come a long way with the technology that is available. Broadband isn't all that every one thought it was going to be. I would rather have my Digital Cable than pay to watch it though my computer for now. Interactive TV will evolve faster I think (I'm not talking about having a TV with a Computer Integrated in it either.). Give it time some time in the Future the Internet will be more than we need for any thing. I probably wouldn't own a Computer now if I couldn't have the Internet. Some time the Internet will be more but for now I think it does the job.

    [ 08-14-2002: Message edited by: BrianMacOS ]</p>
  • Reply 7 of 23
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    I quickly realized that the internet was a very poor entertainment medium, but a pretty good service medium. I think the "world wide web" part is basically a flop, but the infrastructure has yet to see its full potential.
  • Reply 8 of 23
    People who think that the Web is a flop don't remember what it was like trying to get information from a card catalog.

    You know, with cards. File cards. In wooden drawers. At a library.

    Claming that it's not the "pinnacle of entertainment" like television misses the point. The Internet is the greatest tool since the printing press for disseminating information. Like AppleInsider, for instance. Even before the development of the Web, the 'Net was still great for getting information through USENET and Gopher.

    We can't watch television shows over the Internet? Who cares?! Try playing Warcraft III against people with your cable box.
  • Reply 9 of 23
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    I do almost 100% of my shopping online. Sites like eBay are impossible without the net. The net is much better about on-demand media/multimedia than anything else.

    Network TV is free, sure, but with ads every 10 minutes. Cable TV isn't free. Why should the net be different? Some things are free, some things are not.

    It's so easy to do stuff like streaming audio/video broadcasts over the net, especially with QTSS + QT Broadcaster. Without the internet, I'd have to keep disks in my backpack for moving crap back and forth.

    Yeah, the internet's not what it was 2 years ago, but it's not a freaking failure. It's still a runaway success.

    [ 08-15-2002: Message edited by: Eugene ]</p>
  • Reply 10 of 23
    Hmmm. I remember in '96 at a company I was working for picked me for their Internet team. My boss said; "You'll never be out of work in this market...". Heh, he's right. I'm a web designer making $9.00 an hour with no other prospects in the near future in this field...time to find another profession I think.

    Email (90% of my mail is SPAM), pirating MP3s/software (and not feeling a damned bit ashamed about it) and porn (with my measley life is sorta nil). That's all I use it for now.

    If you really want to "thank" someone, thank the NAIVE entrepreneurs, VULTURE capitalists and stock ANALysts for destroying the Internet as we see it now. Maybe the future will hold new innovations, but I think that the fat cat corporations have it locked.
  • Reply 11 of 23
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,368member
    Cools thanks guys. I do agree.

    I hate paying anything by mail now.

    I don't shop that much yet because I can always find deals locally that are still competitive

    I agree..entertainment isn't quite there aside from online MP Games(Internet Crack AFAIC).

    Perhaps Mpeg4 and other technologies will appear to our benefit. Guess I was just a little bummed. Thanks fellas
  • Reply 12 of 23
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member

    I'll never pay for access to a web site, NEVER. So if web-sites want to make money, they better find other ways to do it. I pay more than enough for this computer and connection, and I don't really care who gets rich and who gets broke.

    The internet is not really a medium where you can make money directly. If you have something tangible to sell, you can use the net to represent that.

    I rather see the internet remain free (with scores of small personal pages, fan pages, forums, and communities.)

    There's just no way anyone is going to pay for additional internet content in any significant number.

    If it fails to make people rich, good.
  • Reply 13 of 23
    Oh, and another thing. Why hasn't cable or DSL service ever gone down in price? If someone was really smart (and could take risks) they would offer these services at the same rates as dial-up ($19.95). If someone could succeed at that...they'd be the next AOL.

    I waited two years and still it hasn't I can't afford it.
  • Reply 14 of 23
    overhopeoverhope Posts: 1,123member
    Yeay, and the US Government did say "we must find us a secure means of communicating between our military bases when the Russkies blow us all to kingdom come".

    And the geeks did build the DarpaNet, and saw that it was good.

    The universities saw the DarpaNet and did say "we must get us some of this this so our students can exchanged Star Trek jokes".

    And the geeks did build UseNet, and saw that it was also good.

    And the rest of the world did see UseNet, and said, "we too would like your Star Trek jokes and pornographic Graphical Information Files".

    And the geeks did build the Internet, and saw that, hey, this was some neat stuff.

    And big business did see the Internet, and spam was born.

    The geeks did build the World Wide Web, just because they were showing off.

    And big business did think unto itself, "yeay, now we can shove stupid adverts direct into everybody's face". And the popup was born.

    And the stock markets did say, "hey, these people are going to make pots of money. Buy, buy, buy!"

    And big business did say, "we will build you streaming interactive TV at a blistering 9600kps, and shops and pornographic JPEGs", and the geeks did say "yeah, whatever".

    The markets saw more money, and invested more.

    BUT, big business made nothing from the WWW, and the markets made nothing from the WWW, and verily did they crash and put a lot of people out of work.

    And the geeks did kick back and say "we only made it to communicate..."
  • Reply 15 of 23
    LOL! Overhope... sweet!

    [quote]Originally posted by BrianMacOS:

    <strong>The Internet is far from a failure!!! I remember back in the day before we had Internet and I would connect to BBS's with my 286 Epson on a 2400bps modem. </strong><hr></blockquote>

    you're lucky

    when oi was a kid, we had 300 baud

    and we had to shinny up a pole to connect it

    the internet provides mcluhan-esque benefits

    [quote] "All the new media are art forms which have the power of imposing, like poetry, their own assumptions. The new media are not ways of relating us the "real" world; they are the real world and they reshape what remains of the old world at will." - Marshall McLuhan <hr></blockquote>

    most chat users can describe their newfound global village awe as messages arrive from all corners of the planet... from folks you might never meet or associate with due to distance (physical, political, or other)

    many a curious kid in a remote location with poor libraries and art galleries has gleefully clicked through the for a personal puzzle over the mona lisa or a research essay with web help

    and there are some things you often can't see anywhere else... including television.

    i know dozens of expatriates working overseas who've bookmarked the nightly webcast of their hometown's evening news on the tvstation site.

    want to learn to fly a b-17 from original army film?

    i don't think your blockbuster's got that... web does

    <a href=""; target="_blank"></a>

    and after the bureacrats yanked NASA TV off the cable lineup, the only place (without a honkin dish to get the direct feed from US birds) to watch spacewalkers assemble the ISS live is online

    extra bonus: never buy the <a href=""; target="_blank"> log</a> again

    for some, part of the joy of Napster or similar P2P was/is less in the exchange and more in the voyeurism.

    what's the first thing you do at somebody's house...

    you check their bookshelf and music collection to see how your tastes jibe (and to speculate about larger patterns)

    napster's hotlist is a virtual scroll through the music collection. you can get turned on to new versions, rare issues, curious covers, and often build a sense of wonder (which one they started from and how those dots connect). occassionally, you'd spot something completely out of place and hypothesize that another relative must share the library.

    jazz, jazz, jazz, limp bizkit, britney, jazz... oh so they've got a teenager

    and clearly nobody here longs for the return of &lt;gasp&gt; chain letters.

    - this message printed on 100% recycled electons -

    [ 08-15-2002: Message edited by: curiousuburb ]

    [ 08-15-2002: Message edited by: curiousuburb ]</p>
  • Reply 16 of 23
    overhopeoverhope Posts: 1,123member
    And of course, no other media in the history of the world has given 14-year-old boys so much opportunity to say "HEY ARE THERE ANY SEXY CHIX HERE WHO WANT TO MAKE IT WITH ME" to a bunch of complete strangers... <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />
  • Reply 17 of 23
    Oh, I don't know. It was possible to do so by telegraph in Victorian times.

  • Reply 18 of 23
    I think most porn site operators would agree that the internet is a huge success.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    Ever since I got acquainted with the internet (very late in the game), I have been hoping it would evolve into an open forum for people to express their artistic visions and such-- you know, the humanistic side. To an extent it is that. Its just not completely there yet.

    Thankfully the dot-com myth built the infrastructure. The only thing missing is a mass move toward broadband. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of market pressures. I don't mind but I don't like it when everyone sees the internet as a business tool rather than an artists tool. I still think the potential is there and I remain optimistic, but I think the next ten years will be critical.

    Based on this, I don't think I need to tell you about what I think of iTools -&gt; .Mac.
  • Reply 20 of 23
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    [quote]Originally posted by Artman @_@:


    Email (90% of my mail is SPAM), pirating MP3s/software (and not feeling a damned bit ashamed about it) and porn (with my measley life is sorta nil). That's all I use it for now.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    90% spam? Hotmail? My hotmail is like that but on my clandestined address I get no spam. I suppose that will change once people start using random account-name generators on, but that will still only amount to a handful of spam a week, most likely. I only give that e-mail out to friends and family. If I don't think hard, that's probably all I could think of to...but I use the internet all the time, even when I'm not using in directly.
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