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The Internet

We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespear; now, thanks to the internet, we know this is not true.
    - Robert Wlensky, University of California
20040408(Internet):Unnecessary Realism
So I go to Penny Arcade today, and the banner add they have is for some Puzzle Pirates thing. I'm just looking at the banner here, I'm not clicking on it out of general principle. The games seem to be "play some game vaguely related to a real job on a Pirate Ship!" You know, jobs like SwordFight, BilgePump, Carpenter, Navigate...

Yes, that's right, there's a game around pumping the bilge. A necessary job to be sure, but hardly something that people really want in their simulations.

20040328(Internet):An Old Saw Gets New Sharpening
So, the grand experiment in democracy which was K5 is effectively over (read the executive summary if you can't stand the length and verbiage of the official version).

The site admin has effectively thrown up his hands over the entire affair, limiting new membership to those who can find themselves a 'sponsor' (an established member willing to risk their memberships on the behavior of the new user). This effectively nails the barn door shut, and lets the current membership destroy itself through attrition without a source for replenishment.

The problem with public access is the public you attract. I guess that direct, participatory democracy doesn't scale. :)

But seriously, even if none of the preceeding made any sense to you -- go read the executive summary. It's brilliant. And some of the following threads are good too.

20031114(Internet):Personal Websites: Validation
Found on /.: Why Personal Websites Matter

He says in part:

Good content always find an audience on the web.

This is true -- the lifetime number one hit on my web site is my page regarding Mounting CDs on HP/UX. I've even gotten feedback based on it, people who were searching for this and then sent me email about the rest of the site -- quite an undertaking, since the email address is only on one page and robo-proofed. I wonder how many others decide to send me email, only to give up when they can't find the address?

20031007(Internet):This Is No Time For Rational Thinking
Here's an innovative idea for covering the costs of providing content on the web: the author calls it charging people. Such radical ideas are doomed to obscurity, though.

The reason why you'll never see such a scheme here is because I'm very clear as to who I'm doing this for: it's me. And as such, I get to pay the freight on it.

20010501(Internet):Thoughts on a Premium Content Salon
Dear Mr. Talbot,

As an occasional visitor to Salon, the web-magazine which you are the editor of, I took note of your Letter From The Editor of 30 April 2001. In this letter you are encouraging your readers to enjoy some additional benefits to those provided for free. Specifically, you are offering the opportunity to peruse the site free of the banner and pop-up advertising which most web surfers are now familiar with, in addition to some new content which will be restricted to subscribers only.

(Originally published to NerdPerfect.)

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20010412(Internet):Financing The Web
If you are involved with a website in some way, one of the things you have to be thinking about is how to pay the bills, or idly wondering how the webmaster will pay the bills. Bandwidth is not cheap, and the best that most webmasters can usually do is to have someone else pay the bandwidth -- be it through places like Geocities, or through businesses that depend on advertising revenues to pay for group hosting, like the Keenspot concern. When the best is not available, usually due to the traffic carried by the site (or a webmaster's distrust of someone else's ability to keep a system quasi-secure), it means running your own box on your own line, and that means paying someone real money.

This is an issue because most people have noticed that the internet advertising industry has collapsed, and will leave a lot of people in a world of trouble. There is a shake out coming, and most sites will probably not survive. If you care about the sites you visit, you should educate yourself about the problems that they face. One excellent article is this one by Scott Kurtz, the author of PvP. It describes the online comic industry more than news/opinion sites like ours, but the issues faced are almost exactly the same.

(Actually, there seems to be a bunch of articles on this subject: this one by myschyf on Lum The Mad talks about the same things I do, but more from the view of a gaming fan site. It is another good read.)

Originally published to NerdPerfect.

Read More:Click here to feed starving web authors in Canada.

20001101(Internet):Napster Misses The Point
Word on the street is that Napster has sold out to BMG Music. While insisting that they will still be about sharing music, the BMG deal involves them setting up a Members Only section where (presumably) fees collected from the members will be shared with BMG. Time Warner has intimated that they might be interested in a similar arrangement should Napster implement a "secure, fee-based membership system." This is the way of the future, and the evil greedy distributors know that they can either try to co-opt it or get steamrollered by it.

What Napster doesn't get, though, is that for a fee-based system to work, one has to provide something in return.

Originally published to NerdPerfect.

Read More:We get it, right boss?


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