Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Amy Wohl on Instant Messaging

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:8/2/1999; 6:36:13 AM
Topic:Amy Wohl on Instant Messaging
Msg #:9005
Prev/Next:9004 / 9006

From Amy Wohl in response to Instant Messaging.

I applaud the idea that we ought to admit that

  1. Running servers costs money

  2. If we want to do interesting things with them reliably we may need to have some public servers which we all pay for

This has added benefits

  1. As a matter of public policy we could decide to allow free usage to some institutions (such as schools or libraries)

  2. More important, we could get away from the idea (which has nearly destroyed television) that everything on the Internet is about making money. We seem to have forgotten that lots of things people want to exchange information for have nothing to do with making money and shouldn't. Nor should such transactions necessarily be supported by mindless and instrusive advertising (which, if we can believe the statistics, most people don't read anyway).

There are lots of good commercial uses for the Internet and there is nothing wrong with the using the Internet to enable them (remember it isn't so long since we didn't allow such transactions onto the 'net). But there are lots of other things that we need other ways of supporting. Maybe we should be looking at how to fund such usage as well as the public policy problem of funding internet access for the HaveNots. Now that could be a good lively discussion!

Best, as always,


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