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


Author:Kevin Kelleher
Posted:11/17/1999; 7:06:44 AM
Msg #:13141 (In response to 13115)
Prev/Next:13140 / 13142

Tim Berners-Lee said something to the effect that if you aim is making money, it severely limits your possibilities. It's been interesting seeing as the web as developed, people have been twisting themselves in two trying to figure ways to make money from it.

Even in its earliest days, the internet obliterated some sources of income - when papers were published on a gopher site, what was the point of going to buy it?

I am a pretty poor prophet, but maybe after the dust settles, there will be a general recognition that the web is not a good money farm; that it is not the best place to keep things you don't want people to touch or take or alter. Maybe this current period isn't the "wild west" stage of the web's development - maybe this is how it's going to be.

What happens if authors can't money by writing? What happens if musicians can't make money through recording music? What happens if the profit margins get so small that they can't support all the superstructure?

Perhaps the effort being put into making business on the web conform to business-as-we've-known-it is the wrong direction to take. What would happen if it all were virtually free?

I've often thought that we really could feed the poor of the world, and that what's missing is the proper economic model: there is no way (so far) to make it worthwhile for people with food to give it to people without.

Kevin Kelleher

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