The Internet Boom: Frictionless Information

Monday, August 21, 2006 11:28 am. No not that boom; no this is the boom going on now, which people are so mystified-about because it is apparently not high-tech! ... But I’m here to claim it is!

It’s because people can find-out about products; it’s because they routinely get stuff from the web about things they want to buy, from gadgets to cars to real estate, that is much better information than used to be available! ... We’re so used to the web after a few years we don’t think about looking up a condo or a bicycle, googling for stories about the neighborhood, ride, etc. — but people didn’t have that stuff in 1994. In this new informed economy people get better deals, superior merchants make more money faster, and inferior merchants and products sink into the darkness sooner. ... It’s all good!

It’s basically a kind of technological truth-in-advertising act; no one has the power to suppress or distort good or bad information, no matter how much they spend on promotion. Promotion is still useful in getting word of new products out, but the market will find the truth, the details, and secret and mysteries much faster. ... And every consumer becomes an insider!

An Anecdote

I was reminded of this situation this very day, when I googled for “NDAS Netdisk failure”, curious as I was about the sad silent lump of twitching hardware I had before me. An EDN article showed-up — but there was no page there! ... Just a blank emptiness (or, in Internet Explorer, an irrelevant table of contents). ... I gather they don’t just remove the thing because Google might retain a copy in their cache; but at least another example of this kind of thing (when I googling for the whereabouts of .NET) had the decency to claim the page was “under construction” (i.e. until the end of time)....

... These advertising-supported magazines still can’t violate the first commandment “Don’t offend the sponsor” or even potential sponsor, even on their precious “web presences”. ... When there was no internet, it was this way everywhere; and now it isn’t. ... It’s that simple....