Matthew Smith on Sat, 14 Mar 1998 08:00:14 +0100 (MET)

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<nettime> Internet World in LA


i dont know if anybody of you was at the internet world convention that
went from monday 9.3. to friday(today) 13.3. in Los Angeles...i was.

it was very interesting and at the same time depressing to see what was
going on on the other side (the hardcore commercial one) of the tracks
It somehow reminded me of vultures devouring the rotting corpse of the
internet - about 75% of the booths were "blurbware" distributors selling
some hokey html editor or logfile visualizition software and the other 25
were the big boys presenting all their little "partners" who were using
the big name brands for obscure e-commerce concepts. it seems that the
virtual marketplace has become a reality, but not quite in the way as the
various marketing departements would hope - basically a few big content
providers make some serious cash (at last...) but only by generating alot
of hype in the conventional media, like Cnet for example.
the other ones making some money are the computer online stores and live
porn sites (which are the only ones who actually make profit from a pay
pre view concept), but both were not present at this convention - also
ebay, the online auction system, which broke even in about 4 months
and basically has no competition, i couldnt find, but maybe i just didnt
see em. Apple and Netscape were missing aswell, but maybe thats because
they arent making any money anymore on the net;-)
It just seems that the door on the internet business has been shut and now
its only about figuring out who is a player and who isnt - and one thing
is for sure: Art and Culture are definetly not an issue - and the way it
looks now, it wont be for a longlong time. in the best case it will have
the same status as it has now in public space - making things look pretty
and polishing up the corporate images of the media conglomerates which are
just emerging out of the dust that is settling on all the little companies
who are fighting for the crumbs of the cake.


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