7.0553 Ad: Internet Business Journal on Advertising (1/119)

Mon, 7 Mar 1994 23:27:34 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 7, No. 0553. Monday, 7 Mar 1994.

Date: Sun, 6 Mar 1994 17:14:01 -0500
From: bosley@aix1.uottawa.CA (Aneurin Bosley)
Subject: Internet Advertising -- A Special Report

Internet Advertising -- The Internet Speaks Out

The April issue of THE INTERNET BUSINESS JOURNAL will be a
special report on Internet Advertising. Members of the Internet community
have strong and divided opinions about Internet-facilitated advertising,
and we would like to include a sampling of these opinions in this special
report. Here is a chance to tell the business community what you feel
about advertising on the Internet. We also invite extended commentary on
the subject (up to 2,000 words).

Also, if you provide an Internet advertising service of any kind, send
details to ak943@freenet.carleton.ca for inclusion in the special report's
resource section. If you have an interesting story to tell about your
business using the Internet to advertise -- or about being the recipient of
advertising on the Internet, we would also like to hear from you.

This special issue will be freely available on the Internet in low ASCII and
Postscript format.

Send your submissions to me at ak943@freenet.carleton.ca by March 11,

THE INTERNET BUSINESS JOURNAL welcomes letters from Internet
users on any subject but reserves the right to condense them as necessary.
Letters must include name, address and telephone number.

Aneurin Bosley
The Internet Business Journal

The following commentary on one aspect of Internet-facilitated
advertising appeared in the February issue of THE INTERNET

Internet Advertising and a Level Playing Field

When it comes to the issue of Internet-facilitated advertising, the Internet
will never mean the same thing to large corporations as it does to the
world of small to medium size enterprises. The key difference between
small business and the corporate world is access to national and
international markets through advertising. Until the arrival of the Internet
as a business communication tool, small businesses never had access to
affordable global marketing capability -- exorbitant advertising costs
represented the final barrier to growth. The high costs of traditional means
of advertising has served to ensure that small businesses rarely grow
beyond local markets. Now that the commercial Internet has come of age,
the privileged access to global audiences previously held by the corporate
world can no longer be counted on to ensure market domination.
Privileged access to international audiences has been effectively and
permanently broken by the rise of Internet entrepreneurs.

Unlike the Internet, the coming Information Superhighway will not have a
significant immediate impact on small to medium size enterprises. This is
because the Information Superhighway will primarily consist of
interactive entertainment services controlled by multinationals. The cost of
entrance into this digital consumer Disney land will undoubtedly remain
out of reach of the typical small business. Television advertising has never
provided more than local advertising capability to small businesses. There
is little reason to believe that even the next generation of "smart TV's"
hooked into the InfoHighway will be significantly less expensive. The
critical difference between the Internet and the coming Information
Superhighway is ownership and membership fees. The ownership of the
InfoHighway of tomorrow will rest in the hands of an exclusive
consortium consisting of telecommunications, cable, and entertainment
industries. The Internet will remain a stark contrast -- no primary owners,
no content controllers, and almost insignificant entrance fees.

Whereas the largest mergers in history are occurring as a result of
multinationals jockeying for position of dominance over the
InfoSuperhighway, a quiet paradigm shift marked by the evolution of
multimedia, bi-directional Internet advertising is quietly and swiftly
growing. In the middle of this decade, the corporate world will experience
a rude awakening when they finally discover that tens of thousands of
small businesses are gaining an increasing share in the international
delivery of products and services due to the empowering effect of Internet-
facilitated advertising. With an ever increasing percentage of the economy
and job creation tied to the rise of home-based business, there exists the
distinct possibility that the balance of power may shift from inefficient,
slow moving corporate bureaucracies to highly adaptive telecommuting
entrepreneurs and virtual partnering collectives.

Often, the true significance of a new phenomenon lies not in the
phenomenon itself, but in the convergence between two or more new
social systems. The Internet as a communication system is historically
unique in many aspects: its size, growth rate, decentralized structure,
multi-cultural character, and subversive potential (note that any wide
spread phenomenon that displaces the distribution of power in society is
inherently "subversive" to those who experience loss of power and
control). At the very time in history when we are witness to the rise of the
Internet, we are also faced with the globalization of markets and cultures.
This generation is also witness to an unparalleled return to home-based
businesses and cottage industries. The economic bases of North America
is shifting away from the hands of the multinationals to the
microeconomics of small businesses. The economic significance of small
businesses is occurring at the very time that the Internet is able to
empower small businesses to effectively compete in the international
market. Neither the growth of small businesses nor the arrival of the
commercial Internet as isolated phenomenon represent a sufficient
precondition for a paradigm shift within the global economy. But together,
they will prove to be a radical agent of change.

Up until now, the most widely held assumption in macroeconomics is that
multinationals would continue to dominate global markets. But this
assumption can no longer be maintained when, in the midst of this
information age, both the medium of information is changing (paper to
digital), and the centralized control over the mass distribution of
sanctioned knowledge is eroding (the second gutenberg revolution -- every
computer on the Internet is a potential printing press serving a global
audience). Information and the knowledge it yields is power, and today we
are witnessing the beginnings of a fundamental change in both the nature
of information, the flow of information, and the control over information.
When these changes are fully realized, we will be faced with a very
different society and entirely new global economy. A key, but by no
means isolated, factor in the coming economic revolution is the Internet
and its affordable bi-directional advertising capabilities.

Michael Strangelove