14.0709 on the Net & AOL Time Warner

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Fri Mar 02 2001 - 04:44:35 EST

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 709.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

       [1] From: "Joseph Jones (UBC Library)" (13)
             Subject: the boundaries of the corporate

       [2] From: Laura Blanchard <lblancha@pobox.upenn.edu> (59)
             Subject: Re: 14.0706 the Net = AOL Time Warner?

             Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2001 09:38:09 +0000
             From: "Joseph Jones (UBC Library)" <jjones@interchange.ubc.ca>
             Subject: the boundaries of the corporate

    Re: "my academic (anarchic, ungovernable, democratic,
           self-published, and free-speeching) web site"

    Aimee Morrison's posting generated these thoughts.

    How many print readers (and how many are there?) ever get
    beyond the most common corporate productions -- books,
    magazines, newspapers?

    How many academics ever get beyond their specialization or their
    social circle or their one-iversity?

    I think of Baudelaire:

              True travellers are those alone
              Who leave for the sake of leaving

    Joseph Jones University of British Columbia Library
    jjones@interchange.ubc.ca http://www.library.ubc.ca/jones

             Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2001 09:38:41 +0000
             From: Laura Blanchard <lblancha@pobox.upenn.edu>
             Subject: Re: 14.0706 the Net = AOL Time Warner?

    Aimee writes:
    > "For all the talk of the limitless possibilities of the Web,
    > a report today suggests that AOL Time Warner web sites
    > accounted for one-third of all time spent online in January
    > in the United States.
    > http://www0.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/merc/docs/065875.htm "
    > it strikes me that there is an ever-widening split between the *rhetoric*
    > of how the internet/the web functions, and the cold-hard-capitalist-facts
    > of the same. so, as much as we might all discursively relive the halcyon
    > days of a purely academic and cooperative net, or bask in the remembrance
    > of the mid-90s, where pet-rat pages outnumbered corporate sites, it would
    > seem that although the countless bazillions of net documents are still
    > primarily private and self-published in the much-trumpeted democratic
    > manner, **nobody is really looking at these**.
    > if my academic (anarchic, ungovernable, democratic, self-published, and
    > free-speeching) web site falls in the forest, and no one is there to hit
    > it, does it make a sound? :-)
    > i wonder, for example, what's to be gained by continuing to call the
    > internet anarchic, ungovernable, unknowable, when it seems that a really
    > high percentage of users are employing it in much the same way as
    > traditional media.
    > so: if **one-third** of all surfers never leave the AOL-enframed space,

    Etc. I wonder just how they're counting things. I'm an AOL subscriber in my
    other life.
    If I'm reading Usenet, e.g., via AOL, how do they count me? If I connect to
    the web using
    the AOL browser and via their proxy server, how is that counted?

    AOL also has the largest share of market in terms of internet connectivity,
    as well --
    probably pretty close to 1/3 of U.S. internet users, so the figure doesn't
    surprise me at
    all. (And, there are a *lot* of pet-rat pages with URLs that start
    members.aol.com or
    home.aol.com, so we have to remember the pet-rat factor when looking at the
    AOL numbers.)

    But, even if the numbers are as stunning as Aimee suggests, we're still
    left with a good
    chunk of internet time that is *not* spent on AOL. I run a "pet rat" site
    of my own in my
    spare time. My pet rat happens to be Richard III. I get upwards of 1,000
    hits a day some
    days, and I'm sure that Richard III would not get that kind of attention
    without the
    World Wide Web.

    I remember some handwringing back in the mid 90s about the
    commercialization of the web.
    I also remember Jim O'Donnell saying, in essence, let it get
    commercialized. It will
    drive a demand for bandwidth, and that will benefit all of us.

    Laura Blanchard
    (or see my pet rat at http://www.r3.org/)

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