ISPreview - The Commercial Internet

ISPreview investigates how the Internet is turning more commercial

The Commercial Internet
By Mark 'Killzat' Jackson : Feb 28th - 2001 : Page 1 of 3

"If an economic analyst were given the task of assessing the Internet then they'd probably end up referring to it as a volcano."

The Internet as we know it is free, it's a global network of sites and services providing information without charge and one that's beginning to have a great overall impact. With the exception of getting online through the ISPs, 99% of the information we see is technical free and doesn't require us to make any payments, monthly or otherwise.

However the Internet as we know it is changing, while access and bandwidth continues to get cheaper, a new cost is about to arise. We're on the verge of seeing our beloved information paradox become a victim of its own design. Where once information was free, we could soon find a charge imposed on many of the things we read.

It's not fiction anymore, the Internet is about to turn from a 99% free information resource to something much more commercial and it'll never be the same again.

What You Need To Know

If an economic analyst were given the task of assessing the Internet then they'd probably end up referring to it as a volcano, not because of its 'rapid' growth, but due to its stability. We're on the verge of an eruption and yet only a small percentage of people have any real inkling of what that could mean and why it's happening.

Much of the Internet has based its focus and survival on free information and online e-commerce, this is the reason millions of us use it each and every day. You can find all the latest news, products and information for your own specific interest group with a simple bit of searching and clicking.

Yet with the exception of specifically commercial online operations (e-tailers etc.), the free information part requires a combination of funding (online advertising/banners) and dedication. Many would agree that you can't survive on advertising alone, but they'd also agree that for the most part, other options aren't practical or don't exist yet.

Due to the lack of e-commerce flexibility towards information sites, advertising has thus remained the number one source of sustainable income. However this income has one fatal flaw, it relies on Internet users viewing the sites and information to then visit at least one of the sponsors now and then. Yet this isn't the only flaw.

The Economic Downturn

Since roughly August of last year (2000) the economy as a whole (global) began a drastic downturn in the sector of Internet/Information and Technology industries. This was due to the unstable investments being placed in e-companies and then the bad publicity that followed as a result. Combined with the emergence of technologies designed to prevent online advertising, the combination was devastating.

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