Utne #4

greenspun.com : LUSENET : MEd Cohort III : One Thread

Technology has brought rapid change to modern culture, especially in the form of the internet. Just eight years ago the average American citizen knew virtually nothing about access to networked computers and mass amounts of global information accessible via the internet. In the article entitled "on-line and Under Pressure," posted by the Utne Reader (Jan.-Feb.), Elizabeth Larsen addresses how "media sites change fast as they chase elusive profits." Interestingly, the internet is no longer a focal point for information but also advertisement. Ms. Larsen has worked in a number of fields that access the profitability of the world wide web/ internet. The unfortunate reality about technology and access to the web is the rapid pace of change. In fact, Elizabeth Larsen makes the statement that "by the time you take your summer vacation, this article will be out of date." I think this is an important factor to bring up because the reliability of profits on the internet are unstable. Currently the field of on line advertisement has "moved from the field of utopian dreams to a virtual marketplace." The only current profits generated from internet advertisement deals with the sale of pornography. The pornography segment of the internet industry is making "cash hand over fist...approx. $185 million dollars." The reality is that there are rapid changes taking place on line and advertisers can not be guaranteed that creating a website will generate more income...unless of course they are dealing with pornography. However, the Forrester Research company has found information that "the longer folks are on-line, the more they like looking for cars, jobs, houses on-line as opposed to print." This information will bring a new element to the internet information circle. We, as consumers, may now be faced with even more advertising as we log on to find "information" on line. Ironically, the more things change, the more they stay the same? Media and advertisement have been with us since before newspapers have been in print. There is no escaping advertisement, not even "on-line." Hurrah for propaganda...slight sarcasm :).

-- Anonymous, May 01, 1999


Hi Catherine: Again, your comments are on the mark. What can we do to avoid advertising? Not much really or do we have an obligation to say no to the daily bombardment? I wonder how much of an effect this advertising has on our understanding of reality. Do we expect that new "SUV" to really make our life better? Have you any more thoughts? Hope to hear from you. John

-- Anonymous, May 05, 1999

Hi Catherine, I enjoyed your review of this article. We certainly are bombarded by advertising no matter where we turn , T.V. magazines , newspapers , junk mail, even our own telephones and home computers bring to us much more information than we desire. The piece of the puzzle that I keep thinking of, is that we must be responding to these advertisers or they would eventually stop using the methods they do. Buy more...and more...and more the American way I guess !? Thanks for your insights. Kris Downs

-- Anonymous, May 14, 1999

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