W/R Utne Reader Summary January-February 1999

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Utne Reader Summary January/February 1999

Submitted by Tim Everson

May 6, 1999

The Internet is changing at a dizzying pace trying to catch the elusive dollar. This is the message that Elizabeth Larsen passes along in her article Online and Under Pressure in the January-February 1999 edition of Utne Reader. Larsen has been involved with online publishing and the Internet since 1995. During this brief time, she has worked with three different companies.

According to Larsen, the Internet has gone from a place featuring original content to providing services like classified ads and entertainment listings to the online shopping mecca that is forming. This latest craze involves online advertising and shopping allowing Internet users to buy from home using their credit cards. Fostering commerce on the Internet seems to be the latest trend that will last for an unknown time. The article also states that many experts say even bigger changes will begin within a year that will involve more sound, video, and animation. I think that this will cause many Internet users to upgrade their computers in order to view these sites properly. It will be interesting to see how this will affect use.

The author explains that traditional publishers would allow up to five years of losses before expecting to see profits. The online publishers however, are expecting profitable results within months. When no profits are seen immediately, the sites are changed in order to become profitable. Larsen also notes that often companies are trying to expand online by placing unqualified employees in positions of web page development, even though they may not be qualified to hold these positions. These people are often the youngest and least successful journalists already on staff.

I have been working with the Internet for approximately 4 years. In this short time span the Internet has gone through many changes. I can see the changes that Larsen describes. I wish that I was able to see into the near future and invest money into the companies that will be prospering because of these changes. I see the new thing being the online shopping. I was recently approached by a salesman interested in getting me to subscribe to an online shopping site. After about an hour of talking the truth finally came out. This new company was actually Amway with a new name. This is a good example of how everyone is trying to get a piece of the pie on the Internet.

I dont know if I agree that the Internet is going to evolve into a media in which the bells and whistles are going to be the only thing that will draw users. Web pages have definitely gotten much more glamorous over the past two years. New technology has allowed this to happen much faster. Pages that were once mainly text with a few pictures, are now dressed up with sound, video, and animated graphics.

I also found it interesting how companies are not giving an idea or concept much time to perform before being scrapped. If you spend much time at all on the Internet, this is very obvious. The Internet is in a state of constant change, and as an unknown philosopher once said The only thing static, is change.

-- Anonymous, May 06, 1999


Hi Ladd, Tim and Patty, The meeting took place on Friday as you know and the results are as follows: You do need to include some evaluation in your research and some suggested ways are: 1.) How will your curriculum be evaluated? 2.) How did you decide what artifacts to include? 3.) What are your specific curriculum outcomes? (Student evaluation is only a part of this process.) 4.) A rubric needs to be developed on the last page to further explain your evaluation process. 5.) There is a MN Electronic Curriculum available on the MNCFL site under Grad Standards. These items need to be included in your proposal before submitting to Ed Lundstrom. This is all part of the learning process to make your research work the best it can be! Thanks, Mary Ann

-- Anonymous, June 06, 1999

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