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Dateline: 22 February 2000 Early Edition
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Editorial
A Culture Clash?
Here's a puzzle for you... as the Net changes from being the exclusive domain of geeks, academics and keen hobbyists into a highly commercial environment that looks set to be overwhelmed by slick-Willies in pinstriped suits and patent leather shoes, how will the two distinctly opposing cultures co-exist?

The reason I ask is that I've realised just how much of a role this culture-clash has played in creating the huge rift which started tearing apart ISOCNZ right from the day it was formed, and which has more recently seen a defamation suit filed and a number of members (representing much of the country's core of Internet skill and expertise) preparing to either call an SGM or stage a mass walk-out.

In the case of O'Brien versus Brown -- the comments leveled by Alan Brown would have been easily shrugged off by any long-term Net user as just another flame. Flaming and being flamed is behaviour as old as the Net itself and until the "suits" arrived the general rule of thumb was that you simply ignored any insults that came your way -- or if you were spoiling for a fight you were entitled to give as good as you got.

There was an unwritten gentlemen's agreement which said that neither party would even think of taking legal action -- if you couldn't stand the heat then you'd simply get out of the kitchen.

Unfortunately the new-boys on the block (easily identified by those suits and patent leather shoes) tend to be easily offended and have no respect for the unwritten rules by which the Net has quite successfully operated and grown for more than 20 years.

On the one hand it could be argued that for these "suits" to barge into the domain of seasoned Net users and blatantly violate the rules in favour of their own set of standards -- as defined by the laws of one particular country, is simply arrogant and outrageous.

On the other hand it could be argued that it's about time the long-term Net users woke up to the fact that the profile of the Net community is changing and the old rules may no longer apply.

From where I sit there are valid points to be made on both sides ... what do you think?

Send me your opinions and I'll summarise the general feeling and perhaps quote some of the more interesting arguments. Please be sure and select "For Publication" or "Not For Publication" depending upon whether you are happy to have your comments published. Names will be withheld on request.

As always, your comments are gladly received.

 


General News & Current Events:
7am.com | NZL News | AUS News | GBR News | World News

TODAY'S KEY NET-NEWS HEADLINES


Load in new window WebFarm under scrutiny of Visa
Taranaki-based WebFarm, which offers online multi-currency credit card settlement - something no New Zealand bank can manage - may have run foul of Visa's cross-border acquiring rules...
NZ Herald

Load in new window Free speech fight begins
The new chairman of the Internet Society (Isocnz), Wellington barrister Peter Dengate Thrush, is already facing his first challenge with the society's domain registry Domainz taking a defamation action against Palmerston North internet service provider operator Alan Brown...
NZ Herald

Load in new window I'm innocent, says Venomous - then threatens local ISP
The Auckland student named in connection with the recent denial of service attacks on major US Websites says he is not guilty and is in fact working to help find the perpetrators...
IDG

Load in new window Ihug partners with BNZ to supply Internet, PCs to bank customers
Ihug has announced a new channel alliance with the Bank of New Zealand...
NZ Herald

Load in new window NAB considers Net spin-off
THE National Australia Bank is considering spinning off its e-commerce assets into a new subsidiary...
Australian IT

Load in new window Be A Net Spy! Really! (Maybe)
If you have email, chances are you've been spammed with any number of offers to spy on anyone you want. Does it work? Pretty much. Is it a scam? Pretty much...
Wired

Load in new window Sites spend billions on ads, but will they get their money back?
The question of how much to spend on advertising is as old as capitalism itself. Established brick-and-mortar companies have long struggled to determine how much ad campaigns help their bottom lines--or hurt them, if they are too costly or done poorly...
CNet

Load in new window E-retailing kills children - yeah, right
The Internet was last week accused of taking children's lives. Those reading an article in Thursday's Express newspaper could have been forgiven for believing that the Web was about to kill off most of the nation's nippers while they were playing outside their homes...
The Register

Ireland, Finland, Israel, now Scotland... Hello Helen Clark -- where is New Zealand????...
Load in new window Get On-Line, Scotland Tells Businesses
Scotland's regional government and the publicly-funded Scottish Enterprise launched the first part of an e-commerce strategy to encourage businesses to plug into the web and make Scotland an e-commerce hub of Europe...
Yahoo/Reuters


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