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Dateline: 19 May 2000 Early Edition
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Editorial
e-"pop"?
The first Internet bubble burst a couple of months ago when investors suddenly awoke to the realisation that dot-com stocks were wildly overpriced.

Overnight the value of "high-flyers" plummeted, in some cases to less than 30% of previous highs.

Well it now looks as if the second bubble has started to burst.

Yes, the dot-com dominoes are falling as investors decide that it no longer makes sense to keep pouring money into companies that have CEOs who drive around in expensive super-cars and draw six or seven-figure salaries while only ever uttering word "profit" in hushed tones -- as if it's something not to be mentioned in public.

First of the multi-million dollar dot-coms to "hit the wall" appears to be Boo.com, which is actually a UK retailer backed and funded by some very big names.

Despite promises of unequalled success and world dominance as an online brand, Boo.com's backers are obviously unimpressed by the lack of profit -- deciding to call it a day and cut their losses.

The same is happening in the USA as well with the Digital Entertainment Network now filing for bankruptcy protection and unable to meet its payroll because investors are unwilling to continue propping up its far-from-profitable operation.

With stock values no longer growing by several percent per week or more, investors are becoming increasingly mercenary about where they place their money and it very much appears that the day of the dot-com gravy train are over.

This leaves me wondering what's going to happen here in New Zealand? As in the USA and Europe, there are a growing number of online ventures that survive solely because of investor funding and which show very little sign of a profit.

How long before investors in these companies call it a day?

More Domainz Revelations
As the Domainz system continues to lurch from one problem to another, incurring the wrath of almost the entire ISP industry and other Internet players, those (ir)responsible are still trying to control the damage.

The latest revelation is that Domainz has been keeping a database of information on some people which would appear totally unrelated to any domain names they may have registered.

Joe Abley voiced concern that a note headed "Posting from Joe in relation to the Defamation case" was logged against his domain name patho.gen.nz. "What the hell is this all about? Is the CEO of Domainz really keeping a diary of events for his personal court case in the NZ Register" Abley asked in the nz.org.isocnz newsgroups.

O'Brien has denied that Domainz keeps "a diary of personal events" and claims that it simply referred to a correspondence received from Abley.

Despite O'Brien's denial, a number of people have now made requests under the Privacy act that Domainz sends them copies of all information they hold on them.

Meanwhile I, and I assume other members of the industry media who have been so critical of the new registry system, have been invited to an "After 5" function next Monday when, they say, I'll be able to ask Patrick O'Brien and Jim Higgins any questions I might have.

Sorry guys -- unlike those who have the luxury of working for someone else, I don't have the time to attend such little junkets. Starting at midnight means that I'm usually in bed by 6pm and Auckland is an hour's drive from my home. I guess this will be a nice little "deductible" expense for Domainz though.

If you really want to impress the media and the industry, why not try listening to their complaints and responding to their demands instead of blundering ahead with the Jim and Patrick idea of what everyone wants?

Or at least take the matter seriously enough to organise such a Q&A session during business hours.

Free republic-ation rights available on request :-)

  
Currently Under Test -- Feedback Welcomed

 


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