Aardvark Daily aardvark (ard'-vark) a controversial animal with a long probing nose used for sniffing out the facts and stimulating thought and discussion.

NZ's leading source of Net-Industry news and commentary since 1995
Australasia's "New Economy" News And Commentary Site
Today's Headlines | Contact | New Sites | Press Bin | Job Centre | News Search
Net Loss Good Buddy? 7 December 2000 Edition
Previous Edition

For several years now we've been told repeatedly that the number of Net users is growing at breakneck pace.

Just a few months ago the wires were abuzz with the news that there were over 200 million people who used the Net regularly -- but now it seems that the wheels might be falling off the Internet trolley.

Latest reports out of the USA indicate that the Net audience is beginning to shrink and that the amount of time people are spending on the Web is also falling.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)

Internet dropoff... - Andrew

Make that "Bill Of Jokes"... - Henk

Internet vs CB radio... - Paul

Have Your Say

Research firm Cyberdialogue claim that some 30 million people in the USA have stopped using the Internet, and the latest Nielsens/NetRatings report shows that "at work" Net users have reduced their browsing time by 20 percent with "at home" users spending 2.3 percent less time online.

So what's going on here? Why are people deserting the Net?

Could it be that the Internet is going to become the CB radio of the early 21st century?

Anyone who can remember the 1970's is surely aware that CB radio was one of the biggest crazes of that decade. Immortalised in movies like Smokey and the Bandit, the popularity of CB radio soared to massive levels -- driven by many of the same things which have made the Internet so popular today.

It was a low-cost form of communications that effectively thumbed its nose at the regulators and allowed people to interact remotely, almost without restriction. In fact, the similarity between Internet chat and CB radio is so strong that many of the former "good buddies" who spent their days chatting endlessly into a microphone are now hunched over keyboards doing the same thing via IRC.

Of course the CB radio craze died out almost as quickly as it had begun when users became disenchanted that the hype no longer matched the reality. They were also lured away by the ready availability of new alternatives such as cellphones, computers, and later on -- the Net itself.

Should we be worried that the Internet might be about to follow this same boom and bust cycle?

I'm not predicting the end of the Internet as such. No matter what happens, the Net will continue -- just as, even today, there are millions of CB radio enthusiasts who can be heard echoing across the ether.

One still can't help but wonder however, whether the arrival of interactive digital TV and other newer technologies might see a continued decline in the popularity of the Internet (and the WWW in particular) as a place to hang out.

Ten-four good buddy?

The AFR Go All Retentive
The Australian Financial Review is an excellent publication which provides some great content in its print edition and used to do the same online.

I say "used to" because they've just made the same mistake that many other online publishers have made before them -- they've decided to try and charge for some of their online content.

Wake up boys!

If Microsoft couldn't squeeze money out of the Net this way via its Slate site and our own AFR equivalent, the NBR, had to admit defeat, what makes you think you can do it?

As I've said many times before, to succeed on the Net you need to understand the three key elements: the medium, the culture and the technology. It seems as if the AFR has only got two out of three and doesn't have a clue about the culture of the Net which says "if I can't get it for free here then I'll just go somewhere else."

By the way -- did you realise that the NBR has quietly started slipping some of its content back online without making a big fuss about it? Maybe the dollars won't flow bit it appears that a penny or two has dropped.

Aardvark Weekly, The First Edition
All those who have subscribed to the Weekly should have received their confirmation email now and, if you've replied, you should get the first edition in your mailbox sometime today.

As always, email addresses submitted for the purposes of receiving the Weekly will not be given away, sold, bent, spindled, mutilated or otherwise abused and you will not receive anything other than the weekly as a result of signing up.

If you want to subscribe, just drop me a note and I'll put you on the list.

As always, your feedback is welcomed and...

Did you tell someone else about this website today? If not then do it now!

Latest
Security Alerts
Denial-of-Service Vulnerabilities in TCP/IP Stacks: (CERT)

Sun advises of a potential compromise of 2 specific security certificates (CERT)

IE 5.5 hole lets hackers read files (CNet)

Bug hunter finds another hole in Microsoft IE browser CNet

Microsoft issues new patch for Windows 2000 Telnet security hole (Computerworld)

Windows ME Bugged by Flaw (Wired)

Latest
Virus Alerts
Wild Worm With Pro-Linux Message (Wired)

Antivirus firm says Shockwave virus spreading quickly (CNet)

Virus Wishes You A Merry Christmas (TechWeb)

Bookmark This Page Now!

 

MORE NEWS
NZL Sites
IDG.Net.nz
NZ Netguide
NZ Herald Tech
PC World NZ
Scoop
NZ.Internet.com
NZOOM Technology

AUS Sites
Fairfax IT
Australian IT
AFR Tech
AUS Netguide
NineMSN Tech
APC Magazine
Corporate IT

USA Sites
Wired.com
CNet
CNNfn Tech
TechWeb
Yahoo Tech
ZDNet Tech
USA Today Tech
7am.com SciTech

UK Sites
The Register
BBC SciTech

 

The Day's Top News
4 = open in new window
New Zealand

4  Xtra gets favours on new DSL product
Xtra has blocked access to a web page detailing its pricing for the new 128Kbit/s JetStart ADSL service before other ISPs have even been told by Telecom that the product exists...
IDG NZ

4  Xtra hunts for cause of crash
Xtra's e-mail system crashed for nearly 24 hours, leaving messages for 150,000 customers stranded in cyberspace...
NZ Herald

4  I was laid off, says former Pig staffer
A former FlyingPig employee says group CEO Mark Battles is lying when he says no staff have been made redundant from the e-tailer...
IDG NZ

Other

4  Bill Gates suing to get his name back
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates may have spent millions to ensure his company's name is known globally, but there's one moniker he seems to have forgotten ... his own...
Fairfax

4  FBI Hacks Alleged Mobster
The FBI breaks into the office of a man charged with masterminding a mob-linked loan sharking operation, installs a keyboard-sniffing device and records his password...
Wired

4  Brain Drain Could Pay Off For India
A spurt in overseas work visas for software programmers in the United States has raised concerns that India's technology sector may be hit by a talent squeeze, but industry players said there are benefits to the brain drain...
TechWeb

4  Blodget cuts expectations for Yahoo
Merrill Lynch's influential Internet analyst is the latest to cut revenue estimates for the Web giant because of the "lousy" environment for online advertising...
CNet

4  A Case of Sex Appealed
A legal battle over the sex.com domain rages on. The porn site's former operator files plans to appeal a ruling that returned the domain to its original owner....
Wired

Australia

4  Broadband Behemoth Not To Be
A deal that would have formed the second largest broadband company outside the US has collapsed, leaving the Australian market more uncertain than ever...
Australia.Internet.com

4  Electronic voting trial in ACT
ACT Chief Minister, Gary Humphries has announced that electronic voting will make its debut at the next ACT election in October 2001...
NetGuide

4  Telstra-PCCW JV 'misunderstood'
Telstra says its Internet backbone joint venture with Hong Kong's Pacific Century CyberWorks has been misunderstood by analysts, media and the general public...
ZDNet

4  Internet gambling moratorium passed
Laws imposing a moratorium on new online gambling services passed the Senate today after a split in Democrat ranks....
Fairfax

Other

4  Study: Most Nations' Laws Lag on Cyber Crime
Most nations' laws do little to deter crime in cyberspace, a study by a firm that runs a U.N.-backed network of Internet policy officials showed...
Yahoo

4  Opera Offers First Free Browser
The maker of the world's No. 3 Internet browser offered its first free version on Wednesday in a bid to close the gap with Microsoft's market-leading Internet Explorer and AOL/Netscape...
AP

4  The Net's new neighborhood watch
Knock, knock. Who's really there? Small businesses and home users flock to a new site that aims to identify the Net's shady characters...
ZDNet

4  Apple cores PC sector
Apple Computer Inc. shares plunged more than 15 percent Wednesday after the personal computer maker stunned investors with news that a substantial shortfall in revenue will result in the first quarterly loss for the company in three years...
CNNfn


Looking For More News or Information?

Google
Search WWW Search Aardvark
Try the Aardvark News Search page or look here.co.nz

Copyright © 2000, Bruce Simpson, free republication rights available on request

jet engine page