Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not represented as fact|
There was a time when nobody owned the Internet -- it was the ultimate
hi-tech example of true freedom.
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
Although it was a much smaller place, cyberspace was an environment where
there were few laws -- just a collection of "rules" that were adhered
to out of respect for the medium.
Censorship and corporate greed were totally foreign concepts to Net users --
but surprisingly, the whole thing ticked along incredibly well and it
was a hotbed of enterprise and innovation.
Need Cutting-Edge Copy?|
As NZ's longest-running online commentator, I'm looking for
extra syndication opportunities for this daily publication -- or I'm happy
to write casual or regular material specifically to order for print or
Net-based publications. If you're
interested, drop me a line
Things went smoothly for a long time, while the Net continued to fly under
the radar of governments and big-business -- but then it got popular
and the power struggles began.
As business and governments began to realise that the Net represented
a huge opportunity and a potential threat to the status quo, we saw
some pretty impressive power-grabs occur.
In fact, things have changed so much that we have to accept that the
Net is no longer the free space it once was.
Okay, so it's much cheaper to get online -- but once you're there you
are at the mercy of those who own and control cyberspace.
All over the world we're seeing governments implementing significant
censorship of what we're allowed to see and say. And it's not just
countries like China that are clamping down. Its quite incredible
just how far some seemingly modern, western countries such as Australia
and Singapore have taken their Internet censorship legislation.
Then of course there's the manner in which some corporations like
Microsoft and AOL Time Warner have worked to become such dominant players
that pretty soon, we won't be able to use the Net without reliance on some
key element that they provide.
Of course it should not be forgotten that in some places (New Zealand for instance?)
there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the corporates (Microsoft?)are colluding with
the governments to further tighten their control/ownership of the Net.
So where to from here?
Well a lot of the "fun" seems to have gone out of the Net already.
Just a few years ago, Aardvark's
New Sites page was filled with
interesting and exciting sites created by individuals and innovative
enterprises. These days it's pretty much just business brochureware
and not even much of that.
What are all the smart and innovative people doing these days? Have they
been turned off by the corporate takeovers and change in Net culture?
If you were one of the movers and shakers who helped shape the Net during the
late 1990's, drop me a line (mark it FOR PUBLICATION
if you want to share your thoughts with other readers) and tell me what you're
Who knows, perhaps there are some fresh, exciting ideas about to surface.
It's Still Free -- So Pay Up!
Every month, Aardvark scores over half a million hits, at least 150K page views and
delivers more than 6GB of data to visitors.
All this traffic has meant that I've had to shift the site to a new server
to ensure that your daily dose is always fresh and delivered to your
browser with minimal delays.
I also invest over 300 hours per year writing the daily column and compiling
the day's news index -- all for your illumination and entertainment.
If you haven't sent any money to help offset the costs of running this
ad-free, 100% Kiwi, always fresh, often controversial site then you can give
yourself the warm-fuzzies this Christmas by doing so now.
Just drop by, click on the Aardvark, and
hand over your loot.
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