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
Headlines | XML feed | Contact | New Sites | Press Bin | Job Centre | MARKETPLACE | For Sale
Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact
Do You Find The Net Entertaining? 3 April 2002 Edition
Previous Edition

Million $ Ideas
At last, the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook are revealed for all to see!
Click To See
The Net is a lot of things.

It's informative, educational, enlightening, and sometimes even enthralling.

But is it entertaining?

The reason I ask this is because recent reports indicate that people are starting to lose interest in activities such as web-surfing.

Despite the fact that the Norther hemisphere has just experienced the cold weather of winter, research indicates that the amount of time the average Net user has spent surfing the web has dropped.

Already struggling ad-funded online publications are probably not going to be best-pleased with this news either since it means less chance to display advertising and earn revenues.

Aardvark's Web-site Survey Service
If you're launching a new website, upgrading an existing one, or just frustrated that your web-presence isn't performing as it should then maybe you need an Aardvark Site Survey. Read more...

So why are people turning away from the Net?

Is it just a case that the novelty has worn off? Or could it be that the gradual transition away from free lunches to subscription-based services is simply turning off your average web-surfer?

Perhaps the Net has finally matured into a communications and research tool rather than the entertainment source that so many thought it would eventually become.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
  • Paying for web entertainment... - Allister
  • Web as entertainment... - Jake
  • Confused... - James
  • Entertainment: heaps exist, but... - Dominic
  • Entertainment on the web... - Dave
  • Web for Entertainment... - Camryn
  • Have Your Say

    After all, apart from Aardvark's Lighten-Up section on Fridays, exactly how much "entertainment" is there on the Web? Not much I suspect -- apart from all that free music to be had in the form of downloaded MP3s that is.

    It would seem that those seeking entertainment are turning away from the Net and back to things like TV and movies. Even the legitimate online music services seem to have enjoyed only a limited degree of success.

    In effect, the Net is becoming a 21st-century telephone service. We are using it to get the latest news and information on specific topics, to send and receive messages (like a fax), to market (like telemarketing) and to chat endlessly to friends and family.

    What we're not doing is logging on to be entertained -- and that's one of the reason so many online companies are having trouble turning a profit.

    Hundreds of thousands of Kiwis are prepared to pay a monthly subscription to Sky TV for entertainment -- but how many have subscribed to any online websites?

    If we could figure out a way to reliably and effectively use the Net as a true entertainment medium perhaps we'd see some strongly profitable enterprises appear. After all, the entertainment industry has a unique position as a steady money-spinner.

    When times are good, people spend money on entertainment because they can afford to and they want to have fun. When times are bad, they still spend money on entertainment because they want to forget their woes -- at least for a short while.

    Lets face it, when it comes to entertainment, the Web is currently a very poor medium and can't hold a candle to TV.

    So how can we change this?

    I seem to recall receiving an email from a reader a while ago who mentioned something about a number of NZ Short Films being put online. That's a good idea! Encode them with Divx/MPEG4 and make them downloadable. I wouldn't mind enjoying a good home-grown short-film once a week and being able to download it over the Net would be great -- even if it took a few hours to do so via a dial-up connection.

    I'd probably transfer the good movies to VHS tape and keep them in my little video library. Such entertainment could be a great way to kick off a Saturday night soirée when inviting friends around for a meal and drinkies.

    Perhaps you have the next "billion dollar idea" that could create content so entertaining and compelling that it would drag people back to their PCs and keep them there -- even while Shortland Street is screening on a TV in the corner of the room.

    Who has a suggestion?

    Have your say.

    Aardvark's Garage Sale
    It's time to clear out the closet here at Aardvark's country residence so I'm having a bit of a garage sale. I need to spend a whole lot more time and money on my jet engine R&D activities (now that the defense industry has shown a very real interest) -- so I'm trying to scrape up some more cash.

    I'm selling my pulsejet manufacturing business. This would be perfect for either a semi-retired engineer/machinist who wants to earn some pretty good money building these things and exporting them to the world -- or an established engineering shop who want to break into a new (very export oriented) market. I can provide an ongoing stream of orders through my website and since I've run out of time to meet the demand, the sale will include a growing "waiting list" of new customers ready to place their orders.

    Anyone interested in any of these things should drop me a line.

    Add Aardvark To Your Own Website!
    Got a moment? Want a little extra fresh content for your own website or page?

    Just add a couple of lines of JavaScript to your pages and you can get a free summary of Aardvark's daily commentary -- automatically updated each and every week-day.

    Aardvark also makes a summary of this daily column available via XML using the RSS format. More details can be found here.

    Contact me if you decide to use either of these feeds and have any problems.

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

    Security Alerts
    Two new "critical" bugs patched in IE (ZDNet - 01/04/2002)

    Second Java hole poses Windows risk (CNet - 20/03/2002)

    Microsoft offers patch for Java software (CNet - 06/03/2002)

    CERT Warns of Flaws In RADIUS Implementations (InternetNews - 6/03/2002)

    Webmasters Urged To Plug PHP Security Hole NewsBytes - 27/02/2002)

    Virus Alerts
    'Bill Clinton' Worm Gets Around (NewsBytes - 22/03/2002)

    Gibe worm poses as a Microsoft update (ZDNet - 6/03/2002)

    German worm makes PCs kaput (The Reg - 20/02/2002)

    Bookmark This Page Now!


    NZL Sites
    NZ Netguide
    NZ Herald Tech
    PC World NZ
    NZOOM Technology WordWorx

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

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

    UK Sites
    The Register
    BBC SciTech


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

    Open in New Window Trade Me rents out auction space
    Online auctioneer Trade Me has opened its website up to businesses to run branded auctions aimed at Trade Me's 85,000 members...
    NZ Herald

    Open in New Window Colmar Brunton spam fix in sight
    Market research company Colmar Brunton is upgrading its mail server in the hope that spam being relayed through it will stop...


    Open in New Window Windows Messenger 'Trojan update'
    This is too cute. You can wipe Windows Messenger from XP with a simple hack, and yet MS will defy you with a 'Critical Update'. That's how desperate they are to force this little Trojan on you...
    The Register

    Open in New Window MS security patch fails to work
    The MS patch intended to fix a data binding flaw in IE which enables a script to call executables on your Windows machine does not work...
    The Register

    Open in New Window Yahoo's 'Opt-Out' Angers Users
    In an e-mail that begins, "Your privacy is very important to us," Yahoo informs its users that it will begin providing personal information to marketers, even if the user had already opted against it...

    Open in New Window Microsoft Asks Judge To Rethink Windows Trademark Ruling
    Microsoft has asked a federal judge hearing its trademark-infringement case against Lindows.com to reconsider his ruling that questioned the validity of the software giant's "Windows" marks...

    Open in New Window A Collection of Discards.com
    A long-forgotten love letter or revealing grocery list could be sitting online for anyone to see...


    Open in New Window Optus changes name and plan
    OPTUS has changed the name of its popular cable internet product and postponed download limits for several months...
    Australian IT

    Open in New Window EFA: anti-terror laws weaken e-mail privacy
    Australian police will be able to exploit legal ambiguities in Federal anti-terror legislation that could weaken e-mail privacy protection, according to Electronic Frontiers Australia...


    Open in New Window Is the Free Ride Over?
    For media companies, the early days of the Web resembled a land grab, as they fought for the online audience. But today...
    ABC News

    Open in New Window P2P network hidden in Kazaa downloads
    A California company has quietly attached its software to millions of downloads of the popular Kazaa file-trading program and plans to remotely "turn on" people's PCs, welding them into a new network of its own...

    Open in New Window Year-old hole exposes credit cards
    Who’s responsible when a year-old software bug hasn’t been fixed, and as a result, customer credit card numbers are spit out onto the Internet; and when the company involved doesn’t answer e-mails or phone calls, but all the while, keeps handing credit card numbers to hackers?...

    Open in New Window Recording Industry 'Losing the War'
    Even as the courts keep Napster down, online swapping of copyrighted music and video files continues almost unabated. AfterNapster.com, a Web site devoted to Internet file-swapping utilities, lists more than 100 alternatives to the pioneering Napster...

    Open in New Window Court Asked To Crack Secrecy Over US National ID Plans
    A privacy rights group is turning to a federal court in hopes of forcing the U.S. Office of Homeland Security to divulge information behind proposals for a national identification system...

    Looking For More News or Information?

    Search WWW Search Aardvark

    Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2001, Bruce Simpson, republication rights available on request

    jet engine page