Not intending to change the focus, and I sincerely apologize if I'm quoting out of context, but I went hunting for these most memorable words posted by Laisha elsewhere in these forums, who with wisdom and sensitivity captured the essence and spirit of the internet:
"As a netizen, I am saddened. One of the best things about this medium was that joesoftware.com had as much chance as microsoft.com if Joe's software was as good."
And then she also said:
"Would you rather see a site about great danes which was put together by some guy who is passionate about dogs in Pocatello or by Purina, whose goal is not to give information but to take your money?"
I recently received a condolence gift purchased online - major mfr (high search engine listing) - a mass-produced candle, totally impersonal. Appreciated, but not meaningful like a hand-poured, home-made candle with a personalized, hand-written note would have been. If I give a gift of lace or soap, I want lace or soap hand crafted by someone (or their grandmother), not mass-produced by some far off exploited factory workers in a sweatshop.
What will happen to the small or home based entrepreneur who doesn't have the capital to play? How will searchers find their services and wares?
With craftsman being crowded out by imports in shops and shows, the internet remains the last hope of being able to continue and survive.
What will happen to the aspiring individual craftsman or businessperson if this trend takes over? Will it be the end for them? Will they have to give up and work assembly lines in sweatshops, or meld in to the corporate world as just another number? What happens to the webmaster whose decision is to render services to this segment of the economy?
I fully understand P&L statements and balance sheets. But I've also watched someone start out counting out loose change for grocery money end up supporting a family in comfort through friendship, opportunity and promotion on the internet. Will this become a dead dream or remain a reality?
There's a lot at stake, including what a lot of us can remember being taught in school about this being a land of opportunity for all.
The internet, which started out as a source of information and a venue for opportunity and self-expression, is beginning to feel and look a little too much like a Southern California boiler room to me. It's scary.
What about LookSmart, in spite of paid listings and paid editors, recently acquiring Zeal, volunteer-based. I cannot for the life of me reason out how that relates to the scheme of things with paying for Ink. It almost seems like anti-logic, a dichotomy in reasoning.
It almost seems like volunteering for ODP is the last remaining bastion of socially redemptive activism possible. Where do I go to sign up?