About Us

Contact Us


Archive 1
Archive 2
Previous Editorials
August t

   Search this site or the web        powered by FreeFind
  Site search Web search


So it’s Fall.We thought the elections were over, but it is getting ugly now. Still Hackwriters sticks it neck out and we think that there will be a new President by Jan 20th 2001. Maybe.
So Cheyney has a heart attack, Bush grows boils, Gore gets an acid attack...all part of the process, but just maybe Florida should invest in some new voting machines, dig the swamps for the missing Gore votes and next time invite Cuba to supervise to make sure it is all fair and above board. One result might be that more people may actually vote next time, than the 51% that actually turned out. Meanwhile we are all waiting for the post-Thanksgiving stock market BulI market. Can't happen without a result though. Who knows.

We also had national elections in Canada. The Alliance vesus the Liberals. You know the kind of headlines Chretien attacks Day over Alliance . Chretien won of course, increasing his margin.
Probably lucky timing, given that next year will be tougher.

But you have other things on your mind - don’t you? You need some kind of life plan, a new goal. You are worried about the future, but not that worried. You hate all this wet weather you want to go on vacation, but you don’t get another for months yet. Isn’t life a bitch. So what’s next? Oh yes, Christmas, yet more stress.


As we predicted back in May (if only we knew how to make money out of this stuff) - the web is undergoing a period of consolidation and change - or ‘dying on it’s feet’ as some West Coast guru declared. All those things everyone was promised haven’t happened. Every bank rushed to provide internet banking and are hugely surprised when in fact, most people don’t seem to find it as convenient as the hyperbole would have us believe it should be. The advertising companies got rich and, hey, they are they are only telling us what their ‘client’ believes they have, not their fault your WAP phone is as useless as a bent frisbee.

For instance, when will come on line? (Lloyds Banks own web bank- have they gotten cold feet?). Yes, everyone is still surfing, but one only has to try to actually buy a ticket on or to realise that it is nigh on impossible and they really don’t care if you do. Eurostar has a nice wheeze. Call them, they’ll refer you to their website and NONE of their pages work at all. The reality is, customers aren’t getting any satisfaction and the web is turning more people off that on these days. There is a danger in offering nothing but unfulfilled promises and for ninety percent of the web companies out there offering services or stuff to buy, most are inefficient, have little or no follow up, rarely have a working phone number and complaints are so high, this is the biggest area of staff recruitment, answering these calls. (We have info that is one of those).

But whether you are surfing Ryanair, Go or Easyjet, it just isn’t as good as using the phone.
(Actually I just bought two ticket son Easyjets website very easily in deed and for the exact times I wanted to fly at very reasonable cost, so they, at least, have got their act together. But for many the experience is simply poor.. If you want to fly immediately, difficult.

For example: Most of these sites offer you a field to fill in. Destination, number of people traveling, dates, name it. But if it can’t find what you want, you have to start all over again., everytime. It should be designed to offer you choices using that info put in only once. Of course, when you do find a flight and they give you a number to call...the flight is suddenly £200 more than it is on the screen. They have few seats at the cheaper advertised prices and try getting a cheap flight at half-term. Forget it.

Of course some get it right, like Amazon and Easyjet, neither of which can be faulted. But the truth is, if I wait a day, my local bookshop will get me the same book and whereas it might not be as cheap, once you deduct the postal charges, it is as near as damnit as cheap and I am helping to keep the local bookshop in business. It is the same with buying many things on-line. It might look cheaper, but will they really give you a good price for you present car? Will you really sell your house over the web? If I am buying a house, I want to see it, walk it, turn the taps on, kick the walls, inspect the loft. You can’t smell dry rot on the web.

In fact, why bother using the web at all to buy things? Isn't shooping a liesure activity? What will we do if we don't shop till we drop anymore?

In Spain they are really getting into Web fever and if you want a good place to start and find out what is going on there try It will take you everywhere you want to go. There is a web cafe in almost every town now and Spanish teens are dedicated ‘chat’ ers. But do they shop on the web? Europeans live to shop, but shopping is what they do in the evenings. You go out, socialise, try things on, have a drink, eat a meal. We have organised ourselves a social life in Europe that centers around shopping as a liesure activity. I just don’t think that business people have thought it through. We aren’t suddenly going to stop doing that. Maybe if you live in the Prairies or on the Plains of Spain you’ll substitute your catalogue shopping for the web, but for city and town folk, we want to strut our stuff outside.


We await the next generation of technology. Bluetooth applications and third generation phones that are ‘fast’. If we can shop from the web as we roam around, if we can comparison shop as we wander around in real time, without a wait, then just maybe we will all buy into this new consumer dream. But the technology has to catch up with how we like to live our lives. We have to be free of the desktop . Yes, pundits say that WebTV will be the big thing that changes everything but lets see.

Right now we think everyone has leapt into consumer services on the web about three years too early. In the end, the guys with money, the established brand names, the big corporations will pick over the bones of the web. In 2004, everything will be the same, only different. The Web will just be another thing competing for our attention. It won’t just be at home, it will be everywhere we eat, shop, travel, walk, lie down. We will be bombarded with consumerism, even in our dreams. We will then start to buy things, things that turn it off, everywhere we go. We will start to demand privacy, just when it is impossible to have it anymore. We will rebel - probably - suitably attired in our Gap rebel T-Shirts.

The Editor

We welcome new writers.

< Back to Index
< About the Author
< Reply to this Article