Reprinted from www.libertylobby.org, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive
Millions Log Off net, Return to Reality
By Fred Lingel
By the beginning of this year, 28 million Americans who had tried the Internet decided to no longer use it and returned to "reality." Other nations have had similar drop-offs.
Various reasons have been given for the losses. Boredom, literally in-your-face advertising, and fees are common complaints. Apparently a substantial number of Internet users are college students who have free access to the web in school but won't pay for it once they are on their own.
Having almost all the accumulated knowledge in the world at your fingertips sounds wonderful but does not appeal in actual practice. As Justin Raimondo of Antiwar.com points out in his "gloat" over the financial troubles facing Salon.com, a left-wing Internet news source, successful web sites cater to niche groups.
Funded by Hambrecht and Quist, a high-tech, investment-banking group, Salon.com was forced to fire many of its employees and scale back its corporate offices considerably after it an nounced that it had lost millions of dollars this year.
Thanks to email and web forums, individual interaction with web sites that amount to one man's personality or a small group with an issue, has people ap peal that corporate bodies do not.
This is why many corporate media extensions to the web such as, The New York Times's web site, Excite.com, and TheStreet.com are faltering, laying off hundreds of people and closing offices. Others, like Vivid.com and Yahoo.com, are selling out to pornographers to try to turn a profit. Some, NBC's interactive web site as an example, are closing up their Internet shops completely.
But "Drudge type" independent media sites are thriving -- all of them with a libertarian or further rightward tilt, exactly what the politically-correct cor porate entities disallow. Such uncontrolled media niche sites are a natural result and reaction to the very control that has been imposed on "verbo ten" information.
The SPOTLIGHT is in a unique position to lead the Internet pack of the populist niche with its long time experience and the backing of Liberty Lobby and its Board of Policy (BOP).
Copyright 2001. All rights reserved.