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Internet Have Lost the Spirit of Frontier

Posted March. 30, 2002 08:50,   


New York Times on the 28th reported that World Wide Web sites on the Internet, which once fascinated youngsters with their cool and amazing character, have lost the status as frontiers of the culture relegated by the trend of commercialization.

New York Times said, “it is hard to find out the bizarre and idiosyncratic sites, which attracted many people to the Web in the mid-1990`s, and the netizens who used to surf for them. ”

A typical example is the `Cool Site of the Day, ` which Glenn Davis founded in 1994 in order to share especially interesting web sites with other people. Within a year, more than 20,000 people a day were visiting the site. Today, however, Mr. Davis has not only kicked his Web habit but also given up the management of the site.

That`s because he no more can find cool sites like `The Spot, ` the first online soap opera, `the Jennicam, ` the first popular Internet peephole, and `the Telegarden, ` which allowed viewers to have remote control of a robot gardener.

According to a survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, people averaged 83 minutes per online session, which had been 90 minutes at the research in March 2000. And they use Web for checking e-mail or chatting with friends rather than for exploring new areas. New York Times expressed the withering fever of Internet with the words that the `toy box` has turned into a `toolbox`.

According to an industry research company, SnapNames, the number of expiring domain names outnumbers those being registered or renewed for the first time after World Wide Web appeared 11 years ago, and about 20 percent of public Web sites that existed nine months ago no longer exist.

Experts are blaming the Web`s commercialism for the ebbing tide of Internet fever. The rush to make money, in which `profits` mattered more than passion, was a significant driver. Other users say they are less inclined to hunt for innovative sites because many of them require plug-ins or browser updates that force users into bothersome downloading.

Sung-Kyu Kim kimsk@donga.com