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Cliff's comments make some sense. I can speak somewhat for myself. I am
currently not paid to be online. In fact, it takes a great deal of my
personal time and costs me (all services subscribed to included) about
$70 per month. What am I looking for?
For each community or subset of a group, different things will be sought.
To the extent that finding the right things is relatively painless and
useful, people will do it. Hence, paid servidces work because it's
reasonably eacy to find what people want. I, too, wonder some about
attrition rates.
Still, I believe if information is there, in easy-to-get and understand
form, people will learn to use it, over time. It probably will take
a generation. About 20 years. But it begins now.
The tools are crude. Look at the big box on your desktop and the clunky
interfaces (unix, for gawd's sake!); it's delicate, has an attitude and
not too responsive. All that will change. (That's why it's a *frontier,*
Cliff, remember? <g>
We're the colonizers of information.
But it takes *value added* by people who make the access easy and the
information useful.
Beyond that, there are *still* thousands of people (journalists, like
me, for instance) who see utility in the net even as it is...and see value
in being a part of its potential.
But it all does give a person pause...
 
Steve Snow
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