Wednesday, April 07, 2004

1. One fact that I found very interesting in Schiller's book was on p. 12: "During the early 1980s, for example, the U.S. Postal Service was pressured by would-be private rivals to withdraw its proposal for a nationwide electronic messaging service called ECOM (Electronic Comupter-Originated Mail)." How would the Internet and e-mail be different as we know it today if the USPS did have control over electronic messaging? Would "snail mail" be different as well? Would USPS involvement in ECOM somehow change some of the digital divides that exist today?

2. In the introduction, Schiller clearly disagrees with the utopian ideals of a "kinder, gentler" Internet. Is digital capitalism really as bad as Schiller says it is?

3. Chapter 3 looks at advertising's role in digital capitalism. Companies are now airing "Webisodes," mini-movie ads on the Internet that are different from those they air on tv. The chapter discusses (p. 115) Seinfeld's involvement in this. What is interesting...one of the first companies to air a webisode is American Express, and the ads star Jerry Seinfeld, in a throw back to the television show. Watch "Seinfeld and Superman". How has advertising on the Internet changed since this book was published, and what is the potential impact on the public?

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