9/30/2006

Changing dynamics..

I was reading an article about how newspapers were losing significance in this e-world and it got me thinking...Who is responsible for this? Companies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft that have brought information to our fingertips that we no longer need to look at a newspaper? Well, yes surely but giving this credit to only these companies wouldn't be right!

I have been here in the states for around 6 years and have seen technology changes, some big, some very big right before my own eyes. When I was in India, around 8 years back, getting to surf the internet was a big deal! I still remember how internet cafes were always full and even in universities our labs were completely occupied. In fact, I had to mould my sleeping habits to find a lonely computer with internet :). Such was the demand! That was when computers were percieved as expensive toys...but things changed...

Things changed quite a bit for me when I took a leap into the technology corridor of the world...internet was openly available here and in the first few months after I step foot here, my roomate and I were very excited to have broadband in our apartment! We used to take turns in browsing the internet. Laptops were quite pricey then and we just had one laptop that I borrowed from my sister...Slowly things changed, computer prices fell, hardware was getting less expensive...my roomate was given a "laptop" by his company and we went out and bought a ethernet hub for $75 ! to share the internet..We had wires running all around the apartment :) and we were like this for a year..Things changed again, we found an affordable wireless modem and I got a laptop from my company...btw, this wireless modem was just $30! Soon, my roomate and I were browsing the internet from our bedrooms and we hardly got to see each other...

TV, which used to consume atleast 20% of our day dropped to around 10% as we soon transformed ourselves to "mouse potatoes"...We received new laptops from our company and also got a better wireless modems...Now, we have started seeing movies on the internet with the blazing speeds around and have almost replaced TV with internet..This is where my story ends, but I am sure all of you would have seen something similar in your lives...i.e us growing closer and closer to the internet!

As you can see, the reason for this is just not the internet companies, it is all the hardware companies like Dell and HP, networking companies like Cisco and broadband companies like Comcast that have all made this happen! In fact, the reason for the existence of some amazing products like Google, Amazon, Yahoo is the availability of a platform provided by all these other companies, which have brought users like me and you closer and closer to the internet!!

Well, internet companies are making loads of money through intelligent, unobstrusive advertising, so what about traditional newspapers? Well, in the first place, they were all charging prices far below the cost of paper even earlier (they compensated this through advertising revenues)...Now, they can give it free and still make the advertising money..(lots of us still would like to read a paper without paying for it) and/or start their own websites and earn money by advertising through them....I see that trend catching up already, not only here but in newspapers from India! Things surely change in this world...and technology drives most of it!! Wonder what the next shakeout would be :|.........

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