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(June 1998)

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Subject: Re: A really good point against Mike Nolan's idea
From: Norbert Bollow <nb @ thinkcoach . com>
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 1998 19:28:59 +0200
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com
In-reply-to: <v0401170fb1ab64728888 @ [207 . 167 . 80 . 70]> (message from Chuq Von Rospach on Mon, 15 Jun 1998 17:31:38 -0700)
Prefer-language: de, en, fr

Mike Nolan wrote:

> > I'm not sure there is much evidence supporting this for things outside of
> > the Internet:
> >
> > Most libraries are free, but their use is declining while book sales continue
> > to increase.
> > The cost of cards and postage keeps going up, but I still get a wall full
> > of Christmas cards every December.  (And send a like number.)

Chuq Von Rospach replied:

> Which is a great example of how this stuff gets misinterpreted. it's
> not cost. it's cost vs. perceived value.

It seems to me that you both missed the point which I was trying to make...
my point is about _encouraging_ people to _provide_valuable_content_.

In a very, very rough approximation let me debide those who really use the 
internet into three groups:

A) Those who use relatively little bandwidth, but profit greatly from
   the wealth of information available on the net.

B) Those who use a lot of bandwidth but also contribute valuable
   information (in posts to mailing lists, web pages, etc. etc.)

C) Those who use a lot of bandwidth but don't contribute to the value
   of the net as a whole.

The current system means that all the many people in group A pay a little
more each so that the (relatively few) people in groups B and C are able
to use a lot of bandwidth without paying anything close to the real cost
of the bandwidth they're using.

In view of the people in group B this is only fair, since without their
contributions to the internet's content the net would not have much value
for the people in group A.

We know that this system is open to abuse by spammers and other people of
poor morals (those in group C). 

Mike Nolan's idea is good only if it is possible to do this in a way which
still encourages people to provide information to the net as a whole. It
seems to me that the only way to achieve this would be to commercialize it
completely.... and this means very, very profound changes of how everything
works, including significant changes to all user applications which use the
network in any way. I've though about this a little more.... it's a much
greater technological challenge than I thought it was before, but I'm getting
the feeling again that it can be done (and that it will be profitable).

HOWEVER, this really should be discussed futher on a dedicated mailing list
and not here (where it's really off-topic now).

Are there any objections against moving this thread to a dedicated mailing
list named RATIONET (because it's discussing a NETwork which will be 
RATIOnally designed to care for the needs of the users in groups A and B at
a reasonably low price while at the same time making the users of group C pay
a reasonable price for the bandwidth they're using) which I would set up and

-- Norbert.

Norbert Bollow, Zuerich, Switzerland     Backup E-mail address: NB @

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