timone NetMarketing
disponibile anche in italiano

Marketing in the internet – as seen from Italy

No. 58 – July 26, 2001


I hope readers (some have been familiar
with this newsletter for four years)
aren’t too disappointed.
Netmarketing never had a “regular” frequency
but it isn’t appearing as often as it used to.
The reason is that other sets of articles,
on similar subjects, have been added
on this site. One of these, Offline,
is published also in English every month.



loghino.gif (1071 byte) 1. Editorial: Computer sales are down

According to several reports, “for the fist time in history” sales of personal computers are decreasing (especially in the United States).

In a way... that’s pretty obvious. It had to happen. All markets reach “saturation”: a time when most of the people who want something have it, and the replacement rate is necessarily slower than new purchase. If computer manufacturers thought that the same growth rate could continue forever, they were out of their minds.

For several years the growth rate was forced by phony innovation. Unnecessary changes in technology (especially software) were developed for the purpose of making perfectly viable machines “obsolete”. They even invented a “law” that doesn’t exist: so-called “Moore’s Law” is based on a warped interpretation of an analysis published by Gordon Moore in 1964 – and not confirmed by facts in the following 37 years. It’s quite surprising that these manipulations could continue for so long. But sooner or later, in one way or another, they must come to an end.

On the other hand... there is huge market, unsatisfied potential demand, for new computers (as well as properly re-engineered old ones). Billions of people, millions of organizations worldwide that don’t have any electronic equipment at all – or much less than they need. But to satisfy that demand we need machines that are very different from those on the market now. Not only much cheaper (which of course is possible, considering the decreasing cost of “artificially obsolete” components and the enormous economies of scale). They must also be more reliable, have low energy consumption – and above all they must be stable over time. With software that is simple, fully tested, thoroughly “debugged” and not subject to unwanted and whimsical “innovation”. And – of course – opensource operating systems. What is needed is a sturdy machine that can work efficiently without any changes (and limited maintenance) for ten years or more. With “peripherals” and accessories of the same sort. Can it be done? Yes, of course. But we still don’t know how, where and when.

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loghino.gif (1071 byte) 2. G8 and the internet

Now that the dust is beginning to settle on the confused and confusing events that surrounded the G8 meeting in Genoa, Italy on July 19-21, 2001 ... it may be a good time to go back to a simple analysis that I did two years ago (I didn’t update it because the situation hasn’t changed).

The picture can be easily summarized in two simple graphs.


Eight countries, with 13 percent of the world’s population, have 80 percent of the internet. Talking about “global networks” is a bad joke – and it isn’t funny.


Inside “G8” the dominant position of the United States remains overwhelming.

The picture is so obvious that comments are unnecessary.

For a broader view of worldwide data see issue 56. A more detailed analysis is in the data section on this site (text is in Italian but charts and graphs are pretty clear regardless of language.)


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loghino.gif (1071 byte) 3. An “African” confidence game

There is a new breed of online swindles. Several messages are spreading in the internet that appear to come from a variety of African countries (but they probably originate elsewhere). They describe situations of repression, intrigue and manipulation. They say that large sums of money are available for “good causes” but need to be freed from the control of corrupted governments and bureaucracies. They ask for help from someone outside their country to “free” that money and put it to good purpose.

The stories are totally false and this is just a new twist in the traditional “confidence game”. It’s not difficult to realize that the messages are phony; but someone must be falling into the trap because this particular breed of spam is continuing.



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