Is the Internet Eden or Armageddon? (1,887 words)
The Battle for Privacy
Personal privacy is dead. All kinds of groups worldwide are trying to regulate privacy on the Internet—by fiat or by legislation. The European Union, the Federal Trade Commission, Congress, the President and the Justice Department are all trying to come to terms with what is becoming a consumer hot button. Is it really a problem? "Ask 100 people if they care about privacy, and 85 will say yes," says Austin Hill, president of Zero-Knowledge Systems. "Ask those same 100 people if they'll give you a DNA sample just to get a free Big Mac, and 85 will say yes."
The Battle for Delivery
I recently received a call from a stranger at the U.S. Postal Service asking me for ideas on how to promote First Class Mail; it seems e-mail is destroying this once-lucrative profit center. Good luck, guys.
The Battle for Long Distance Phone Service
Check out www.net2phone.com and then think about selling your AT&T and MCI/Worldcom stock.
Denny Hatch, consultant and freelance copywriter, founder of Who's Mailing What! (now Inside Direct Mail) and former editor of Target Marketing, is the author of "Method Marketing" and "2,239 Tested Secrets for Direct Marketing Success." A consulting editor to Target Marketing, he can be reached at www.methodmarketing.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.