The Internet may have bombed on Wall Street, but it’s doing just fine on Main Street

The Internet may have bombed on Wall Street, but it’s doing just fine on Main Street

Very good “NYT” article outlining the way the technology is changing the world even as the stock market thinks the revolution’s over. Useful source of quotes for a point of view I’m often trying to put across. For example:

As old-line media celebrates its return to power and to vogue, some analysts and executives caution that the Internet’s capacity to change the rules should not be discounted too quickly. Investors may have repudiated the Internet, they say, but consumers have not.

“The Internet may not be doing so great on Wall Street, but it’s doing great on Main Street,” said Marshall Cohen, senior vice president for research at America Online. “As far as the people who are online, they’re using it more and valuing it more.”

For consumers, that may be a good thing. But for media companies looking to the Internet for profits, it remains a frustrating reality. The “digital revolution” that many traditional media executives were convinced would topple them or make them rich has not materialized.

In part, that is because the Internet has turned out to be more of a souped-up telephone than a delivery vehicle for media and entertainment. E-mail messaging is by far the medium’s most popular feature.

But with 61 percent of American adults using the Internet, up from 46 percent two years ago, analysts and media executives say the medium is beginning to change consumer expectations of what mainstream culture should offer. Consumers who were once content to sit back and absorb what was beamed at them are demanding more control over how and when they consume movies, television, newspapers and music.

And whether it turns a profit or not, media companies are being forced to respond…