[STUPID IDEA SERIES] Hagiographies

Gregory Alan Bolcer (gbolcer@endeavors.org)
Thu, 17 Dec 1998 10:11:41 -0800

I think FoRK should be like that company that gives away stock. Since
the SEC reformed the rules to allow online sale of stock ala that
ex-silicon valley brewery WIT Brewing, now WIT Capital, Rohit should
incorporate FoRK, set up an online, free iCAT site, and give everyone
10 shares of stock with their $10 credit card donation.

We'll see truly how many degrees separate FoRKers from the rest.


WRITE ON: It seems that everything worth doing on the Internet --
and there are some who will claim there is nothing the
network of
networks can't accommodate -- gets commercialized.

It doesn't take very long, either.

The latest wave of money-making opportunities to crash
into the
e-mail box are diary and journal sites, URLs where people
go to bare
their innermost thoughts and feelings.

Two such sites, www.opendiary.com and Infinite Humanity
gone up in the past few months. They're clearly
commercial, with
banner ads and registration fees established to cover
their costs.

``You go in, it's real user-friendly,'' said Julie
Scopazzi, a
spokeswoman for Infinite Humanity. The site charges $10
for a
``storyography'' -- your life in your own words; $5 for a
baby birth
announcement and $5 for what we newspaper types like to
call an
obituary. ``It's kind of like a cyber time capsule,'' she

Bruce Ableson's Open Diary project sells ads to support
itself. He's
got about 1,800 regular correspondents and some firm
guideline on
what can and can't be posted. He sees his diary project
as a way to
make it easier for people to tell their stories to
others. Since Open
Diary lets readers correspond with writers -- it's all
anonymous -- the
whole thing can be kind of therapeutic, he notes.

But apart from being really easy to use -- after you fill
out the
application form -- none of this is particularly new.
It's been going on
-- for free, providing you have the technical knowledge
-- on a variety
of linked Web sites for some time.

Webrings -- interlinked sites -- like Open Pages, the
Glass House
Journals or On Display contain diary entries, photos,
musings and the
general rantings and ravings of various members' home
pages, which
are linked together by coding.

They're all taking advantage of people's need to be heard

                       sometimes even seen -- on the Web as well as in real
life. Ableson
                       said he sees more diary and journal sites all the time.
``Are people
                       trying to make their mark? I guess some of them are,'' he
said. ``I
                       think a lot of them find that to be a cool idea.''