PortFolio Magazine Technology Column
Written by Tom Anthony
May 19, 1998
Pick up most any newspaper and odds are there is a story somewhere about doing business on the Internet. You would think that just about everybody is making money hand over fist on this global computer network ‑ but that’s not really true. Some companies are doing exceedingly well selling everything from books to mailing lists. However, most of the business on the web involves selling exposure, not products.
Some of that gold lies in the form of the banner ad, a rectangle of information usually about the width of a postage stamp and about three quarters as wide as your screen. The rates vary widely, and as you probably could already guess there are a lot of programs available to manage this form of advertising. This software would tell you how many times the ad receives a click. A click in this context would mean someone clicking on the ad with their mouse to get further information. But banner ads are just one way to perform alchemy on the copper wire connecting your home computer to the world.
Another way to make gold is through simple service. There is a national market for computer wise workers to manage and update web sites. Owners of commercial sites are beginning to discover there is a big difference between a web site and an INTERESTING web site. In this case, the exposure comes in the form of augmenting a companies product or service by providing updated information on a web site. Where is it all going? Trends are moving the art of generating cash on the Internet toward convergence. Radio Stations that sell t-shirts to listeners, space to advertisers, and partner with the local newspaper or television station to provide current information would be a prime example.