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What really counts, virtually

So the rich boys' club, who recently jumped onto the bandwagon, had nary a clue about what really creates Web sticky-ness. But the purveyors who are taking them for a ride do not know better. What Web experience had they before they started out on their portals and dotcoms? How many failed Web sites or businesses did they have under their belt? Does a market exist or were we all getting on the rollercoaster to nowhere until someone finally pulled the plug on us?

But it couldn't end like this. While some of the local folks preferred not to reinvent the wheel, others did possess enough foresight to deliver quality. Suddenly, my faith in the Net reinforced, I designed my defense with a second email, armed with the necessary arguments.

Yes, my dear friend, my email began, it is gift to give. Sadly, you have been online for seven years now and all you have done in that time is to take from the Net. Don't you realize that your life virtually mirrors real life? If you should take, therefore you must give," I admonished.

My email took on a stronger stance.

"Perhaps", I suggested, "you were misled by the blue screen staring out at you daily. You look at the computer in front of you and think, 'I am searching for information, I am writing, I am doing my math, I ask the necessary questions, etc, therefore I am giving'. And that very thought is delightful. Wrong! You are just taking. You have been using without much thinking. You have not looked beyond the blue screen, at the hard work put in to present the facts you eagerly searched for online in a readable and friendly matter.

"You have ignored the human hand that has reached out to you as you navigate the unwieldy Web amidst a sea of information. You may perhaps have had a fleeting brush with the people who worked to deliver the best to you but you choose to look past it, into the deep blue screen.

"In your mind, you are facing a computer, a silent slave that operates at your beck and call, without realizing that the beeps and blips are relaying your thoughts to the world, too. Your vision is blurred, skewed to your satisfaction. You think you can lift whatever others have painstakingly created and posted online and call it your own. You do not think twice about duplicating. In journalism, we call that plagiarism.

"In the real world, you can hide your shortcomings, but on the Net it glares back at you, biding its time to make its majestic comeback. The online world is startling transparent. And Yahoo! continues to give, and because it gave, it has gained a huge following. Why go elsewhere, the novice surfer will ask when one single stop provides to his needs and more. His gratitude will someday translate to a thank you, larger than you can imagine."

Hopefully, my friend received the message to step away from the materialistic Malaysian mindset that is consumed with striking it rich on the Web wagon. Net advertising is a bonus, not a money-making machine. Forget the quantity and think about quality for a change. For the true online user is looking for quality, not quantity.

Dispatch from Malaysia

Here's a nation that has built a first-world infrastructure. But can the country truly lead its people down the Yellow Brick Road to the smart city of tomorrow? Our Dispatch from Malaysia taps into the collective mindshare.

Check out previous dispatches from Malaysia:

PC revolution? Hmmm, says Anita D.

Bad PC vendors makes no cent$

Real world Net cynicism in a wired world

The art of resistance

Surfing on the Sulu

High-tech utopia or myopia?


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