Rupert Goodwins' Diary 02.04.2001

Monday 26/03/2001Amid the encircling gloom of the dotcom meltdown, there's no shortage of doomsaying pundits. "It's all just like CB and the Hoola-Hoop", they say.

Monday
26/03/2001 Amid the encircling gloom of the dotcom meltdown, there's no shortage of doomsaying pundits. "It's all just like CB and the Hoola-Hoop", they say. "Just a fad". Which of course is nonsense; I'm with the eternal optimists who point to the birth of other major infrastructures like power, railways and radio. Over-enthusiastic investors lost their shirts there too, but what they built survived and changed the world. Proof that the Internet is more important than a yo-yo comes from the fact that everybody's using it. A new international survey shows Denmark at 54% homes wired, the US at 51% and the stragglers of China and Spain (Spain? Que?) at a measily 18%. However, 18% of China is an awful lot. So what are 54% of Danes and 18% of Chinese doing online? Oh, come on. You know this already: exactly what they do in real life. Men go for cars, sports and porn; women for fashion, beauty and greetings cards (it's true, the only people I get e-cards from are women. Well, one woman: Mrs Candice Wotton of Ruislip. Who likes Scotty dogs. Please stop, Mrs Wotton. Please). There's another good sign, that the early bias towards males on the Net has faded away as the geek factor has waned. Not all over the world, though: "Mexican men use the Internet far more than women" says the survey. For which, I'm sure, Mexican women are truly thankful.