Internet: 13October1999

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Internet Story: 13 October 1999

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Care 4 Free Your Opinion Counts


Care 4 Free  This Friday (15thOct1999) sees the launch of another Free ISP with a difference: Care4Free.  Care4Free allows you to choose a charity or cause when you register for the service, access the Internet, and your chosen good cause will share the profits made by the service.  According to their site, "the charity or cause nominated will profit from the time spent on the Internet too.  Care4free is linked with 19 prominent charities, as well as numerous good causes.  For the first 10 hours spent online, care4free will donate 1 to the chosen charity.  Plus, each care4free nominated charity or cause will share 75% of all operating profits generated by care4free."  A novel and worthy idea from local company, Express Gifts.  In the last month Express Gifts (an ideal company to get into e-commerce!) has been on a domain name buying spree like a beer monster in a Calais supermarket!  We should expect some interesting things from them in the next few months.  Meanwhile, click here, or call 0870 606 6334 and order a CD, if you want to sign up for Care4Free.  Sadly no online signup screen yet :-(


Your Opinion Counts  This may turn out to be the best thing on the Net this year! is a new concept web site that lets users write their opinions (bad or good) about products and services.  What's new about that you say?  Amazon has been running customer reviews of books for a few years now.  The difference here is that nobody reviews the reviewers so you never know if an Amazon book review is accurate or just someone with a particular axe to grind (either for or against) the book. is trying to create an environment similar to the one that exists in our "real" world - a web of trust.  In the real world you can ask a friend what they think of a product and you can eventually build up a picture of how reliable that friend's advise is.  Imagine that concept transposed to the web.  You can now have hundreds of "friends" all being evaluated by each other and letting you know who they trust and who trusts them.  Soon it become obvious which opinions are held in high esteem by lots of users (they rise to the top) and which are not, or are even disdained by others! also puts a strong motivation on having accurate and honest opinions.  Another incentive for accuracy and honesty is that each opinion read by someone else generates revenue for the owner of the opinion (sadly, only if you reside in the US at the moment - I hope they'll fix this soon).  Go check out their excellent site (it is very easy to use and navigate - makes a change!).  This is an exciting concept from an exciting company: it's early days yet (the site is officially in "preview mode") so join in and offer your Epinions!  (Their staff lineup is very impressive: Ramanathan Guha, Peter Merholz, and Jakob Nielsen [advisor], and many more.)


Andrew Stringer, Pendle.Net Ltd, 1999

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