Re: Manuals etc. on the Web

Subject: Re: Manuals etc. on the Web
From: Phil Hey <HEY -at- BRIAR-CLIFF -dot- EDU>
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 1996 08:52:00 -0600

We may have to think about some different paradigms for information
on the Web. THough I agree that there are some documents which
should be protected with a firewall, a speaker I heard at a recent
distance learning conference gave me another orientation. All
Web providers/merchants are going to have to get used to competing
by providing very high quality FREE information, so long as our
ultimate for-sale product is information-intensive. The speaker's
phrase for what we want customers (incl. students) to do is to
"subscribe to a relationship," rather than simply sell a product.

This isn't a new idea, of course. Sears built its catalog on that
premise, to be recently displaced by companies such as Land's End.
LAnd's End products may not be all that much better than Sears
(or locally available), but their copy is much more "relational."
The challenge then, as I see it, is to decide what will be the
up-front, free, "teaser" material, and what actually can be
sold after the subscription happens.

Of course, with all this information moving so rapidly, every
provider will need to change continually and quickly while
maintaining both quality and relationships. Won't it be fun???
But I can't think of a group more capable of handling the
challenge than tech writers.

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