The internet is inherently a global market.

     It is not for local merchants to sit around and chit chat, although
it can and should be used for that too.

     But the internet did not come from local merchants munching the fat
with each other; the power and the quality of the internet comes from
the driving force of a world wide market that exists at the speed of
light across all national boundaries, for the first time in history.

     As Gates said 'Business at the speed of thought.'

     Much of that market is for ideas, but much of it is also for hard
goods and services.

     In local economies where people are bound by the ruggedness of
terrain and the cost of communication and travel, most people are
perforce local buyers and sellers.  Once the boundaries of the local
economy are vanquished though, a good many of these people will find
themselves to be global buyers and sellers because they were global in
nature all along.

     For example, Sadie D's is probably inherently a local seller
because she is not going to sell the best turkey sandwiches in town to
someone in California.  (I hope Nathan is doing better and recovering
from his surgery.)

     But a CD store would probably be very interested in the markets
opened by the internet.

     I know at least one person who is supporting themselves out of
their own homes solely on the sales of their own CD across the internet.

     And another whose main source of income are remote internet buyers
even though they maintain a VERY expensive store front in Ithaca.

     The internet is its own thing, it does not fit into any model of
commerce that has existed before.  It produces an instant almost FREE
global market of any local market that can take advantage of it.  By
definition then, many local markets will loose customers to the global
market the day the internet comes to town.

     Local store Ritz camera for example went out of business due to
internet buying.

     But Ritz camera didn't, they simply moved to being an internet

     Why pay rent for store front space to greedy selfish landlords,
when your store front can appear on anyone's computer screen all
over the world?

     That gives people more CHOICE, cheaper prices, and more
convenience, as the shopper never has to leave home, using car, gas,
pollution and driving insurance to get there.

     The question is then can the local markets survive solely off of
the other local markets in town.

     Sadie's probably will, as no one is going to buy turkey sandwiches
over the internet.

     CD stores may not.

     The CD store has the option of going global itself through the
internet, but other stores may not be so fortunate.

     Even Sadie's will suffer because people probably do not come into
town just to eat there.  They make it part of their visit, but they came
into town to get a CD say.  If they instead get the CD from the global
market then Sadie's is out of a sale.

     It helps to determine exactly why people COME to town, and then to
determine WHERE ELSE they visit and buy WHILE they are there.

     For example I would probably NEVER come down town just to get a
sandwich at Sadie D's.  But I *ALWAYS* stop there and buy 1 or more of
them every time I do go downtown.  My main reason for going downtown is
to pick up mail at our post office box or to visit the two banks.
     The post office and the banks are basically local markets, in
general you wouldn't want to do either long distance.
     But sometimes I come down for Harold's Army Navy store for
clothing.  The problem is clothing is a global market, and being a fatty
boobalatty myself, I can never find what I need there, so I have taken
to ordering over the internet from major catalogue stores, some times in
wholesale quantities.
     I learned to do this from my fractal T-shirt selling days.  We
would buy HUNDREDS of every kind of T-shirt to print on, so I stopped
going to Woolworth's to get T-shirts in packages of 3's.
     So Sadie D's is out of a few sales to me, because the global market
has stolen just that many trips to the local market.

     If the stores that attract people down town sell items which are
better bought on the global market then not only are those stores in
trouble, but so is everyone else in the area near them.

     It behooves everyone then to find out what stores are the primary
attractors to the downtown and whether they are inherently local or
global markets.
     There is going to be a complex and painful shuffling and
rearrangement of services and markets over the next 3 to 4 years as the
internet matures and really begins to sink in.  Sort of a world wide
shakeout of magnitude.

     Those who wish to survive it need to look vigilantly to where their
buyers and sellers are coming from, and whether they NEED to be part of
the global market themselves to survive.

     The issue is not whether to buy either locally or from big
corporate giants which we all love to hate.  The issue is whether to buy
from OUR local market, or a billion other small local markets all over
the world.

     Thus the internet joins all local markets around the world into one
big super local market, thus leaving the big corps out in the cold where
they belong.


Homer Wilson Smith     News, Web, Telnet      Art Matrix - Lightlink
(607) 277-0959         E-mail, FTP, Shell     Internet Access, Ithaca NY