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After nearly a decade of protest, Show Business has discovered the web. Whether it is Disney selling episodes of Desperate Housewives on iPods, Fox screening prime time TV shows on the web or Hollywood Studios selling full versions of their movies online, this year has seen a major turning point for the titans of Tinseltown. Now everyone is scrambling to unlock new networks and future fortunes.
Lists. Endless lists. The latest curse of the web are those endless swimming pools of customer data - most popular, most active, most tagged or downloaded. Personally, I hate them. They tell me nothing, other than other people's aggregated bad taste. Worse, they miss one of the internet's most subtle and powerful features - the discovery power of networks.
Has it really been six years since the world's first wave of internet entrepreneurs fell through that plump cloud they'd conjured in the sky, taking with them the turgid hopes of our fledgling new economy? It's been six years peppered with hard luck stories, investor reluctance and, lately, cautious hope rekindled. Australian internet startups were in the thick of it back then. The survivors emerged with slightly bloodied noses and wisdom far beyond their years.