Internet World’s Swan Song


I am the founder of both the Internet World magazine as well as the
trade show by the similar name. Both the magazine and the event dominated
the high-tech trade business for a number of years in the 1990s. Both
properties along with my entire company, Mecklermedia, were sold to Penton
Media in November 1998.


Now, the show is a mere shell of what it once was. And, recently, Penton
announced the magazine would no longer be published except as a Web
publication.


Lots of fond memories have been running through the old noggin. The first
issue of what became Internet World was an 8-page newsletter called
“Reaseach and Education Networking.” This was published in October 1990 and
displayed at the Educom Convention in Atlanta. I was prepared to give away
2000 copies of the issue. There were few takers.


By 1992, I had only 200 paid subscribers. But then serendipity struck! I
ran a small event called “Electronic Publishing and Networking” in New York
in January 1992. Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus, was the keynote speaker.
It was during this event that I realized, after hearing Mitch expound about
the possibilities of the Internet, that my newsletter was too academic and
needed to reflect possible business and consumer use. Thus, the birth of
the Internet World magazine.


The first issue was a roaring success on the newsstand. Paid circulation
jumped and by 1995 we were over 250,000 and growing rapidly. The trade show
side was more spectacular. The Internet World show was growing by more than
200 percent every six months.


But enough of the history! The present is a different time with different
informational needs and a different economy. I sense the excitement
returning to technology through the rocketing growth of 802.11b (WiFi)
technology. I see “pay-for-performance” searching as the killer application
of the Internet. I see rapidly changing infrastructure at major
enterprises — all caused by the Internet.


Do not look back. The future is bright. Have courage and watch Wi-Fi.

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