The Electronic Bazaar: From the Silk Road to the E-Road

Robin Bloor, Author
Robin Bloor, Author Nicholas Brealey Publishing $27.5 (368p) ISBN 978-1-85788-258-2
Paperback - 338 pages - 978-1-85788-263-6
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As little as six years ago, the idea that there should be any commercial use of the Internet was bitterly resented by a large majority of users. A couple trillion dollars later, Bloor, who runs his own IT analysis and consulting company in Europe, comes along and turns the idea of the Internet as a marketplace on its head. He contends that the entire Internet, commercial and noncommercial, is a marketplace--in which money is exchanged, of course, but also ideas, information, experiences and attitudes. Like an ancient bazaar, a medieval fair or a 20th-century stock exchange, the Internet connects people who wish to negotiate and execute every stripe of transaction. Bloor further argues that throughout history, communications and exchange have been two sides of the same coin. However, this is not a scholarly work of history with copious footnotes: the reader will be convinced or not by the author's rhetoric rather than by hard evidence. Bloor's main aim is to provide a heady framework for down-to-earth practical advice about exploiting the Internet, covering such topics as IPOs and profitable business models as well as trends in marketing, merchandizing, sales transactions, intellectual copyright and the business-to-business market. Judged simply as a handbook of why and how to use the Internet for business, this is an excellent work, as good as any book for beginners on the market. Even those who skip the history and philosophy will find it useful. Those who buy Bloor's larger argument are likely to deem it a classic work that deserves a permanent place on their bookshelf. (Sept.)
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