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Wednesday September 13, 2000, 18:12

A local print magazine had, for a while, on their web site, a notice that read something to the effect of "We do not have a web presence at this time because we haven't figured out how to make money off of it yet." I'm paraphrasing a bit, but not much. So I read this, and think about it for a bit, and it's true. Or it seems true. There are all these web publications going out of business or firing staff because the web publishing world does not seem lucrative. Meanwhile, print publications are still doing ok, but only because of ads, and we all know that banner ads don't really work online. So yes, it makes sense that this publication wouldn't want to put itselve online.

More telling is that the publication that I had in mind is free, so there is no revenue coming in from the actual print version to fund any sort of online version. And I really have no answer for this. But what I really wish is that everything did not have to be a commercial venture. Or rather, that the goal wasn't to make gobs and gobs of money. That the goal of some business project could just be to make enough money to produce whatever it was that had to be produced and to move on. There's this whole publishing thing that's going on right now, right? Or at least that's starting to go on.

We've got Dave Eggers funding Neal Pollack's first book. If this book does well, and if Pollack pockets the entirety of the profits from the book as they claim he will, then he can make off with a pretty hefty sum of money. Now, if he takes half of what he makes, which is a hefty sum in its own right, and pockets it, and takes the other half and puts it into publishing two more books which also do as well as his book does, then we will have the start of something wonderful. We will have people who will be making some amount of money for the work that they're doing, but not an isane amount of money. And we will have projects that are being funded because someone feels that they need to get funded, because these projects (books) need to get published. Not because they will be best-sellers, but because they will be sellers. Because.

I'm making no sense, which is unfortunate, because I believe that my heart is in the right place. In writing these words, I am getting increasingly agitated, becuase I myself am thinking "How can I go off and get a job where I can make lots of money so I will not have to worry about money?" when instead I should be asking myself "What can I do that will pay me just enough money but that will make me and a lot of other people happy?" Because really, if everyone went through their lives thinking of ways to make themselves and other people happy, then the world would be a friendlier place.

My friend's coworkers began to hug him on the way out of the office when he told them he was quitting. "What a wonderful place the world would be if every work day ended with a hug!" he exclaimed (though again I am paraphrasing because I am lazy and do not wish to quote him directly). Imagine if the business world operated on the notion of One Big Hug. What would this mean for the world? I'm not exactly sure? Would it mean that the GAP would take some surplus pants and give them away, just because it was a nice thing to do? Would it mean that people would actually run companies because they wanted to, not because they were going to make "mad money." Would it mean that there would be some way to fund the artists of the world without having to have them just through hoops for grants and the like?

Again, I'm talking nonsense. I think I just want a hug.

...

I also woke up the other morning, panicked, because I realized that I did not feed the cats, and even more frightening was that I didn't know where the catfood was, nor did I know if I even had a bowl for the catfood. As I drifted into consciousness it slowly dawned on me. I don't have a cat.

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