I have to admit, I'm not so politically correct.
I find cyberspace to be so much cyberhype-at least, on a personal level.
Maybe it's my job: You spend much of the workday staring at a tube, and when you get home (at least for me), turning on the computer is about the last thing I want to do. Books, newspapers, the library and radio are my information highways.
That said, I think companies like Goodyear, Gates Rubber, Dunlop and Ace Hose are very smart to set up their own websites on the World Wide Web. More rubber companies should do it.
It's not that there is big money to be made yet via the Internet. Until someone works out an easy-to-use security arrangement, it may be foolish to put in a purchase order over something that a hacker could access. But someday, and probably sooner than later, that problem will be worked out.
Today, for rubber companies, the Net's main value seems to be in promotion, marketing and advertising. Since the computer geeks now are socially acceptable (I await your nasty letters ... I have no e-mail address), and are poised to take over the world, it makes sense for rubber fabricators to give them information in the form they prefer, via the World Wide Web.
But down the road, it will be your everyday person using the Net, not just the nerds.
And companies better be ready to give them what they want.
I know there already are some valuable aspects to the Internet. I understand on the Cleveland Indians website you can see and hear the most memorable of the home runs the Tribe hit in 1995.
Maybe even I'll be a cyberspaceman someday, too. I can change.
I recall swearing I'd never do my banking with some machine-I wanted a human being to handle my money.
The ATM receipts stuffed in my wallet attest to a change of heart.
And, come to think of it, I was the last person in Akron to get cable TV. Who needs it, I sniffed. Then a friend explained how ``TV is crap. Cable TV gives you a wider selection of crap.''
He was right! And my kids would kill me if I canceled cable.
I may not care much for cable-or the Internet-but I can recognize their value for those who will inherit the earth.
Noga is editor of Rubber & Plastics News.