Posted to HotWired 10 June 97

Perhaps a term for Jargon Watch: channeling =df using ISP home pages to direct web surfers toward certain content.

Here's the scenerio: the real move toward corporate control will not be accomplished by seizing control over web publishing - that's not possible. Control is established by seizing control over means of accessing the web.

ISPs are currently experiencing a shakedown. Smaller outfits are being gobbled by larger fish, and major providers, such as America On-Line, are consolodating their hold.

Once access to the web may be had (for the average person) only through major corporate sources, channeling becomes a viable strategy. Users are sent from the ISP home page only to 'preferred' sites.

Sure, you can get to the web at large: you can type in your own link, define your own home page, or visit a search engine. But these are very narrow access points, easily restricted by tailoring search engines (HotBot take note), restricting browser choices and options, or even by taking the keypad away altogether.

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