Horror buffs looking to dumb down after the heady chills of the late summer sensation Signs might be flocking to the movies this weekend. Under the AOL Time Warner
The premise of feardotcom, in which bad things happen to folks lured into pursuing tantalizing fantasies online, sounds awfully familiar. Wasn't that what the Internet bubble was all about? Granted, you have to draw the line to separate capitulation from decapitation, but neither movie nor mania spared much in terms of bloodshed. feardotcom is rated R for, among other things, "grisly images of torture," and that pretty much sums up what happened as Silicon Valley touched down on terra firma.
It's a different scene out there in the Internet sector right now. Companies that no longer have a license to burn money are running more efficiently or folding. Companies who figured eyeballs were the only metric that mattered are now more concerned with the pocketbooks behind the eyeballs.
It's true. A study by Forrester Research and Boston Consulting Group revealed that the majority of the 107 largest Internet retailers turned an operating profit last year. Meanwhile, content sites are also recovering nicely now that ad spending has stabilized this year. So, walk through the ruins of the online sector, and it doesn't look all that scary right now. Less players carving larger slices of the market is good enough for growth, even through stagnancy.
No, that's not very frightening at all. At this point, there's nothing to fear but feardotcom itself.