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Monday, February 27, 2012

Internet Purchases

In chapter 5 of The Shallows, A Medium of the Most General Nature, by Nicholas Carr, he talks about how the internet is becoming a major medium for purchasing products that you would have had to normally buy in a store that specializes in certain product.  This creates problems among companies in regard of making a profit.  On page 92, Carr says “As the Net expands other media contracts.  By changing the economics of production and distribution, the Net has cut into the profitability of many news, information, and entertainment businesses, particularly those that have traditionally sold physical products.”  I agree with what Carr has said in this quote about the internet changing how companies make a profit.
I think that the internet also has a huge effect on the economy in general in today’s society.  There are websites that you can purchase all different sorts of merchandise on that same website and purchase it, all in the comfort of your own home.  Once purchased, you can usually expect the item to arrive at your front door in possible less than a week, depending where the item you are buying is being shipped from. Websites such as Amazon and eBay give the opportunity to sell your own personal belongings for the price you would like to sell it for no charge what so ever.  Saving many trips to different stores can save a lot of time and money you would spend such as on gas to get to the stores and even on the taxes you have to pay.  In addition, usually when you purchase things in bulk online, the cost is much cheaper compared to if you were to buy it in a store.  I believe that is why people are using the internet more and more to purchase items online.
Nicholas Carr also says on page 92 that, “Sales of music CDs have fallen steadily over the last decade, dropping twenty percent in 2008 alone.” Many companies are at loss when people purchase music through iTunes or even download music that is found to be legal, for free.  The cost of an actual CD is much more expensive than the actual individual songs themselves so there is no need to purchase the CD, when you can purchase digitally at a lower cost.  Not only are the artists and record companies losing money, but even the companies that manufacture CDs for them are losing money in the service that they specialize in.
Lastly, another interesting point that Carr makes is when he said that the educational system may be at fault with the declining numbers of books being sold.  He tells us that “Universities are discontinuing the printed editions of scholarly monographs and journals and moving to strictly electronic distribution” (92).  This may not be exactly the case for all Universities, but many vendors such as Efollett, the book vender at UMass Lowell, can be guilty of selling the digital version of books at a lower cost.  As many people know, the costs of books for every class can be very high and students may not always have money to spend on textbooks so they will buy the digital version to say money.
-Dan Portnoy


  1. Dan, I agree strongly that the Internet usage is making individual companies lose money. Due to certain websites like eBay selling products for cheaper the actual companies of these items are losing money. Also the music industry is losing a lot of money due to illegal downloading. Carr has a strong point when he says educational systems have a fault with the decrease in book sales. Many educational systems have a lot of reading online, therefore, students do not have to actually purchase the book.
    -Shayla Stevens

  2. It's true. I worked at a used bookstore and it went out. A lot of used book stores are going out and so are cd stores. Everytime i still see newberry comics open I'm just a little bit still surprised but in a good way. Tower records went out. It's crazy.
    Kelsey Coughlin