John Duhring:

This is where there really is good news. You don't have to spend anywhere close to what it took for the pioneers to custom-build what they have. This last year has seen amazing improvements in tools and services that drastically reduce the cost of deploying commercial grade Web sites.

NaviSoft, Vermeer, Adobeand soon Netscape have made it possible for non-technical people to author Web pages, transfer them from server to server, build forms and link them to tables in a database, administer permissions, and even build HTML pages on the fly from their databases. In addition, there are hundreds of hosting services to choose from, so you can either run your own service with your own equipment, or rent someone else's and take advantage of their bandwidth, monitoring and maintenance.

When I was with the NaviSoft group at AOL, we tried to have everyone incorporate Web publishing into their personal work. My own experience with the NaviSoft tools has convinced me that even I can create Web pages and administer a Web site. If I can do it, millions can do it. The market is as large as there are people with something to say.

What this really means is that Web sites can now reflect the diversity of the organizations they serve.

One excellent example is how LiveDV magazine magazine allows vendors of digital video products to enter their own product listings into the service's catalogs. Authorship can be pushed out to dispersed groups, even to suppliers and advertisers, without undermining the integrity of the service.

Brainstorms Tomorrow Mind to Mind