Michael Albert,

I am pleased to have stumbled upon your articles in Z - Magazine online.  I
spend time thinking about many of the same issues as you discuss in the 
"Hooked and Wired" columns.  Here are some thoughts:

>	then in time the
> quality of the photos available to be posted declines

While my feelings about new telecommunications are also ambivalent,
in my own experience the Web has allowed me to be more active, assertive, 
and presumeably influential politically AS A PART-TIME
volunteer endeavor.  In other words, I'm not earning money as an activist (as 
would be the case for the photographers you mention).  
On the other hand, I am able to act in the process of opinion formation in ways 
that were not as open to me before these techniques began to develop.
	The picture you paint of corporate advertising in on-line media 
corresponds closely with my own sense of what's developing.  Yet I am
more apt to consider the present situation a nadir, Z's efforts aside.
I think that the ease of access to dissident material, the diminished
costs of distribution, and the wide range of distribution all will aid
in the effort to get a left perspective "out there," particularly in
America, where most people are already well within the 
TimeWarner/Gannett suckhole.  
	The real problems, as I see it, are in
search engines and other ways of publicizing resources.  The recent 
phenomenon of "Guest Books" is an interesting development in this regard; 
nonetheless I fear an automated bread trail will be developed
by the corporate sources that will drown out the dissident voices.  ie.
samo samo.  The search engine "analyzes" only
quantity at this point, not content.  And one must assume that future
search engines will reflect an ideological bias as clearly as major
wire service reports do now.  
	Another principal problem then is the incursion of technique
into the equation of what is valid.  As you have noted, the corporates
will be able to spend money to make their sites slick, efficient, and
fast.  This, however, is a continuing phenomena that is operative in
other media today too.
	I share your concern for quality, and that is why I try to make my
home page a repository for thoughts rather than a list of phenomena
I have seen...