Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  EN LA VIDA

The Internet
The Price Is Wrong
by Andrew Davis
2003-10-01

This article shared 4400 times since Wed Oct 1, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Conventional wisdom says the Internet gives consumers more power than ever. After all, the Web is full of sites with product details and price comparisons that shed light on purchasing the previously inscrutable: mortgages, cars, insurance, airline tickets and the like. Priceline and eBay even let consumers set the prices they want to pay.

However, there's another side to the equation. The Internet also gives sellers more information about consumers than ever before—how many products they buy and when, perhaps even how many each can afford.

Eventually, two people might get the same pop-up ad for the same T-shirt, but one ad pitches it for $15 while another says it's $10. That is known as price discrimination, and it's not necessarily bad. Economists say it can make producers more efficient and promote competition.

However, even in an uncertain future, one thing is sure: Consumers will hate it.

This vision of the Internet is the basis of a new analysis from Andrew Odlyzko, a former Bell Labs mathematician now at the University of Minnesota's Digital Technology Center. Odlyzko expects price discrimination to become more pervasive not only because so much personal data is being collected in online commerce but also because technology limits what people can do with online content.

On some levels, price discrimination can make producing goods and services more efficient. Say an airline has 10 seats left on a flight and needs $4,000 in revenue to make the trip profitable. If the airline charges $400 for each seat, that might not tempt enough people for the airline to make a profit. However, if the airline finds two business travelers willing to pay $1,200 per seat, it can charge a more enticing $200 for the remaining eight tickets, increasing the likelihood of a full flight. So it's natural for many kinds of companies to try to vary their prices to suit certain times, places or buyers. That's why gasoline is more expensive in wealthy towns and air conditioners cost more in the summer.

Odlyzko believes that price discrimination simply could make people feel bad. After all, in the airline example, the people in the $1,200 seats may think they were robbed, while people in the cheap seats might kick themselves for not pursuing an even better deal. Even worse, the economy could suffer if technology helps suppliers engage in price discrimination against producers of important goods and services.

Odlyzko isn't entirely pessimistic. He expects the Internet to allow new tools for detecting price discrimination, even as companies try to hide it by bundling several goods or services together at an attractive—but subtly customized—price.

****

Sites of the Month:

1. Cubavera (http://www.cubavera.com): This company claims to 'translate the joy of Hispanic culture into fashionable apparel.' Well, any way you cut it, these clothes are slammin'. What's helpful is that you can find out the nearest store that sells Cubavera clothing. What doesn't help is that you can't buy from the site—yet.

2. Chicago Salsa Dancing & Lessons (www.chicagosalsa.com/): You won't find a more comprehensive site covering salsa in the Windy City. Get the 411 on Latin nightclubs and dance lessons (covering merengue, bachata, and salsa). You can even learn about dance etiquette (like not getting fancy unless the dance floor is empty) and even order gift certificates for lessons.

****

I'm at westelm406@yahoo.com .


This article shared 4400 times since Wed Oct 1, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

LGBTQ HISTORY MONTH My Notorious RBG moment 2020-10-01
- In the 1990s, the U.S. Senate was attempting in every possible way to censor this new thing called the internet. The senators soon came up with an idea to stop information that might be objectionable to ...


Gay News

Windy City Times: Quite the ride 2020-09-30
- The information superhighway… That old synonym for the internet (conjuring up days of AOL Instant Messenger and really loud modems) served as my entry into Windy City Times—way back in 1995. Two friends suggested that I ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2020-04-01
- "Spend more time on your knees than on the internet."—Mike Pence shares his advice at a Christian school. I'm not sure what one has to do with the other—except for gay sex. In which case, he's ...


Gay News

Victory Fund Sends Cease & Desist to NRCC, Condemns False Ad About Jones 2018-10-11
- Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Fund is demanding through a cease and desist letter that the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) remove from the air and internet a false ...


Gay News

NUNN ON ONE MUSIC Rick Astley, '80s icon talks touring, gay fan base, Boy George 2018-04-11
- English singer Rick Astley broke out with the 1987 song "Never Gonna Give You Up" and after several hit songs later retired in 1993 before a comeback in 2007. Thanks to rickrolling he became an internet ...


Gay News

World news: China backlash, Canada lawsuit, Chechnya leader 2017-07-25
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times - A crackdown on a wide range of internet videos by Chinese censors has caused a backlash on the microblogging site Sina Weibo, with many users objecting to a decision to ban content which features same-sex relationships, ...


Gay News

Proposal would roll back existing net neutrality rules, Madigan responds 2017-04-27
From a press release - Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today condemned the FCC Chairman's proposal to roll back existing net neutrality rules that would allow internet service providers to charge customers for accessing certain types of content over others. ...


Gay News

MUSIC 'Wave your freak flag high': Talking with Amanda Palmer 2016-12-06
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times - Amanda Palmer—musician who's late of the Dresden Dolls, Internet inspiration and firebrand and, now, mother—never dreamed of touring in the chaotic aftermath of a Donald Trump victory. Palmer's Nov. 13 Thalia Hall show was a bittersweet ...


Gay News

'Madonna: Rebel Heart Tour' to debut on Showtime Dec. 9 2016-11-16
- Showtime Networks and Madonna have announced that her concert film Madonna: Rebel Heart Tour will premiere Friday, Dec. 9, at 8 p.m. CT on Showtime, on-air, on demand and over the internet. Madonna: Rebel Heart Tour ...


Gay News

NUNN ON ONE: INTERNET The fringe 'Benefits' of Kurt Conroyd 2016-08-23
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times - Actor Kurt Conroyd plays a gay man named River Manning in the web series The Benefits of Gusbandry. This Portland based comedy series also stars Brooke Totman from MADtv as his best friend. The title refers ...


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Ask a Queer Chick: A Guide to Sex, Love and Life for Girls Who Dig Girls 2016-06-22
- By Lindsay King-Miller. $16; Plume; 237 pages Ask a Queer Chick is a product of the Internet age: Lindsay King-Miller started writing the column of the same name on the website The Hairpin. As such, the ...


Gay News

Obama endorses Hillary Clinton 2016-06-09
- President Barack Obama endorsed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in an internet video June 9. "I don't think there's ever been someone so qualified to hold this office," Obama said. "I want those of you ...


Gay News

Dancing About Architecture: Adele, shining bright like a diamond, twice? 2015-10-28
- "Hello, it's me. I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet to go over everything … " With these few words, Adele broke the internet via X-Factor UK, followed days later by ...


Gay News

Black gay dads behind photo split 2015-08-20
- The two African-American dads who cultivated a large Internet following due to their photo-perfect family have split, People reported. In a letter to their 187,000 followers that spanned six Instagram posts, Caleb Anthony, 27, revealed that ...


Gay News

'Flame' on!: Erasure's Andy Bell on new CD, Joan Rivers 2014-09-24
- Erasure's Andy Bell isn't one for trends. On the afternoon of Apple's crazily anticipated iPhone 6 announcement in early September, with the Internet and social media abuzz with details and consumer frenzy to buy one (and ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.