Subject: Re: Free software and free music have some similar problems.
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 06:45:56 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Jean" == Jean Camp <> writes:

    Jean> We don't truly know the market in academic journals or the
    Jean> market in music because of the barriers of
    Jean> coordination. Because distribution for a specialization
    Jean> audience is very difficult much of the audience is missed.

    Jean> An example: I believe that it was a surprise to most when
    Jean> the medical databases began to be widely used by patients
    Jean> and the parents of patients.

Good point.  The example you give falls into the class of "finding and
following cites", but I did miss the point that the Web can result in
a huge increase in the number of citations searched, as well as vastly
decreasing the cost of following them.  Since the filtering function
is a fixed cost, there will be large increasing returns to scale here.

I don't see how that would affect the market from the point of view of 
the specialist target audience; speculation?  Normally returns to
scale result in concentration, but here the efficient scale is
probably small, so it need not be so.

    Jean> The primary function played by both large music houses and
    Jean> academic journals is distribution and selection.

I think Bernard Lang's point, and yours about attracting marginal
readers and returns to scale, both depend on these being fairly easily
separable functions.

    Jean> Hmmm. An open source journal might be an interesting
    Jean> approach.  To build upon the Open Source book and add
    Jean> articles by political theorists, economists, and policy
    Jean> wonks.

Just one?  After all, they're cheap!

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