Farewell to eWorld

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

After more than five months with eWorld, I have decided not to continue membership with this online service. The reasons are many, but I will only touch upon a few here.

First and foremost, I can get almost the same thing from America Online as I can with eWorld (Save for ZiffNet Mac items). The same shareware. The same commercial demos. The same technical support. Almost the same thing all the way around. But with America Online, I get more. They have a much bigger database of information than eWorld does.

I did like the mail system eWorld uses. It is much better than AOL’s. But I did not join eWorld for email! And with the thought of buying Claris Emailer, which point kind of seems moot.

One thing I found that I REALLY hated about eWorld is when you try to browse software. Unlike AOL, who provides you a button for the next twenty listed items, eWorld gives you everything all at once! That means waiting for all the items to list, a wait that can take up to a minute or more in some cases! That is just ridiculous! There have been many times I just wanted to see the newest listing in e-Publications, but had to wait for one year old items to list. I saw right away that nothing new had been listed, and only wanted to move on. But no, the wait was on!

Now, do not get me wrong here. eWorld has many great things, not the least of which is the ZiffNet Mac stuff. Those guys are great.(“Guys” used here does not refer to men, by the way! I am sure some Women also work there!) I wish I worked for Ziff Net! They really seem dedicated to Mac users, and I respect that A LOT. They also have some very cool programs you will not find on AOL.

eWorld is owned and run by Apple computers. Back when it first started up, I thought that it would become THE online service for Macintosh users, as did a lot of people, including a Ziff Net employee I talked with about eWorld. Of course, that did not come to be. And the fault, as far as I can see, is two-fold.

First, eWorld does not have enough members. As we all know, it is the size of your membership that will lure in businesses, companies like Adobe and Claris. It is they who will offer deals to online members, as far as updates, demos, and free give aways. That in turn will lure in even more people to sign on to eWorld. And the more members you have, the bigger your database will become. It is customers, online members, who upload software, files, thoughts, ideas, and the like, who make eWorld attractive to others. This is one reason America Online has done so well. If you as a member want something, chances are America Online has it. The same cannot be said of eWorld.

Next, and the most important , is eWorld’s failure to get the word out. One word here, MARKETING. Sure America Online files each magazine they can with a copy of their software. Why not? It works! Some people despise them for it, but those that do do not understand the first thing about marketing. You MUST let people have easy access to you. No one wants to go out of his or her way to get eWorld software. Sure, putting eWorld software preinstalled into new computers is a good idea, but not everyone is out there buying a new computer! You MUST make it more accessible to potential customers to get your software. I had to wait on the phone for more than ten minutes before I could order mine. A few minutes longer, and I would have hung up. That is just bad business.

So, eWorld, if you are reading this, I wish you luck. I really hope you pull yourself together. You could still be THE place to be for Macintosh users; it is not to late! Take a cue from America Online. Advertise more. Make your software more accessible. Offer more for Mac users than AOL or CompuServe does. Offer deals for eWorld members that you can only get if you ARE a member.(Like “eWorld members! Upgrade to system 7.5 for only $55.00! Download it now, FREE, and pay with a credit card, and we will send you a unlocking password TODAY!”) This is just good business sense. And it does not take a lot of money to do so. And even if it does, how else are you going to grow to become the best online service available unless you invest a little money? Besides, how much does it cost to ship your software disks in a few magazines? And how much work and money would it take to upgrade your system, like putting in some “next twenty” buttons? Less, I think, than to continue losing customers. Like you did with me. But I will make you a promise! I will return and take a look around in six to eight months. If things are different, you will get my money. If not, I will use ten free hours and cancel my membership. Again. And lets be honest, no one wants that, right?

I welcome any eWorld representative to write in a reply to be published in My Mac, and to be printed in its entirety.

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