"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
Dear Netscape, Hello! Would you be so kind as to allow us a few moments to introduce ourselves? Suck is a small media outlet on the WWW. Our mission is quite simple: Suck believes that the Internet has "come of age" as a pervasive force in mass culture, and we've elected to take it upon ourselves to be the rigorous and uncompromising critics - and occasionally court jesters - of this new, commercialized, consumer-driven online culture.
Suck may, at times, come across as a bit harsh in our assessments and opinions, but we'd venture to guess that Netscape, as the leading industrial advocate of the medium, hardly requires us to explain the value of unfettered dialogue. We've had the pleasure to watch the epochal ascent of your enterprise from risky start-up to lofty megacorp and, boy, are we impressed! It seems as if it were only yesterday that we would sit around smirking at Clark's Folly, wondering how you'd ever squeeze a dime out of your efforts. Well, you sure showed us!
In particular, we've been putting some thought towards your "What's Cool" page. The way we see it, the Netscape home page probably receives more visits than any other home page on the Web - after all, upwards of 80% of Web surfers use the Netscape browser in some incarnation, and it's our reasoning that a relatively few of these infonauts actually have the time, inclination, or resourcefulness to modify the home page location pref to, say, http://www.suck.com/. Undoubtedly fewer still choose to disable those attractive, hard-coded directory buttons you so helpfully provide at the top of every Netscape browser. And we haven't chosen to mention those hit counts you give to potential advertisers. All in all, we think it's a fairly safe bet to assume that your "What's Cool" page is one of the most popular destinations on the Web. Make no mistake - Suck is cool. We spare no effort in the dynamic presentation of honest, relevant and often passably amusing content. And we publish daily, to boot! We're like "Cool Site of The Day" without the embarrassing puns on the names of weekdays and a bit more "laff value." Now, we took a gander at the current entries on the Netscape What's Cool page, and were a bit disturbed to discover (through a bit of cyber-sleuthery) that the sites included disproportionately represent the Netscape Communications and Commerce Servers - not surprising, perhaps, considering the monumentally commercialistic goals of the larger part of the sites, but a bit revealing considering that the Netscape servers own less than 10% of the market, according to the WebCrawler survey and the better-documented but smaller-sampled survey by Paul Hoffman.
We'll be the first to concede that people giving you money is a pretty darn cool thing, indeed, but "cool", as an abstract concept, surely must signify something more profound than the exchange of filthy lucre, no? Don't get us wrong - we wouldn't mind if people started tossing cash in our direction, but that's not really our goal. We far prefer support in the form of a little publicity, maybe a link to us here or there. It's not as if Suck hasn't already provided links going the other way, and we like to think our site is a solid addition to any hotlist, corporate or not.
Show us that you care. Give us a shot...give us a spot. Sincerely, The Society of Sucksters