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2000.11.29. - Felix Stalder, Re: The Toywar Platform as a Monument to World>

Subject: Re: The Toywar Platform as a Monument to World Culture
From: Felix Stalder
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 12:51:26 -0500

> the most expensive
>performance of art history.
<...>
> The declared and achieved aim of the etoy campaign to bring
>eToys's stock value down to zero - during the campaign they
>lost half of their market cap and, a drab since then, touched
>the $ 1 share prize last week

Wouldn't it be time to give Toywar its well-deserved rest?

Yes, it was a good campaign, yes, it was effective in fighting off one instance of "reserve domain name hijacking", yes, the toysolders were cute and the media loved it. While the campaign went on, I understood, and to some degree supported, the relentless hype that was unfolded around it. It made for good politics (a.k.a. winning), though I'm not sure if it made for good art, if you care to separate. But now, please, I would like to see some real analysis of what went on, not the repetition of the same old clichees over and over. Even heroes can overstay their welcome. The war is over and so should be the propaganda if we are to learn anything from it.

Did the Toywar really push EToys on the slippery slope of stock market decline, which, of course, has hit almost all pure Internet retailers the same, if not harder? I kind of doubt that. As anyone who ever took a statistics course remembers, correlation is not equal to causation. But perhaps there is more evidence to support the Toywar claim?

Is there any real difference between online and offline consumer boycotts? Possibly there is since it's so much easier to switch to a competitor that sells the same (your good consciousness is only one click away) and (virtual) sit-ins are relatively easily orchestrated by a small number of people.

However, given what happened in domain name politics over the last year, the huge impact of Toywar beyond etoy is difficult to see.

best. Felix

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