Jane Doe, who likes news but not computers, wakes up in the morning and turns to her bedside PC, which is also a television set. Flicking on the monitor, she sees the "home page" of Newshare Corp. or its local affiliate.
The computer, which is connected to a high-bandwith, cable modem, has been on all night. At a predetermined hour, the computer "linked" to the local Newshare(SM) affiliate. Over the course of a few minutes, the affiliate "downloaded" to Jane's computer a 10-page summary of the timely subjects she has chosen to receive -- including color still photographs. The computer then printed the material to her $500 consumer color inkjet printer.
Jane takes the 10-page Newshare(SM) with her downstairs as she gets coffee started, then sits down to read it at her kitchen counter.
Meanwhile, at her satellite terminal in the kitchen, Jane decides she would like a five-minute audio-visual summary of the news. About an hour earlier, the digital information necessary to produce this summary was sent to her computer by the Newshare(SM) affiliate and she know requests that it be "played back." If she wants an even more up-to-date summary, she can request it at anytime and merely wait a couple of minutes for the information to be downloaded.
Jane, who lives in Egremont, Mass., a tiny town in the Berkshire Hills, decides she would like to hear the local newscast from a radio station in Exeter, N.H., where her grandson lives. He plays high-school football and she wants to hear an account of the last night's game. Jane knows the name of the radio station in Exeter, and she knows that it is a Newshare(SM) Publishing Member. Using a simple form, she enters a request for the sportscast from that station. In a few minutes, her computer tells her it is ready to play back.
Like Jane, other Newshare(SM) Members nationwide can click on an audio clip of news -- perhaps from National Public Radio -- or something which a Newshare(SM) local affiliate edited or produced directly. It might be an actuality (audio report) of a particular news story that the customer's interested in. Or it might be a lineup of half a dozen actualities of the top stories of the day. This gives the Newshare(SM) consumer the opportunity to shave, get dressed, make the bed, start breakfast, while listening to the news -- news which is customized rather than in a format dictated by a network.
Longer term, the consumer clicks and receives the same format of video packaging. Or the user, if they want to spend some time in front of the video screen, could link through to relevant documents, starting from the home page, and could direct to his or her printer anything they run across which they want to have an archival copy of.
Pieces of the Newshare(SM) package, or the entire process, are consumer-selectable to include or omit advertising. When configuring their personal service, the Newshare(SM) consumer selects the commercial or non-commercial version, paying a significant access fee depending on his or her choice.
This sort of customized, multimedia news facility is now technologically feasible through the Internet and the world- wide-web application of the Internet. Several vendors are working rapidly on cable modems which will allow delivery of information into cable-wired homes at speeds many multiples higher than convention over-the-telephone modems within a year. This will enable the delivery of information-on-demand.
Let's suppose you also live in Egremont, and you are a subscriber to Newshare, whether it be Newshare(SM) America, Berkshire Newshare(SM) or Great Barrington Newshare. In any case, you sign on and your signon script includes a default that "hyperlinks" to the closest Newshare(SM) to your interest.
Let's say you want to get the local news for Egremont. It may happen that there is no local news for Egremont in the Newshare(SM) members' content base. Whether there is or there isn't, you would type in a Universal Resource Locator that says Egremont, and the Newshare(SM) Technical Services Corp. server will identify the appropriate URL for the Newshare(SM) member home page with the closest content overlap to Egremont. That might be Berkshire Newshare(SM) in Pittsfield, Mass. You would be shown a page which displays Berkshire County headlines.
On that home page might be a "hot link" to Great Barrington, which is close to Egremont, or a "hot link" to Egremont town government static resources, or at least a description of the town of Egremont. But the initial link will be dictated by one of two factors: a) Which Newshare(SM) Publishing Member is the geographic franchisee for the your home, or; b) If there is no geographical franchisee, which Publishing Member has the most appropriate content for your previously entered interests profile.
If you are a new Internet user and have never become a Newshare(SM) User Member, the geographical home page is preceeded by a page describing Newshare(SM) and how you can join, with a hot link to the appropriate Publishing Member. That member is responsible for payment options, billing and credit. If the Member User for some reason does not prefer to affiliate with the designated Publishing Member, there will be an option to affiliate with another geographic or subject member, or with Newshare(SM) local or with Newshare(SM) America, the national service. In order to protect the designated geographical franchisee, these options will be more expensive.
Obviously, town government information for Egremont is something that any vendor on the Internet is going to be able to duplicate. But maybe in Egremont, there may be a correspondent who is solely the correspondent for Newshare. And the reason why we will acquire and keep members is that they are going to want to read what the Newshare(SM) correspondent in Egremont has written.