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Under The Microscope

THE NEW ZEALAND INTERNET DIRECTORY, by Laura Klatt & Peter Wiggin; Shoal Bay Press, 1997; 144 pp; $19.95

An Internet directory mechanically printed in permanent form on bits of dead tree seems like an odd idea. This book's authors are aware of this, suggesting that "just like a telephone directory, a guide can be published with a planned, limited life-span, and new editions can be published at regular intervals." True as far as it goes, but phone numbers have a rather slower turnover...

The book is also less useful than an on-line index in that it's indexed primarily on page titles -- if you're looking for, say, a page about mediaeval recreation, you have to read through the entire Recreation and Sport section to find "New Zealand Mediaevalist Groups" rather than simply searching for "mediaeval".

I don't want to dismiss it as a complete waste of time -- it does serve as a useful historical record of what was around on New Zealand Web sites in early 1997, and it might be of interest to someone wondering what's out there, but I'd use a library copy rather than buying one. Wiggin's previous work, Wired Kiwis was much more worthwhile.

Phil Anderson, NZSM