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Sites such as Zopa, swaptree and Airbnb show that the web is changing the way people consume.
When I first came across the web, the early tentative steps to commercialisation were being taken. It was 1994, but already it was possible to buy things online, if you were prepared to risk a credit-card number on the then-insecure net. The world-changing potential was clear to me, and I enthused about it to my boss, the media director at a well-known agency.
'So people can order stuff, then it gets delivered to your door,' I babbled. 'You don't have to go to the shops to get it.'
He looked at me with a pained expression. 'So no different from how things were when my mother was growing up then?'
Of course he was …