China’s sustained economic expansion over the past three decades has created an entire generation of new consumers. I also do my internet on my own machine in the privacy of my hotel nowadays, but in case you’d rather not drag the electronics along with you, I can recommend the Times Cybercafé on the second floor of the Times Square shopping centre on Sukhumvit, the one in Siam Paragon (can’t remember the floor) and in MBK on the 6th floor.
As Australia’s First Internet Café, founders included Gavin Murray, Rita Arrigo and Christopher Beaumont Direct from London’s Cyberia we were joined by Kathryn Phelps and partnerships with Adam Goudie of Standard Computers for hardware and Michael Bethune from Australia Online, Australia’s First ISP for of course our Internet Access.
If you want to know how to open an internet café and make real money, a simple ‘set up shop and customers will come’ philosophy won’t cut it. You need smart, shrewd marketing to get customers in – smart and shrewd because you don’t have money to waste on ineffective campaigns or inappropriate ideas of massive marketing campaigns.
The concept of a café with full Internet access (and the name Cybercafé) was invented in early 1994 by Ivan Pope Commissioned to develop an Internet event for an arts weekend at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London, and inspired by the SFnet terminal based cafes, Pope wrote a proposal outlining the concept of a café with Internet access.
Over the years, I had other occasions to use Internet cafes in other parts of the country, and I saw and heard it all — marathon sex sessions between young couples, Internet cafe regulars (read: residents) who were genuinely annoyed by the arrival of newcomers and even one man who appeared to be bringing a bag of groceries to his cubicle.