This is sort of fun, the back and forth about advertising and the 3D web based on a Wired mag article, sort of like that previous LA Times article. In the bubble days, businesses thought they could sell sock monkeys and pet food, and just because it was on the web, they'd be millionaires. The corporations that think they are going to sell mac & cheese because they put up a virtual store are as deluded, and the press will be all over that, I imagine. The most useful thing in the back and forth is the fact that sites in virtual space often appeal to the long tail, versus a mass-market appeal. The long tail is ignored in the original Wired write-up, and I think that's the critical omission.
There's that old saw about asking a farmer what would help his farm work better, and him responding a better plow or a stronger mule, rather than responding that automated farm equipment would help. In other words, the farmer only can apply the world he knows to the question. I'd say we're in the middle of a prime example of the phenomena.There's also the old adage that we overestimate change in the short term, and underestimate it in the long term, and this has a lot to do with the shape of the hype curve.
History repeats itself, and at an accelerating rate, it seems.