ONE of the great advantages to business people of a service such as CompuServe is that it can organise on-line conferences with business leaders in a way that other providers cannot. The expert user of the Internet can obtain almost any information that is actually out there, but setting up a live forum is a little more complex. At the end of February, CompuServe had a forum about the future of the On-line World. The topic is a very big one at the moment, and it is important to anyone interested in on-line information. (As a provider, CompuServe has a vested interest in the subject, of course.) The forum was inspired by the cover article of the February 21 issue of PC Magazine 'The Changing Face of On-line'. The article discusses the subject of how close the providers are to each other and how some of the new 'upstarts' (such as a little company called Microsoft) are trying to portray themselves as being On-line, TNG (The Next Generation). Those taking part in this forum were among some of the most important in the business: America Online's president; representatives from AT & T's Interchange; founder and former Delphi chairman Dan Bruns; Prodigy's creative director, Harvey Manning; WebWeek editor-in-chief Angela Gunn; plus executives from The Microsoft Network, and other industry experts. The event is being hosted by PC Magazine editors Rick Ayre and Tinoo Singh, and Sean Gonzalez of Information Access Centre, as well as CompuServe executive vice president, Barry Berkov. As some of the participants pointed out, this kind of forum has both advantages and disadvantages. It was certainly advantageous to have access to so many important people in the on-line world, but not many people have made use of it (too shy, presumably). It was a bit rough on some of the participants, as well, because they had to check in fairly frequently and see how things were going. Despite these small problems, the event was a success. It is very important to realise that such a forum will only be as good as the participants and will be important only to those with an interest in the subject. CompuServe puts on many such forums and it is worth having a look to see if there is something that would interest you. THERE have been some small developments in my personal CompuServe account. My original account was created in Japan a few years ago on a VISA card I had at that time. Since coming to Hong Kong 18 months ago, I have been trying to have my account changed from the old card to my new Hong Kong card. I was able to tell CompuServe that my address had changed but I was unable to change my credit card number. I say this because my membership has been suspended, due, no doubt, to lack of funds in my old Japanese bank. This means, of course, that I cannot receive any electronic mail. If there is anyone with a burning question they can send it to me at dewdica.com.hk on the Internet until I get the CompuServe problem sorted out.