Web designer Jeff Veen, speaking at WordCamp San Francisco on Aug 14 2011, uses an extensive 19th century metaphor to illustrate the genesis and function of the World Wide Web.
OneWebDay is a celebration held every September 22 with a goal of educating lovers of the Internet around the world about the importance of the open Internet. At OpenSRS, we put together a short video that asks the hypothetical question, “Without the Web, how would we…?”
We had a lot of fun putting it together and we hope you’ll take a few minutes of your own to share your own “how would we…” video and help spread the word about the importance of the Web as we know it.
To learn more, read our follow-up link at http://www.opensrs.com/owd2010
Being the daughter of the only people STILL USING DIALUP today, it’s quite a feat that I was able to not only catch up with the rest of society in terms of the Internet, but now I am surging ahead. Should I be worried about them finding this video? TRUST ME, they will never find it. But I guess that’s just a testament to how the times have changed since ‘they were our age’.
In my opinion, this is the time of year that I appreciate having access to the Internet the most. And what time is that?? FOOTBALL SEASON!
Without needing a television to watch games, or a phone to call and ask friends for score updates, with the Internet, and the Internet alone, I can SIMULTANEOUSLY watch live feed of an NFL game in Texas, a college football game in Orlando, listen to audio commentary from Jim Rome in California, record my best rendition of the Eagles fight song in North Carolina and email it to my Giants friends in New York, find out who won the first Superbowl, trade out players on my fantasy football team, buy a new jersey, blog about why I think the Phillies are going to win another World Series, upload pictures from the tailgate last night, watch the game winning touchdown from last week 20 times in a row on YouTube, then paste the link on Twitter for everyone else to see, and plan my trip to the next game. All of that, without ever having to get up from my chair!
The point is that the Internet connects us to everyone and everything in the world, in a second. It allows us instantaneous access to videos, music, and information. Can you imagine life WITHOUT the Internet? I can’t either, and that proves the power and value it brings to our lives.
Who knows how the Internet will evolve in the future, or if it will even exist as we know it. I’m pretty confident that someday my kids will be making movies saying “I can’t believe my my mom STILL uses the INTERNET!”
Story by apetitt1
The Internet can be likened to a public playground. Everyone is welcome, and the more curiosity and imagination a user has, the more fun and interesting the Web experience becomes. Take the Google search engine, for example—an empty playground. With the search bar gracing the browser’s home page, millions of documents and resources are instantly in the hands of the user. Even if a user doesn’t have a specific search in mind, typing in just one letter will automatically yield the top 10 results. One can’t help but feel empowered at the wealth of information available.
This is where the importance of a free and open Web comes into play. Imagine a world without the Web, or a world in which searches are monitored and restricted frequently—in other words, a private playground. Those on the outside are shut off from the resources and lose an incredible outlet for imagination and thoughts to roam freely. The ability to self-learn and discover new ideas becomes confined. With an open Web, basic reading and writing skills are the only requirement needed to read, discuss and display basic thoughts or inspirations.
For example, in an exploration of Egypt prior to a trip for the Internet Governance Forum, typing in the keyword “Egypt” was a quick and easy way to find preliminary information. Search: Egypt. Results: 164,000,000. First hit: Wikipedia. An interest in “The Nile Valley,” (endnote 19 in the article), leads to an external link at the British Museum. From there, links direct the user to 10 partnership museums in the United Kingdom—each with more links and connections. In four clicks I was able to self-direct myself from a Wikipedia article about Egypt to the Bolton Museum and Art Gallery’s entire collection of artifacts.
As emphasized in The Cluetrain Manifesto, the Web is a dialogue; a conversation between any and all users. If anyone is shut out, the dialogue’s potential is weakened, as is the potential for other users to absorb more valuable information. In the future, it will be crucial for site managers and production teams to consider designing and presenting information in a way that is accessible to most users—appealing to those with the least amount of Web experience. New users become connected every day—each possessing unique talents and goals. The future of the Web should entail a larger base of open information that is usable across a variety of skill sets and interests.
Story by Shelly Russel of the Elon School of Communications
[The following is copied verbatim from forcesofgeek.com]
Who created the Internet?
It still boggles my mind that, 10 years after poor Al Gore kinda sorta lost a crucial presidential election, I still hear the same joke reverberating down the hallways of history. “Hey look at me. I’m Al Gore. I invented the Internets.”
Everyone laughs, of course, because the idea of one person creating something as vast as the Internet is patently ridiculous.
The fact that Gore never made any such claim usually gets overlooked in the hilarity.
In serious discussions about the Internet’s origins, computer scientists Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee usually receive the honors, for their work at DARPA and the foundation of the World Wide Web Foundation, respectively.
They obviously deserve the recognition they receive for their genuinely world-changing work. However, the Internet is a highly conceptual invention, as much cultural construct as technological breakthrough. It wouldn’t be possible without political support, infrastructure, funding, maintenance, and an unbelievable amount of incredibly hard work. Without the concept, though, we couldn’t even manage to put the first two building blocks in place.
So who deserves the credit?
Read the rest of this entry »
Everyone has the opportunity to go on the World Wide Web, therefore the world is your audience. The web is a discussion setting where I can get feedback with multiple opinions. I can post my latest research paper in the morning, get edits from my Dad away on his business trip, and have it ready just in time for class.
Only on the web can we find copious amounts of information all at the click of a mouse. Did you know Mark Twain was born and died when Haley’s comet was visible from Earth? 75 years apart?
With the Internet I can find crazy degrees of relationships beyond the degrees of Kevin Bacon—I can easily find my cousin’s bosses’ sister to help me land a job, all through social networking. Whether I get that job. . . well, that still depends on me. On the World Wide Web anyone can say anything somewhere. Bam! It’s an open forum, a place to discuss and debate without a middleman to mediate. In the words of a great educator, “I ain’t got no money” so if the web is free that’s one more good thing for me.
And I’ve come to appreciate how much I’ve learned from all the free access. Beyond a college education it is up to me to learn and the web gives me a wealth of knowledge to invest in. Updates on social networks and chats keeps me informed on my friends’ lives, making it easier to keep in touch.
The World Wide Web gives a voice to those who normally find themselves silenced. Within minutes I can make millions of impressions on what I care about, such as saving the manatees and what others need to know. What do others need to know? To save them, obviously. Stop riding around in your stupid speedboat! Duh.
Broadcasting myself and causes online can inspire others to make a change and offer support. I can define my identity by sharing my favorite movies and music online. ::DISCLAIMER: WE ARE NOT PIRATING::
And the best thing is the web is constantly evolving and so are we. Something’s gotta keep up.
Submitted by Colleen Callahan and Megan Lee, students in Elon University’s Interactive Media Master’s Program.
Since I started using the Web in the mid ’90s, it’s been a really important tool for communication. My earliest interactive experiences with the Web were in chat rooms and with AOL instant messenger. Since the ’90s, the Web has grown…a lot…and provides so many new ways for people to stay connected that it’s hard to keep up. There are Facebook, Twitter, Google chat, blogs, Second Life, and the list goes on and on.
The increasing speed of communication and the increasing number of people joining the conversation has spawned a whole new language. Language is abbreviated to communicate faster and more efficiently. But the problem is that anyone not familiar with this language can find themselves lost on the web at times. It’s becoming more popular though, and it seems like you’re an outsider if you’re not up with the newest additions to the language.
With this openness of conversation, I wonder what it’s going to do to the future of language. Younger generations are getting more and more familiar with this language and using it in real life. This phenomenon raises so many questions. Will it get to a point one day when everyone just talks in acronyms and abbreviations? What’s going to happen to the structure of language? Are we going to have a new dictionary for this language? Will proper language be reserved for academics or will this new language permeate that area as well? Is language as we know it today going to become the old English of the future? How will this effect the way we process information? It will be very interesting to see where language goes from here.
BTW some think SSEWBA. BITD it was different. IRL we spoke words. But B4YKI, e/o was using acronyms. IMO, this will be BAU one day. JM2C, but IANAE, I’m def a NOOB. OMG I’m SITD. If you didn’t understand what I just said, SG4IT. GL.
Submitted by Bahar Rostami, a student in Elon University’s Interactive Media Master’s Program.
One of the major benefits of the developments of the Internet is its ability to eliminate the elements of space and time in mass communications. Our computers and cell phones can now connect us to people and places all around the world instantaneously. Families and friends can that are across the country can communicate through e-mail, share photographs and videos, and even talk “face to face” with video chat from such programs as Skype. In a sentence, the Internet is making the world smaller and more accessible to more people, everyday.
But not only is it bringing world to my fingertips, there are certain websites and functions that help bring me to the rest of the world. The World Wide Web has supplied us with critical travel tools that will allow almost every feature of a trip to be paid for and planned in advance, so all you have to do is go. It has become the first step in almost every traveler’s agenda, and for good reason.
Of course, I am recalling this from personal experience. A few years ago I had a compelling urge for an epic, yet feasible, road trip (or Vision Quest, as one of my teachers so eloquently put it). I needed to go to Toronto (yes, Canada), and I was determined to make it happen.
The first step was to Hostels.com (I was on a budget, too) to search for a place to stay. I was able to pick a hostel, pick a room, and pay for the first night at the website.
Next, not having a GPS system, I headed to MapQuest.com for directions. I was going with my girlfriend, and we had considered making side trips to Buffalo, NY and Columbus, OH to visit her family (as well as grab some food). So we had to plan our trip from North Carolina, to Buffalo, to Toronto, to Columbus, and back to North Carolina. Map Quest gave us detailed turn-by-turn directions, warned us of roads with tolls, totaled our mileage (over 1,100 miles), and even provided an estimated cost of fuel.
Finally, we needed something to do once we were in Toronto. Through a simple Google search we were able to find dozens of bars, restaurants, tourist destinations, sporting events, etc. so we knew there would be no problem finding things to do.
So after a few hours tops of planning and preparing, I was all set to go on a four-day excursion to another country. Lodging was taking care of, we knew where we were going, and what we were going to do when we got there. All that was left was to get in the car and go. And off we went!
Submitted by Will Campbell, a student in Elon University’s Interactive Media Master’s Program.
I’ll go ahead and say it off the bat: this is not like the other brother story. In fact, I’ve known my brother my entire life: I’ve changed his diapers, played with him in the backyard, picked on him, teased him, argued with him, congratulated him, and held him when he’s cried. But for all of that, we’ve never been close. And in fact, the day after I left college, my brother informed me of that: we’d never been close so it wasn’t that big of a deal that I was leaving for college. That was 5 years ago.
Now, it’s a different story. My brother and I are closer than ever before, even with the age gap. It’s not something I did by any means. I tried and failed numerous times. And he certainly made no efforts when I was home or at family vacations. But in the end, yeah we became close and not by anything we really did with each other. What’s the reason? Though typical and broad as can be, it was the Internet.
The Internet brought us closer as brothers, closer than we had been in the past. For once in our lives, we had something in common or more accurately, discovered we had things in common. We browsed the same sites. We watched the same videos. We played the same games online. We read the same articles online. We even both use the Internet for Latin. And all without knowing it.
I think it struck me when I came home for Christmas break my junior year. For me, going home meant going to be with my friends. As we were sitting at the table, my brother quoted a part of the latest viral video. I laughed immediately and the rest of my family sat in confusion. We both laughed even harder. After dinner, we watched it again. And again. And again. From then on, we just clicked together and we realize now what we’ve been missing.
Over time and even now, we talk online through different outlets but it wouldn’t be possible without the Internet. I had no clue that he was competing in Latin competition and was able to see online how he was doing. He could listen to me on the radio when I would be the board-op. For us, we just enjoy the same things and the Internet has allowed us to share our interests, humor and personality. For me, the Internet was able to do what blood and time couldn’t and for that I’m grateful and I’m pretty sure my parents are as well.
Submitted by Jonathan Choi, a student in Elon University’s Interactive Media Master’s Program.