"Wealth will increasingly be defined by our ability to go offline whenever we want." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Thoughts
September 23, 2006

One Web Day

Apparently, September 22 was One Web Day. According to this site, “OneWebDay is one day a year when we all – everyone around the physical globe – can celebrate the Web and what it means to us as individuals, organizations, and communities.” There’s no doubt the internet has, over the past 11 years, changed my […]

Apparently, September 22 was One Web Day. According to this site,

“OneWebDay is one day a year when we all – everyone around the physical globe – can celebrate the Web and what it means to us as individuals, organizations, and communities.”

There’s no doubt the internet has, over the past 11 years, changed my life as I’ve interacted through email, personal websites, mailing lists, groups, online chats, “discussion” forums, blogging and web 2.0 applications. Whilst there have been some disappointments and unsavory experiences, it has, overwhelmingly been a positive experience. So, here are a few ways in which my lifestyle has changed as a result of the internet.

1. Online Shopping – Amazon was of the first commercial websites I found and my first online shopping experience (late ’95), followed soon by Lands’ End. It revolutionised my book and CD buying habits and was a cultural umbilical cord while in India. Ebay, AudioMidi, SheetMusicPlus, Brooks Brothers, StudioSpares, A&F and ToneFactor have been other important online shopping destinations for me.

2. Music – One of the other early sites I found was Harmony Central, which gave me access to lots of music technology news, guitar tablature and product reviews. The mid to late 90s were a low point for me musically and the information I found online helped me revive both an interest in music technology and guitar as well as giving me the chance to fulfill a personal dream and study with Berklee College, through their online programme.

3. Academia – I first went online during my undergraduate theology/ministry degree. To say I was not enjoying the programme would be a massive understatement. Online, I found a wealth of information on philosophy (especially continental philosophy), ethics and other topics. This drove me back to my college library with an even greater reading lists and really enhanced my learning experience. By the time I started giving lectures in 1997, the net was an obvious aid in research reading lists and topics. When the time came to research postgraduate programmes, the net was my almost exclusive source of information and first contact.

4. Faith – Online networks and discussions have played a big role in helping me sort my thoughts and experiences in faith and mission. I have no doubt that were it not for the net, I would be feeling rather more isolated. I can’t remember exactly when I started tracking news about Mars Hill online, but it was certainly early in my net experience. By 1998 it was obvious that people who shared my concerns about church, mission and worship were finding ways to express their hopes and frustrations online and it was clear back then that this would become a significant movement.
Of course, the massive negative is hearing sermons that have been hastily cobbled together from online services. I first recall experiencing this in 1999, when a preacher delivered a tedious 35 minute address patched together almost entirely from recent ministry mailing list dispatches.

5. News and Current Affairs – I wake up everyday to news automatically collated from around the world, in a number of languages. Having grown up in Sydney, with only one serious newspaper and one financial paper available, this feels so liberating. I remember embracing the point-cast software when it was released and loved it. The net also made gathering financial news so much easier. More recently, I latched onto podcasts as a way to stay in touch with UK news while in India, only to find another rich and global stream of news and opinion.

6. Personal Publishing – This is not just blogging, although that is a huge development. I think we are in a new era of publishing, books, zines, music, spoken word, video, photos – everything. This subverts the role of traditional publishing gatekeepers and industry-paid opinion-leaders in a range of ways, which is a good thing indeed.

7. Family and Friends – Now I can video-conference with my parents, share photos with friends and connect via written word, all for free. I can recall as a child, the cost of sending airmail letters, the insanely flimsy paper and once a year gathering round a small tape deck to record some words, poems and music for family overseas. How things have changed in less than a generation.

Thanks to Cynthia at Digital Sanctuary for making me aware of this and also see John’s post at SmuloSpace.

[tags] onewebday [/tags]

Responses
Cynthia Ware 16 years ago

Fernando,
Like your concise list and eloquent descriptions of the sweeping changes the Internet has brought into our lives. Glad the net linked us.
Cynthia

Fernando Gros 16 years ago

Thanks Cynthia!

Pro Audio DJ Equipment 14 years ago

I actually started looking into Christianity because of an internet forum that had a really compelling arguement onit. I decided to read up on the topic and I’ve been slowly attending church more consistantly ever since…who knew.

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