Intersecting the Internet

Intersecting the Internet

7 Apr 2011

This post will focus on my intersection with the Internet. My goal is to explore use of online applications and their impact on my life. In the process I hope to tune my Internet presence and come to a more deliberate approach to living in this virtual world.

The push comes from a dramatic shift on line. My Internet usage was flat-lined for years, then I added an online store, Squiddo, and blog, This has left me wondering. How does it all fit together.

How real should virtual be? – Do you filter your image? Do you publish the good and the bad? Do you Photoshop your pics? How about pics of you?

When people meet you face to face after an online introduction should they be surprised?

Reflections: How I Started

It’s been fun to look back and see how I got here. The first time I used a computer was in college I suppose it would have been 1982 or so. I wrote papers, hacked a few basic programs, then moved on. At some point in my work life the office shifted from Selectric typewriters to computers perhaps around 1989, then it really hit. I bought my first computer in 1994. I went online for the first time using a modem at a whopping 2.4kb/S. Can you imagine? Back in that day you found a list of phone numbers to call with some kind of BBS software and then exchanged content, mostly files of one sort or another. After making a few of these calls and exchanging a handful of files I started noticing references to something called ‘the Internet’.

I poked and read, then finally found my way to the net. From today’s context that sounds silly, but remember the era; no smart phones, no Google, no www anything for that matter. When I got ‘there’ Gopher and Archie were going strong and the ‘web’ was not far past a CERN project. Eventually I figured out there was such a thing as a web browser and connected to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign ftp server to get one. I downloaded Mosaic v0.71, then did a quick update to v0.78, so much better ;-). Seeing it all work was an Ah Hah moment, I knew this was going to be big. The power of organizing information and finding it by naturally following items of interest (links) seemed like such obvious goodness. I immediately saved an ‘index.html’ file on a local directory for my own use. Fast forward…

So now I am sitting on top of a rag-tag collection of internet applications attempting to think through the ramifications and make some smart decisions about what, when, where, and why to share.

Collaborative Squidoo Writing

So….. I started my career as a Squid by publishing a lens with one my Life’s Little Stories. Everyone who read it asked for more, and many kindly provided feed back. Included were requests for additional stories with details that I likely would have missed. So, how do I employ these wonderful tools to collaborate on lens writing???

Ah ha! I need to add another tool to my bag of tricks, or rather, i need to list one that I forgot to include. Google Docs. I’ll placing the text of the article there for the collaborative editing then move it to the lens when it was done. From there folks can use the ‘Penny for your thoughts’ comment blocks, suggested by may wonderful daughter, to point out corrections and additions.”

Data Puzzle

So what can be done with all this information….

Going forward I hope to explore what can be done with the information and applications available. I am going to start it like a ‘parking lot’ board that you might create during a presentation. That is a place to drop important ideas that are not part of the mainline discussion at the moment so they don’t get lost and they can be reviewed later….

If you have ideas to share please feel free to comment below.

Originally Published Apr 2011 on Squidoo, later moved to HubPages now here…