This long ass blog post is all about getting you to check out the new eBook by Ralph Benko: [“The Websters’ Dictionary: How to Use the Web to Transform the World”] It’s free and a very good read. [Go to the site to download it.] Now back to your regularly scheduled blogging…
There is no question that the web/Internet is transforming our world. That is obvious to anyone with even just a limited understanding of the web. As proof, I’m going to give 7 examples/experiences of how the web has transformed the (and my) world.
[Forumosa.com] is I website I joined over 6 years ago now. It is a discussion community for foreigners that live in Taiwan. I initially registered to that website to get information about how I could move to Taiwan. What I ended up getting is a college education (and much more) for free. I met practically all my friends through that website (directly or indirectly). In 2002 I started a group called [“The Game Club”] that is still active even though I left the island last year. I was introduced to a program called [Supermemo] which was the key to my fluency in Mandarin. I had countless “unless” debates in threads like this one [“Acronym vs. Abbreviation (and is HTTP a word?)”]. Countless other examples exist, just from that website alone. It DEFNITELY changed my world.
Anonymous vs. Scientology
[Codename: Project Chanology.] I think the “internet activism” going on here is outstanding. What started as a retaliation to Scientology trying (for the over 9,000th time) to repress free speech, backfired into a massive attack on Scientology by the Internet. The beginning of this attack was this video [“Message to Scientology”]. That video seems like something out of a science fiction movie… But it wasn’t. It was real and has had [real results.]
Do I need to even write anything? Google is fucking changing the face of EVERYTHING! Just take a look at [Google Labs]. Or think for 5 seconds about the ramifications of [Android], the new operating system for cellphones that will be released soon. *shakes head thinking about the awesomeness*
Do you think Barack could have pulled of what he did without the help of the Internet? I don’t. Do you think he has slighted changed the world (whether he gets elected or not)? I do. Want to read more? Here’s an article from America.gov [“Internet Revolutionizes Campaign Fundraising”].
[YouTube], YouTube, YouTube… YouTube has had a profound effect on my life. It’s totally changed the course of things for me. When I returned to the US last year, I was determined to get a PhD in Economics. I still am, but that goal had to take a backseat to… YouTube. It was in December of last year when I started to realize that what I was doing on YouTube should be taken a little more “seriously.” So instead of continuing my study of economics, I decided to take up the study of marketing (more in the self study sense). Since making that change I’ve ended up on the cover of a magazine and even had a paying job as a “YouTube Expert.”
YouTube hasn’t just changed my life though. Now all people have access to TONS of video information (how-tos, education, etc.) People other than myself have also been lifted to “stardom.” Things are just getting warmed up…
[Facebook], [MySpace], [LinkedIn], [Meetup.com] and other sites like these are having a profound effect on the way people are getting and staying connected. The connections made on these sites aren’t just staying in the virtual world either. It was because of Meetup.com that I found the group [Spreenkler], which led me to giving a presentation on YouTube, which led me to being on the cover of a magazine. Kids and adults are managing and making all kinds of real world events through the use of sites like Facebook and MySpace. And business professionals everywhere are “making shit happen” through sites like LinkedIn. It’s all very awesome.
I didn’t “get” [Twitter] for the longest time. I do now. Twitter (in my mind) is the beginning of what “web 3.0” will feel like. A seamless connection between the on and off-line realm. With Twitter you answer one simple questions “What are you doing?” Initially it seems like that would lead to an uneventful nothing, ie “I’m clipping my toenails.” But after you get more involved with the community (or build your own) it can lead to “I’m on Water St. drinking a beer.” Followed by 3 of your friends stopping by to join you. That is just scratching the surface though…
OK, So How Do I Use the Web to Transform the World?
I’m so glad you asked. 🙂 Growing up on the Internet has given me a more intimate understanding as to how the web can be used to change the/my/your world. People not so fortunate (or unfortunate 😉 ) to have grown up in this fashion now have a free resource to answer that question:
Click that link, fill in the form on the right, download the book, read the book. 😀
If you can’t tell, I’m very excited about the existence of this book. It’s written from a political point of view, but the information within can be applied to anything your mind can dream of.
Real Examples of Transforming the World
What better way to transform the world than teaching others how to transform the world? What I did (for an example) is stick my head into some web communities I’m a part of and shared this book with them. I’ll start with the post that probably came out the best, the others I wrote were somewhat rushed:
[Something Awful.com] – A buddy on Forumosa.com told me about Something Awful. I was bored earlier this year, registered and got my ass handed to me in a debate about Universal Health Care. Haven’t been back since. lol SA is a hardcore forum community. Serious business it it.
[Forumosa.com] – My first real online community.
[EpicFu] – I love EpicFu. It’s a good example of what media will be like in the future. Highly interactive (and full of win).
That was a long ass post…
So what I have is a free eBook telling you how to transform the world using the web. I’m going to keep doing my best to transform the world into one that is “better” for you and me. What I want you to do is [download the eBook], read it and share it with people you think would enjoy it (blog, twitter, email, MySpace Bulletin Blast, print it out and hand it to them, whatevers). 🙂
Operation raise $16,000 for [Room-to-Read] commences October 1st. Stay tuned…