And so are YOU!
Lisa sent me these quotes from the article:
"...look at 2006 through a different lens and you'll see another story, one that isn't about conflict or great men. It's a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. It's about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people's network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace. It's about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes.
...It's a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter."
I love this! Made my day. I felt validated in the best way - that all the attempts at community, the writing, the reading, the sharing, the connecting to people I would never meet in a hundred years IRL is worth something. That maybe dialog is less intentional and more opportunitistic. Perhaps blundering into the other is better than organized symposiums led by academics, maybe sharing what you really think with the Internet and discovering if what you think even matters is better than smugly contenting yourself with your own opinions and assuming they make sense...
And what about the wonder of YouTube where no one is left out, where we can enjoy what we missed, where people work for nothing to see someone else experience their pleasure? Perhaps a little selflessness is possible in this era of self-promotion after all.
Sometimes we look back wistfully at the days when "young ladies were so accomplished" (ala Jane Austen) with their tatting, rug knitting, piano playing and watercolor painting decrying that no one has the chance to be creative or original any more because of all the expert musicians, photography and mass production of everything we need.
But no one counted on the pedestrian power of technology. Anyone can play today, thanks to the free access Internet and the wonderful platforms designed for Every Person's use. You don't have to be a computer/website expert to play.
The imagination and creativity exhibited in blogs, websites, forums, discussion groups, online videos, photo galleries and more show us a populace hungry for sharing. I love thinking about people putting in creative energy and time just to share a silly video with the world hoping to create a shared enjoyment with someone they've never met.
I remember last year when I stumbled on the forums for Brokeback Mountain what an epiphany it was to discover a community of several thousand equally impacted by that movie. It led to a grassroots campaign to raise money to run a full page ad in Variety Magazine that dubbed the film "Best Picture of the Year" after it lost at the Oscars. We wanted to thank all the creators and actors for their marvel of a film. The result of that move (made possible by friends of the film from around the world who are a part of the forums) led to an interview with Annie Proulx and a response from Diana Osama.
The members of the forums have now created a book which is a compilation of comments by members that describe the film's impact. A few of my remarks made the cut. I feel honored to be a part of that project. The book's been created by a dozen volunteers as a work of love, no pay, and all proceeds going to charity.
That's the Internet. That's why I love it.
Inhale. Sigh. I'm inspired.
What do you love about the Internet? Where do you hang out and what keeps you coming back? And do you agree with Time's Person of the Year choice?