What the Net is supposed to be

My favorite thing about the Internet is finding interesting, deep, quirky individuals to connect with. They’re my “thousand points of light” as Papa Bush used to say all the time. My other favorite thing about the Internet is the innovative ways people use the virtual electronic network to connect to one another in the physical world.

After the dot com bust we heard lots of naysayers kvetching that the Internet was so over, that it had not fulfilled its promise. Its promise has not even begun yet. When Napster was shut down, some said P2P was dead. But they were wrong. On a conceptual level the web *is* P2P. We are just seeing the inklings, I think, of the WWW to be:

— Of course there’s the Meetup movement that brings cyber people together in meat world.
— A friend reminded me about Bookcrossing which is going strong. I joined and plan to release some book into the wild soon.
— Real world artists exchange their works on sites like DeviantArt, but Nervousness.org is my favorite because the exchanges happen via snail mail. It’s always cool to get fun mail.
— Independent writers, researchers, and experts can sell bits of work for micropayments at the Idea Exchange.
Obtanium.net has not fully launched yet. It’s mainly populated by a bunch of Bay Area guys exchanging stuff to get ready for Burning Man. But when it goes public, and goes global, it’ll be truly awesome.

Those are just a few of the examples I found of innovative communities being facilitated by the web. There are
many more, almost too many to list in one post. The best ones span both the physical and virtual worlds and they facilitate sharing, collaboration, and yes, even commerce

I admit to being envious of you people who have Moveable Type fueling your sites. It looks to be the superior technical product, what with that trackback feature and all. But I’m resolved to stick with Blogger Pro, despite the fact that its stability is suffering from its own growing pains, because I want to support a free service that lets people get into the weblog community for very little overhead. I’m a sucker for democratizing innovations. I’m betting on the come here, I guess. But it’s something I believe in.

Gawd I love the Internet.

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