Web Day! Okay folks, this is September 22, 2007 which is officially Web Day. I am not sure who decided that this was the day to declare, but I am game. As such I thought that I would share my journey to the web.
I played around in the BBS scene prior to the web, and enjoyed sending and receiving e-mail from my dad some thousand miles away the next day. Once he moved closer we exchanged letters via a terrific DOS program called Backmail. I would set up a directory for my dad and in the middle of the night my computer would call his and swap the files. The next morning I would read what he had written to me. It was pretty cool. Unlike the BBS, this was direct connect, and really secure. If I were a terrorist this is certainly the tool I would be using today.
Some years later we moved to Kentucky and our local landline provider announced that they were going to provide Internet access. My dad had been playing with this some and I knew that I would really have fun with it. At 8:01 on the day of enrollment I called, customer #2. Some thirteen years later we still use that provider and we still have that same e-mail address (which they spelled wrong).
We started with Mozilla as was the case with nearly everyone else, and have used many, many different browsers since. Currently we mostly use Firefox.
E-mail was the killer for me in the beginning and it continues to be one of the most important applications for the web. I used Outlook in the beginning and now do 90% of my correspondence through Google's Gmail application, although my address is “work” related.
I have made money on the web through web design, at one time a full time career. I have since moved on from that and look at what people are producing now and am sometimes very impressed, sometimes realized that I could have made a lot of money if I had stayed with it. Oh well, lessons learned.
One of the more recent pleasures from the web has been Apple's iPod. For me this is a true Internet device. It would be totally worthless without the web. I use my iPod to listen to podcsts 95% of the time. Yesterday for instance, I listen to podcasts for about 12 hours (a big travel day). I catch up on tech news, talk shows, etc. Because of this broadcast radio has become totally irrelevant for me. Some of my podcasts are rebroadcast of popular radio shows, but much of what I listen to is produced by guys like me. And, I have enjoyed doing my own podcast show. I am constantly amazed at how many guys are downloading it.
I use Skype to occasionally talk with my folks, MSN Live Messenger to do live video chats with my wife. I regularly blog, maintain a photoblog (www.TheDigitalLife.net), Twitter (http://twitter.com/TheDigitalLife), and surf hours a day. I transmit my business via the web, download my music via the web, and watch a couple of my favorite TV shows via the web. 100% of the news I gather is via the web, and it is a lot more diverse than those yucky days when I just had TV. I rent DVDs via the web, sometimes my coffee via the web (raw beans when I have the money). We order our kids curriculum on the web, and sell it via the same at the end of the year. I search for new people to work with me on the web. I bought my car on the web. We pay our taxes via the web, do our banking on the web.
So thanks to the web, our lives are changed, and mostly for the better. And if you are reading this then your life has now been changed because you know me better. And that is a good thing.