The Internet sucks.
That’s according to Steve Maich over at Maclean’s magazine. Maclean’s is one of Canada’s top news magazines; I always enjoy reading it, with a combination of news, investigative journalism and humor. So where does Steve’s article fit in? Is it news, investigative journalism or humor?
Steve cites things like porn, gambling and crime as reasons why the Internet sucks. He’s not wrong. There’s tons of porn, gambling and a fair share of crime (although I feel like this last one is grossly exaggerated.) The Internet is chock full of crap.
And the spinmeisters of the online world did exaggerate their vision of the Internet.
So, the Internet sucks, right?
Steve’s piece is well worth reading. It’s clearly one sided but it makes me think:
“How can we make the Internet great?”
There’s lots of ways. What sticks out for me is this:
Helping the less technologically-savvy get more involved.
Call them “newbies” or whatever you want, but there are tons of people on the outskirts of what’s going on who have valuable things to say and need to better understand the ways they can do it. Some aren’t newbies to the Internet, but may be unfamiliar with newer ways of communicating: blogging, podcasting, video, etc.
Those “in the know” need to help those that aren’t. By doing so we’re bringing in fresh voices and ideas. Almost every time I’ve helped someone get onboard in a more active manner it’s been rewarding, for me and the person I’ve helped. They’re typically eager, friendly and interested in building a likeminded, open community. What could possibly be wrong with that?
The Internet has improved the way we communicate. It doesn’t replace face-to-face, but it smashes open the door on having meaningful conversations with lots of people at once. The more we help the less tech-savvy folks get onboard, the better those conversations are going to become. And that helps make the Internet great.
Photo by Allen H. Lin.