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March 13, 2009

Future of the Web

   I remember being about 13 or 14 years old when my mom ordered us a brand new Gateway computer.  It was incredible!  Here I was able to connect to the internet in blazing fast 2400 KBPS...I still remember the first time I heard that familiar eeee eeee baaaa baaaa kshhhhhhhh kshhhhhh (just try to imagine) and then you were on!  We had Prodigy and were so cool!  I got on all the time and got into so many "discussions" on their bulletin board systems like there was no tomorrow.  A year or so into it, my uncle - who worked for AOL, offered to pay for my connection to them, and I got on at 28.8 KBPS and I never knew the internet could be so fast.  I was actually able to scan pictures of myself and load them online to show to other little nerdy kids who were also surfing and playing games and stuff.  AOL was a definite step up for the family.

   Over the years, things certainly have changed.  As a youth pastor, I started realizing the importance the internet was having on how people really communicate, and it surprised me a little bit.  I saw another church's contact list for the youth.  It was broken down into familiar categories...Junior High, Senior High, College Volunteers and Leaders.  As you start the left of the list, you were fortunate to get a home phone, and not one single student had email.  Senior high, it was maybe 10-15% with email, by the time college hits, Everyone had email and now you also added cell phones to the mix, but the adults had millions of methods available to communicate.  Literally. 

   I read an article today from Reuters talking about how more online time is invested in social networking than is spent on email.  At first, I was a little surprised.  For me, email has been SO important over the years.  I am constantly logging on to check my email and see if my Gmail Notifier has turned blue, just like years ago, it excited me like a little girl to hear the words, "You've got mail."  Then I start to think about what I do online.  My typical routine is to hop into Gmail , read new blog posts on Google Reader , check my Blogger account for new comments, look on Facebook for new status updates and notifications, then check out my favorite news sites - Fox News and WorldNetDaily.  I really do spend so much more time on those than I do just sending email.  

   Look around my blog though.  My community section on the right give you links to all my favorite communication tools like my Twitter and Facebook, and even some that aren't so cool like Frappr - where you can put your location on a map so I know where you are reading from.  I'd like to think I am pretty entrenched in the Web 2.0 technology that is out there.  Then I think back to 14 years ago, hearing that amazing dial-up noise, and wonder what it will look like in the next 14 years.  


Matt Coulter said...

This made me laugh, bro - especially the dialup noise re-enactment. Oh, our kids are going to think we're so pathetic if we ever try to tell them about this stuff!

Hey, you are cool - you even got the AddThis button before I did. :)

I've seen two different surveys now that say e-mail if the fourth most preferred way of people to communicate online - behind texting, social networking sites, and twitter.

And to think there's still folks that don't even "get" e-mail!