A great deal of money is changing hands in the stock market, propelled by excitement about any new company that might have a handle on where "it" is going. Microsoft and Amazon.com are the local favorites. Well, if any of these people have a good grasp of what "it" actually is, they've been doing a poor job of sharing their wisdom with the rest of us.
In over 30 years as a computer professional, I've never seen anything like the Internet. Oh, I remember the geeks that used to hang out in the library and marvel at the long printouts from database searches and the reply from notes posted a week ago on their favorite bulletin board. I simply couldn't get into that.
Then there were the system folk, and programmers that marveled at the efficiency of their code to process millions and millions of transactions; sort debits and credits, NSF checks and on, and on. Not interested!
And then one night I sat straight up in the bed about 3AM; wide-awake; I hopped out of bed and headed for my home computer; logged on, checked my email, and began "surfing" the Internet from one site to another. I knew I was on to something. But I still didn't know what. That experience changed my life.
It has been my experience that change is quite often an ally rather than something to be feared. The Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney is fond of saying, "You'd better take change by the hand, before it takes you by the throat" - and I couldn't agree more.
For the first time, I realized the Internet isn't really a thing at all; but an activity. A process; a whole new experience for the human race; a conversation between people, and networks of people, businesses, schools, communities, countries; as near as the next room or as distant as another continent on the other side of the globe. A phenomenon that began as a military project, then took on a life of its own, to become what we have learned to call the "Internet".
The Internet has made its presence known by:
Changing the way we think - from linear to multi-dimensional
Connecting and empowering people in ways never before possible
Shifting power from institutions to individuals
Transforming our global economy by removing middlemen
Ensuring the free flow of information around the world
Creating millions of communities, linked together in one great ever-changing global community
We must begin again to consider the value and impact of what we think and what we say, given the new responsiveness of those we are able to reach throughout the world. "We are the world" takes on a whole new meaning. A global inclusiveness that screams - "You're not alone any more". Change has come. Great change!
Throughout the year I will share my perspectives on the Internet and the opportunities that will inevitably arise from the release of new technology into the marketplace. I hope you'll visit our site frequently for tips on website development, marketing and e-commerce, and other insights intended to show you how to integrate this new and exciting technology into your business and your daily lives. Our goal is to equip you with "New Tools for the New Millennium."