It's almost ten years since I first discovered the Internet. How this baby has grown! And every time I log in I'm still thrilled. This evening, I have been looking at old pictures of Bakersfield, California, checking out hotels in Madrid - Spain and reading reports about England's most successful primary schools. It's like a window on the world. I often say to others that science fiction never foresaw anything quite as amazing as the Internet we now know so well.
Early Internet adventures included forrays into chatrooms from which I was frequently expelled by moralistic moderators. In 1998, I remember counselling a suicidal woman in New York - trying to get her to see that it is possible to emerge from the darkest shadows that life casts upon us. Every new day can be a new beginning. I don't know what happened to her - I lost her somewhere in the tangled worldwide web.
Now there's blogging. Sometimes I tell friends and acquaintances that I am into blogging and some of them have absolutely no idea what I mean. Blog? What's that? To me easy blogging is another wonderful extension of the Internet. I guess I have always been a frustrated writer and blogging allows me to write things and get them published in a professional-looking form without cost or very much trouble. It's so easy.
You could spend hours checking out other blogs from around the world. Every blog is different and they all reveal interesting things about how other people live and how they see life. Of course, the Internet and computerisation have always been led by America so it is no surprise that Blogworld has a high American population.
I have enjoyed reading "Friday's Web" (North Carolina) and "Free Thought By A Free Thinker" (San Francisco), "Brad The Gorilla" (Seattle) and "Hanging Hope on A Head's Up 1973 Penny" (Georgia) along with dozens of other blogs - "Blog by George", "Zandrea", "Retarded Rugrat", "And I'm Reading This Because..." (Sacramento Ca). As I say every blog is different. They have made me laugh, think, rage and occasionally, even though I am a tough old Yorkshire Pudding, shed a couple of tears. We are the citizens of Blogworld. We want to be noticed. We want to connect with others. We want to be participants rather than voyeurs. Thanks to all my fellow bloggers out there for showing me bits of your lives and educating me in ways our parents and grandparents could never have travelled.
They say that the internet was conceived and nourished by the American military machine but now it's in the public domain and we are exploiting it, subverting it, stretching its horizons. This is no longer Planet Earth, this is Blogworld!