One Web. One World. One Wish.
How has the web changed your life? That's the question that users around the world are answering today to celebrate OneWebDay.
First off, who would have thought to combine capitalized words, minus the spaces, for the name of something anyway? Yes, it was used before the Internet for various things, including the names of racehorses. OneWebDay, even the word form itself, has become something due to this rapidly advancing form of technology.
You can trace the Internet explosion back approximately 15 years, although there was an Internet before then. It just wasn't used in the same fashion. According to the Wikipedia, the creation of the Internet can be traced back to the '50s. Take a crash course in history on your own time, however, because this article is about how the Internet changed your life.
I started college in 1994 at Purdue University, just about the time the Internet started to pick up speed. I remember hanging out in the dorm computer lab and using Yahoo to search various pages. Everything on the web was plain; the graphics and colors were lame; and most of the pages looked exactly the same. A good friend of mine, a computer science major, had at his disposal a web server. I began to learn basic HTML and even put together a basic website. During my senior year, I took a class that consisted of both print and web development work. We put our rudimentary pages online, although I ended up teaching the class on file permissions and the like. It was apparent, however, that the Internet and me would become stablemates.
In 1998, I began life after college at a small-town newspaper, the Crawfordsville (Ind.) Journal-Review. I was a sports reporter, then co-night editor, but I always had a hand in web development functionality. By that time, many news services were online, although most had not mastered a way to make money on it. I added basic things to our website: scores and schedules for local sports teams, links to related websites, etc.
After moving to my next stop, the Owensboro (Ky.) Messenger-Inquirer, I had the opportunity to work within Belo Interactive, the online division of the media conglomerate Belo Corp. This proved to be a great experience, as I was exposed to the true web development world. While I had had computer programming languages in high school and college, this was really my first chance at spending the majority of my work day hugging the Internet.
Since that time, I've worked almost solely on the web, with the exception of various writing duties and my book. Then again, if you take into account what "The Developers" is about, and how my main promotions have been through the Internet, you will see that without the online experience, I wouldn't have had anything to write about.
Perhaps the biggest thing the Internet has taught me is that you can definitely find a way to turn your passion into a career. While I have a deep love for writing, my programming abilities have enabled me to pursue a combination of the two. And anytime you can bet an exacta and win, it makes life much more enjoyable.