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Holly Finn from The Wall Street Journal writes about “Humanizing the Web” where she addresses deeper meanings from the online experience. The Internet is blazingly fast with people who run madly from page to page; skimming and not reading. The pace is tiring and the online experience becomes less than pleasing.
When we look at our website traffic it’s common to note that the majority spend a minute or less on the site. We are a nation consumed with speed. I guess the question is whether or not there is a more meaningful web experience?
Ms. Finn provides several examples fulfilling the promise of quality rather than quantity. But the most interesting example of the “quality web” is Cowbird (http://cowbird.com/). If you go to the “New to Cowbird” icon you will see a description of the site starting with “Cowbird is a small community of storytellers focused on a deeper, longer lasting, more satisfying kind of storytelling than you’re likely to find anywhere else on the web.”
“Cowbird allows you to keep a beautiful audio-visual diary of your life and to collaborate with others in documenting the overarching “sagas” that shape our world today.”
The site goes on to say that it’s interested in short human stories behind major news events. An option for audio story telling is also offered, all for free.
Stories-the essence of our culture:
Those of us who grew up listening to the stories of our fathers and mothers desperately wish we were running recorders at the time. Stories are the essence of any culture. Story-telling is a lost art and the internet is uniquely suited for a continuation of oral and written histories.
The Internet is all about telling stories. Regardless of your area of interest, somewhere out there there’s a site for you. All you have to do is write your story and follow the directions as to posting (putting it on the site). If you’re a nurse, there are websites for nursing that encourage you to tell your nursing oriented stories. It’s the same with any occupation or condition. There are thousands of websites waiting for you to post your story.
An expression of hope:
Holly Finn’s article, WordPress, Cowbird and additional platforms exist to create oral and written histories as an expression of hope in a world that desperately needs to slow down and enjoy the accounts of peoples’ struggles and triumphs. The online world doesn’t have to be a mad dash.
It can be a leisurely stroll through the park of life, learning from each other as to the quality of our collective experiences. To me, that’s the essence of the “quality web.”
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