Sunday, 21 June 2009

Teabreak ducks

I wish there had been internet when I was growing up. The best I could manage was getting on-line in the mid 90s. Back then, if you were a boastful sort, you could dazzle folk with the lightning speed of your 33.6k dial up modem and scoff at the snail-like pace of all the 28.8k users. This duck and duckling would helpfully take so much time to download you could easily make a cup of tea and chat to your neighbours before it resolved itself. Google and Wikipedia didn't exist. The main search engines were Yahoo and Alta Vista. Social networking was a bunch of folks franticly typing into a text window and swapping emails. And none of it was free. If you were on the internet for an hour it would cost you an hour in phone charges. The phone bill became as feared as The Grim Reaper.
If I'd have had just one website from today's internet it would have changed my life.
If Goodreads had existed for instance. Just think of all the different books I could have read and all the rubbish books I'd have avoided. The friend lists and the people you would have met. The authors you admired from afar swapping jokes and gripes with you on their blogs or recommending their favourite books. Just being able to keep track of authors and organize the books you read would have made such a difference. Bonuses like being able to write and read book reviews or just rate them - honest opinions from the people who actually read the books for fun or interest, rather than somebody paid to write about books they would never read by choice. Budding writers or best selling authors all posting samples of their work to the same place (here is one of mine Lucky Ticket). There are book clubs to join or even start yourself. In the past I was always struggling to find good books to read. Now there isn't enough time to read them all.

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