How to Internet: Epilogue

I’ve only scratched the sur­face of things that you may or may not want to do on the inter­net. I know that, I accept that, and I hope you don’t mind.

Two things I might have liked to address but didn’t: pod­casts and Twit­ter. These were both kicked in pref­er­ence to what I did address because they’re rather easi­er and bet­ter known than the top­ics I did write about. For 90% of pod­cast listen­ers iTunes does “pod­catch­ing” so effort­lessly they didn’t know that was a word. Twit­ter is world-fam­ous and pretty well under­stood, so my advice would mostly be super­flu­ous.

But what I want to take a second to say is this: don’t wait for per­fect under­stand­ing of some­thing to give it a try. As Mer­lin Mann makes clear, the first time, per­haps times, you do some­thing you’ll really be ter­rible at it. As Ze Frank said, sav­ing up ideas with noth­ing but the notion that you’ll one day execute them per­fectly and be greeted with immense volumes of praise and money is a sure recipe for stag­na­tion.

The internet’s the nat­ive home for ama­teurs. It’s a place where 90% of the stuff is made by people who could nev­er have con­vinced someone to pay them for what they built but felt a strong enough desire to that they put it out here on the web for us. The pur­pose of learn­ing How to Inter­net is so that you can bet­ter deal with the wealth of that diversity of stuff that exists on the inter­net and use it to enter­tain, inform, and improve your­self.

The inter­net is a freer place than any oth­er because of the twin engines of anonym­ity and low costs of entry. Surely anonym­ity has prob­lems, which /b/ shows well, but it also cre­ates scary bril­liance. Ima­gine how unlikely someone would have been to pub­lish LOLcats if they were risk­ing their repu­ta­tion on it.

A low bar­ri­er to entry makes it pos­sible in a way it nev­er was to be only con­strained by your effort. This is incred­ibly empower­ing and a little scary. Nev­er before have you been so able to rise through a rather pure mer­ito­cracy, nev­er before have you been so unable to blame some gate­keep­er for your lack of suc­cess.

Great things are afoot on the inter­net. Mind-bend­ingly great things are pro­duced every single second of the day and put on the inter­net. What I hope I man­aged to give you this week was a com­pet­ent sampling of the tools you can use to find, fol­low, and share those great inter­net things you love.

Thanks for your time and atten­tion.

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