Author Archives: David Hayes

How to Internet: Why?

The first thing you might be wondering, is why? Why is he using “internet” as a verb? First of all, welcome grammar Nazi. But one of the first rules of the internet is that new words and usages are acceptable, even fashionable. If you can’t accept that, you probably shouldn’t really learn how to internet.

That point made, there are a number of actually valuable why questions about how to internet that are truly worth our taking the time to tackle. So let’s begin there.

Why should I care about interneting? Don’t I already do that?

There’s a big difference between what most people do on the internet–check Facebook, Google a few things, and maybe check their 10 favorite websites–and interneting. Interneting is essentially holding a fluency with the wide swath of possible internet activities and utilizing that ability to stay abreast of everything from the latest news to the latest LOLCats. It is, in itself, a masterable culture that is both distinct from those recognized offline, and deeply enmeshed with them.

Essentially, you might care about interneting if you feel that you’d like to have greater proficiency with the youngest, most versatile and powerful form of cultural dissemination ever invented and you’re bumping your head against the wall because you can’t find a foothold from which to begin to understand the roiling mass.

That’s my fundamental intent: to explain to you how I and people like me use the internet on a regular basis to do all sorts of things that most civilians never knew they could.

Why are you the one to explain how to internet?

I am, as those people who know me but don’t know the internet I know would attest, rather adept at spending time on the internet. They constantly marvel at my ability to do little outwardly but be constantly entertained, informed, and knowledgable. Almost of these abilities are due, at least in part, to the way in which I use the internet.

I make no claim to complete mastery or knowledge of the internet–if I had to hand that crown to one single person I’d probably choose Andy Baio–but I can say with certainty that from the time I first saw the internet (I think I was about 10 at the time) I’ve been rather obsessed with it. Fifteen years of spending a minimum of an hour a day with something gives you a pretty thorough knowledge of how it works.

Why should I learn how to internet?

Because you know it’s important. As I intimated before, I believe the internet is the future. All other forms of media dissemination are on their way to graveyard. All other forms of publishing will eventually be subjected to the processes and judgement of the internet, and it’s likely many will be found lacking. If you have monetary interest in any form of media that isn’t attentive to the internet, you’re almost certainly destined for the poor house within the next 50 years.

The process of learning how to internet is something millions of people do every year (even without guides like this). As people continue to gain ever greater fluency in the internet and it’s ways they will leave behind writers, publishers, and people who think that having a Facebook page is what it means to be on the internet.

I already know all about RSS, podcasts, WordPress, reddit, and many other things, why should I pay attention to this?

You clearly have good reason to question the value of this, as those are rather close to what I intend to talk about. Here are two reasons you might care: because you can always learn from seeing how other people see and think about the things you know how to do well, and because you’re interested in helping someone who doesn’t know enough to be aware of Lone Gunman to get better at interneting.

How to Internet: Introduction

When Lloyd asked me to fill in, I was a bit stumped. Because the content I post to Link Banana is similar to the stuff that Lloyd posts, and I already struggle to keep that full–I didn’t really want to put that stuff here. I also didn’t really want to ape his style, as I’d almost inevitably have done that poorly.

Generously, Lloyd specified that I could publish anything I thought would be of interest. And it was while I was considering the odd nature of that fact that he and I know each other at all–for those not keeping score Lloyd is a Brit who lives in the Netherlands, I’m an American who lives in Colorado, we’ve never met in person–that I thought about how different the internet I know and love is from that known to almost all my “real life” friends, those of my siblings, parents, and pretty much anyone who I share physical spaces with on a regular basis.

So, if you’ll all allow me, my intent over this week is to explore that “Grand Canyon big” gap and how one could cross it if they so desired. I don’t know that anything I manage to publish here will be as interesting or valuable to the Lone Gunman’s readers as what Lloyd usually does, but I hope it’ll come close.