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.