Thursday, April 2, 2009

I love the Internet!*

When I get an email telling me someone is following me on Twitter, I go to that person's Twitter page, and read a page or so of their updates, and if it's interesting to me, I'll follow them too.

Two or three things on Superdelightful's page made me laugh out loud, and then I saw a link to a website he found called Burger Chef Memories. As a designer from Louisville interested in American pop culture and sadness, this could not be any further up my alley.

This forgotten burger chain was based in my hometown and it valiantly and daringly tried to keep up with Burger King and McDonald's in the burger wars. Look at that guy in the middle.

The site is written by a guy whose father became an executive in the company after starting behind the counter as a 24-year-old Air Force vet. The story is charming and sincere.

This is why I love the Internet, right? Stumbling upon these wonderful things?

The Knowledge Box! It has everything! I've been discovering so many interesting things lately, so many new and old ideas.

Last night I listened to an awesome conversation between Jesse Thorn and Steven Johnson, the author of The Invention of Air. While I listened to the podcast, I used wikipedia to look up things - phlogiston? - to help me appreciate the conversation even more. Fantastic!

I love the Internet!*


*But what do I do with it all this wonderful stuff? That's the question for me.

Ran into Julia Oh, creative thinker troublemaker who was in 12's first class. "I saw you on Twitter, man," she said. "I'm still suspicious."

No kidding. What's it about? What's it for?

The Paula Scher talk I watched this morning - discovered through another Twitter follower! - it's great! Filled with wonderful ideas. But I have to do something with it, right? Otherwise it's just collecting information or media solitaire or nostalgia and it feels bleh after a while.

What about community? Connection? Communication? That's the answer I'm supposed to have. How it makes us all connected. But connected to what? Connected for what purpose? To report how everyone is feeling about everything at every moment of the day?

"I don't really know what community means," says Chris Hughes, Obama's 25-year-old internet wiz. "If it's real people and real communities, it's valuable. Otherwise it's just playing around online."

We have to do something with this incredible thing.

It doesn't have to be profound or "important." To quote Russell Baker via Paula Scher, it doesn't have to be solemn, but it does have to be serious.

Julia Blackburn, fashion designer/12.3 grad, is having an opening of her new work tonight at Radish Underground. Her theme is the Dust Bowl, and all her the work, including the window displays at the show, were made from materials of the time. Lovely, thoughtful, inspiring.

I love the Internet. I love the connectedness, the discoveries. What do I/we make of it all?


dickbird said...


i finally went ahead and bought

but i'm not sure it'll help.

I'm Jelly said...

Thank you RPB. In the category of "serious" work, I would include:

I almost linked to it in my blog post, but I thought people would think I was kidding.

I'm Jelly said...

"Ask yourself: Why am I here right now instead of making something cool on my own? What’s the barrier to me starting that right now?

This is not an insult or put-down. It’s a useful question. Please, think about it, then search the site to see if we have anything that might inspire you to make something awesome today..."

Lefty Wahl said...

Love Burger Chef. And his sidekick Jeff. Big part of growing up in Cincinnati. Best kids meals in town. Bar none. Thanks for passing along the nostalgia.

miserabella said...

“I love the Internet. I love the connectedness, the discoveries. What do we make of it all?” “connected to what? for what purpose?”

like you suggested... we should make something with what we find. use it to inspire us. better yet, to make something happen. create change.

i/you/we share the cool things learned/saw today.

i think it’s not just media solitaire or a collection of information if what you find online is even just a pick-me-up so that you can make something happen more enthusiastically that day.

viva la internet.