The Great Web Bear
Blog Post #3
Aging with the Internet
By: Shando Darby – Senior Vice President & Marketing of Ursinet Hosting
As I approach my mid-forties, what are my uses for the Internet? Business? Personal? Social? In fact, it has become a combination of all those areas. It’s also where can I make my own space on the Internet to express my inner thoughts or passions. Of course one has to be careful in many ways on how to express themselves. I am not advocating censorship in any way nor making everything so politically correct that it’s watered down, but one must take on a responsibility. It would be nice if everyone promoted peace, understanding, tolerance and love, but we know there are many examples on the Internet that show the opposite of those traits. We need to expose those in government positions who are not standing on solid principles and giving the best to our country and the world. A personal website can be so many things to so many people.
As we age with the web, it occurs to me how one relates to it in each stage of life. Perhaps in the beginning it was just all about fun, fun and more fun! I try to think of myself as a teenager in this day and age (which, as I’m about to turn forty-five, isn’t always easy!) The Internet would probably be a place where I discover new music. I know I’ve used it that way even in my thirties and early forties. I used to bar tend at two different bars and the bartenders were responsible for the music, so I constantly turned to the Internet to keep myself abreast of what “the kids” were listening to. Any band, singer or song I could claim I found before the rest of the world found it and exploited it to the Nth degree! Even in my late thirties, I made a stab at creating a blog devoted to music which, I keep saying I am going to revive called We are in Xanadu.
In my twenties and thirties I was looking to the Internet for more connection with my peers. Looking for potential “soul mates.” That was exhausting! I turned to the Internet for that purpose when AOL was all the rage. All the chat rooms, the profiles and oh my, the dial up speeds!
You kids nowadays who didn’t grow up with dial-up connections are so lucky! I could start to download a photo of someone, clean my apartment, come back, and it would still only be halfway done, only to find the face had been obscured! It was an aggravating way to meet people, and you realized that meeting people in public was still the best way.
As for a business site, it has to have the main ingredients of clear messages, great branding and an easy-to-use client interface. If you sell something on your site, make sure it is a quick and easy process for your customers, lest they encounter, as my partner Joseph says “click-fatigue.” Make sure all the information on your site is accurate and up to date. Business doesn’t have to be boring. Add original content like blog postings, pictures, sound and videos to spice things up!
There are so many ways to utilize the Internet and a website as you grow older. Just be sure it’s your best voice possible and that you are being honest with yourself and your audience.