The internet, t’internet, the net, the web, the world wide web, online, cyberspace. Does it matter what it’s called ?
Well yes and no, and we’ve got another point!
The “London Internet Conference” doesn’t really convey the necessary gravitas, although cyberspace’s derivation is far from pretentious! And #LondonInter is definitely a rail network particularly if there are links involved!.
More important than the name, we think, is the ability to understand, communicate and engage in it. To us, two of the most outstanding exponents at the London Conference were Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia) & Atiaf Alwazir, the Yemeni blogger/activist. Both were articulate knowledgeable & engaging.
For a majority of users it is a relaxing environment. It’s social, people like, & follow one another, so delegates in formal/sharp/politically correct dress start with an immediate disadvantage.
Then there’s the youff argument. We like the, possibly apocryphal, instructions for an android phone that say: first – ask any passing child, which could equally apply to it. They certainly are heavy users of it, but they are not, yet, the fount of all knowledge and they need to learn as well. Two way communication is necessary and both must listen.
Certainly some, & perhaps many, politicians don’t practice that yet (as to be frank neither do many commercial & other organisations) ie listening.. It’s not like the printing press, virtually anyone can and does publish their own views, thoughts, complaints, ideas, comments or whatever on a minute by minute basis.
Some criticism of the associated terminology (bot malware trojans etc etc ) were heard and statements made that they should be avoided at all costs. Nonsense almost every walk of life has its own terminology. Anyway it’s easy – just Google it!
So whilst it’s, arguably, the most disruptive technology ever, or is that the internal combustion engine (what a terrible name!), it will benefit hugely from effective communication (both transmission & reception) or as some might say universal engagement.
The follow on conference in 2012 may be called “The Budapest Conference on Cyberspace” so it’s over to them now, but we thought we’d just check …………
Here we’ve decided we’ll continue to call it the net, or t’internet, ….. until we change our minds!
* @Talkingmental Katya Battlefront (17) is campaigning to help dispel the stigma around mental health issues and you can help by pledging your support on her web page as well as following her campaign on Facebook and Twitter.