I noticed Edd had written on his identi.ca profile page: "I love the web."
And that's an echo of the very first thing that I ever posted on gilest.org: "Hello, my name is Giles, and I love the internet."
That's meant sincerely, I say it despite the spam, the arrogant bloggers, the popups, the YouTube commenters, and the design-by-committee. There's so much that's awful and depressing but that's not what draws me and Edd and all of you into it. No, what we're attracted to is the potential. Even after all these years of being online most of the time, most days, we can still trip over something challenging, exciting, interesting or even beautiful. The web brings all this stuff to us directly, and our minds are stimulated further.
I couldn't write a weekly column about it if I didn't make at least one of those discoveries every week. I'm still finding them, and still enjoying them.
The web's stuffed full of crap. Our secret - yours, mine, Edd's, most of the people we know - is that we can filter out the crap, see past it, ignore it most of the time. Our eyes and our mouse-button fingers know the paths to avoid, so we can skirt round the rubbish and concentrate our time on the good stuff.
Our friends and acquaintances (the offline people we know - mine are the mums at the school gate, yours might be the folks at the book group or the football club or the regulars at the pub) think we're weird because we spend so much time online, but that's only because they think we see the same web that they do. And we don't at all. Our web is so much more interesting, so much less dominated by commercialism and arrogance and foonity.
We do it because we love it, and we love it because we know it's endlessly amazing.
File -> Open -> New Tab.
(7th July 2008)