ONEWEBDAY 2012: Participation & reaction on Twitter

On September 22, Intel celebrated OneWebDay 2012 along with thousands of other active Internet users from around the world. Intel awarded the most active Internet users from Spain, Russia, South Africa and Germany with Intel Ultrabooks.

The aim of this OneWebDay Ultrabook giveaway was to surprise highly active Internet users in each country by rewarding them with newly developed technology to ensure they get the most of their beloved World Wide Web.

The new Intel Ultrabooks were given to the following internet users:

  • @davegreenway - South Africa
  • @david_arraez – Spain
  • @casi – Germany
  • @ekozlov- Russia

Congrats to these lucky Internet users!

The campaign also triggered a lot of buzz amongst Twitter users in different countries and was supported by Intel’s local Twitter pages. Technology fans might be interested to know that Intel has its own local Twitter pages in many countries and interacts with its followers several times a day (including weekends).

Intel Africa

Intel Africa supports OneWebDay 2012

To find out more about Intel’s social media activities in South Africa as well as how participation and Twitter reactions regarding OneWebDay 2012 went, be sure to check out the following: Intel Africa: @Intel_Africa

Let us know if you participated in OneWebDay 2012 and what you think if this global campaign that supports fair and open use of the Internet.

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INTEL GIVEAWAY: For the love of the web and technology

OneWebDay is the day to celebrate a wonderful thing we all love and cherish. Something most of us would be lost without – the Internet. OneWebDay is a global event held every September 22 (since 2006) to celebrate the Internet and also to raise awareness of the importance of open networking principles that have made it the success that it is.

Intel are celebrating OneWebDay by giving away Intel Ultrabooks in Spain, Russia, South Africa and Germany. How did they get selected? For their love of the Internet! They’ve been highly engaged and active online and Intel wanted to reward them by giving them an Ultrabook to ensure they get the most of the online world with a proper Ultrabook.

The suggested theme for this year’s events is to emphasize local content as a way of making the Internet available and useful for our communities. Earlier in the year a joint report of the Internet Society, UNESCO, and the OECD – The Relationship Between Local Content, Internet Development, and Access Prices – revealed just how important local content is to building a connected society.

Mr Markus Kummer from the Internet Society stated:

“This study confirms the strong relationship between local content and Internet infrastructure. Keeping the traffic local and building up local content is key for improving access to the Internet. As the volume of local content increases around the world, the Internet becomes more relevant and has a greater impact on improving the lives of local communities.”

The coming rollout of many more Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) in many non-western scripts can only serve to accelerate this process.

So how can you participate in OneWebDay?

  • On September 22, celebrate OneWebDay on Twitter by singing praise to the benefits of an Open Internet by using the hashtag #OneWebDay
  • Add the OneWebDay badge to your website/blog. Organize and participate in local events. Check what groups are in your area and collaborate!
  • At local events, and in social media, feature local content makers, bloggers, wikipedians, webcasters, websites, etc.
  • Contribute a story to the OneWebDay stories blog. Tell us what your favorite local content sites are and why, and comment on other people’s stories. There are some great stories and videos on here already from previous years. Be sure to check them out.

Susan Crawford, the founder of OneWebDay, offers some more background as well as other ways we can get involved with OneWebDay in this video interview with Rocketboom.

Susan Crawford of OneWebDay

I was interested to learn how OneWebDay was inspired by Earth Day. A view of our fragile Earth from the perspective of space makes us understand that we have something important to protect. Like the web, and issues of censorship, lack of access and not enough personal input, we need to work together to protect it and steer it in the right direction for the future. Let's get involved!

Useful Links:

  • The Internet Society – started in 1992 by the founders of the Internet as an organizational home to the Internet Engineering Task Force. The Internet Society now has more than 100 organisational and more than 28 000 individual members in over 80 chapters around the world - all working to ensure best practices, policies and development of the web.
  • At-Large – the community of individual Internet users who participate in the policy development work of ICANN. Currently, more than 100 groups represent the views of individual Internet users throughout the world, participating in building the future of the worldwide Domain Name System (DNS).

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WOTE: A Fairytale of New York and YouTube

IT'S fantastic how more and more people are using the Internet to start and build their careers. It gives a strong indication of what the online public wants, it creates entrepreneurs and employment and it gives us more variety and choice when spending time on the Internet.

YouTube specifically is becoming the most impressive stage for career launching. Look at someone like Ray William Johnson who basically creates YouTube videos about YouTube videos and gets millions of views within days. He has a full production crew, merchandise, a charity and cool hair.

One group that I have been lucky to discover only this year via YouTube are Walk Off The Earth. They're probably most famously known for their rendition of Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye, which they all play on one guitar. This has racked up nearly 105 million views on YouTube. There is also a great parody of this by The Key of Awesome btw.

The Key Of Awesome WOTE Parody - Somebody That I Used To Know

But I digress. Walk Off The Earth are fantastic. The group consists of freelance musicians and a couple of members who were doing their own thing on the web. They have come together as Walk Off The Earth and have fast become quite well known. They have been featured on a few talk shows including The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Walk Off The Earth also have their own Wikipedia entry. Here's a short splurb about their early beginnings:

"Walk off the Earth is a Canadian indie band formed in 2006 in Burlington, Ontario. They have gained success around the world by making low-budget music videos of covers and originals. The band built their fan base independently with no help from record labels, booking agents or management" - Wikipedia

Part of their success has come from allowing YouTube viewers to suggest covers for Walk Off The Earth to play. In fact much of their work encourages interactivity or participation by fans.

One fan suggested a particular favourite of mine which I honestly can't get enough of. It's Fairytale of New York by Sarah Blackwood and Gianni Luminati. To date the video has received over 1 million views. I'm responsible for just over half of that and is what I really want to show you.

Fairytale of New York - Gianni and Sarah

I have such a crush on Sarah Blackwood.

PS: Can anyone work out the chords and tabs that the two lovebirds are using in this song? I'm dead keen to learn how to play this!

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HAPPY FRIDAY: How the Internet really started

WELL, you might have thought that you knew how the Internet started, but here's the true story ...

In ancient Israel, it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dot.

And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she was often called Amazon Dot Com.

And she said unto Abraham, her husband: "Why dost thou travel so far from town to town with thy goods when thou canst trade without ever leaving thy tent?"

And Abraham did look at her - as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said: "How, dear?"

And Dot replied: "I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale, and they will reply telling you who hath the best price. And the sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah's Pony Stable (UPS)."

Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. And the drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever having to move from his tent.

To prevent neighbouring countries from overhearing what the drums were saying, Dot devised a system that only she and the drummers knew.

It was called Must Send Drum Over Sound (MSDOS). She also developed a language to transmit ideas and pictures - Hebrew To The People (HTTP).

But this success did arouse envy. A man named Macabia did secrete himself inside Abraham's drum and began to siphon off some of Abraham's business. But he was soon discovered, arrested and prosecuted for insider trading.

And the young men did take to Dot Com's trading as doth the greedy horsefly take to camel dung. They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Sybarites, or NERDS.

And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going to that enterprising drum dealer, Brother William of Gates, who bought off every drum maker in the land. And indeed did he insist on drums to be made that would work only with Brother Gates' drumheads and drumsticks.

And Dot did say: "Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others."

And Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel , or eBay as it came to be known. He said: "We need a name that reflects what we are."

And Dot replied: "Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators."
"YAHOO," said Abraham. And because it was Dot's idea, they named it YAHOO Dot Com.

Abraham's cousin, Joshua, being the young Gregarious Energetic Educated Kid (GEEK) that he was, soon started using Dot's drums to locate things around the countryside. It soon became known as God's Own Official Guide to Locating Everything (GOOGLE).

And that is how it all began.

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ARGUMENT: The Internet impairs our ability to contemplate and concentrate for long, sustained periods of time

AN ex-colleague of mine (Ryan Calder) started an interesting debate about the Internet on Facebook. He was asking whether or not people thought that the Internet (and cyber culture in general) impairs our ability to concentrate. Some of the comments were quite interesting.

Does the Internet impair our ability to concentrate?

Kathryn: It's a complete problem. I actually disconnect when I have to graft properly now. It's to easy to justify looking at loads of irrelevant poop when you're permanently online.

T.J.: I have to force myself to write sometimes in places without the internet, and it's like de-toxing.

Ryan: At least your attention span isn't completely diminished... you both managed to engage in this status update momentarily.

Hayden: Yup, and video games and cartoons too. The brain learns to discard information at the same rate it receives it. What it doesn't learn to do is differentiate between PC time and real time so we end up discarding information constantly even when we shouldn't.

Lesley: Those of us who teach have seen this change for years! Certainly true. Not just the Internet - all technology.

Ryan: But isn't the Internet subsuming most technology? So increasingly, most gadgets have the Internet inherent in them?

Hayden: It is, and I find that the things I want to do have become over reliant on the internet. We have been conditioned into being reliant on the web for many things we wouldn't have been able to do in the past. Also most gadgets don't work without internet connectivity so we're stuck.

Marek: Ryan, I agree with you. People don't read anything else than short status updates and re-posts, moving constantly from one to the next. It is like people develop ADD from the moment they learn to use a mouse.

Tamlyn: Have you seen what it's doing to teenagers' spelling and grammar!? If you look at the Facebook page of the average teenager it looks like the person is half-witted!! I often have to have a 'face break' as I call it and take a week or so of no FB and of read books only.... feels like I'm saving my brain cells when I do it!

Marek: I do not entirely agree with Hayden on the video games and comics, though. Some of these require intense concentration.

Hayden: They do Marek but the rate of information being sent to the brain is so high that one cannot possibly retain it all so the brain sees it and discards it moments later as the games progress. So while they promote reasoning and good response they also train the brain to rapidly discard information that isn't immediately relevant. I see it in my own children and how it affects proper learning. It makes it that much more difficult to teach them when their brain is constantly discarding what they are presented with. As a result I limit video games to just a few hours on weekends.

Marek: Tamlyn, not only teenagers' spelling and grammar, but many adults too. And it is not the internet, but texting on cellphones, which usually with a certain level of maturity improve. It is also linked to social standing, and level of education with certain racial groups more prone than others.

Marek: I agree with you there, Hayden. I personally do not play video games, and I fully agree with you limiting childrens' gaming, using Whatsapp, Mxit and Facebook. I have a 20 year old student recently moving in with me, who in the beginning was constantly texting on Whatsapp. Meals are taken sitting down at the table, phones are left ringing or switched off, plugged out, with me setting the example. Texting now after a mere 3 months has been reduced to the bare minimum. Now I just have to get him off 9Gag :-)

Hayden: In our house too. My children will only get phones and Facebook etc. when there is a need for it. At dinner time Skype etc. gets ignored and we now only eat in front of the TV on a Friday pizza night as a treat. No phones at the table either. They only get discovery channel etc. in the morning as I find the cartoons just pout them in idle mode, which isn't good before school. Two hours of TV at night and that's it.

Andre: Case in point: I just read this thread and can't remember what the original status was. That being said, I do love knowing everything in the blink of an eye.

Marek: I don't have TV. I refuse to have the drone in the background, or constant streaming of propaganda and other mindless rubbish into my home. I prefer to choose what I allow into my home, and that applies to people too.

Hayden: Case in point. I just Googled a quote to "remember" where it was from. Too much effort to remember the old school way.

Marek: hahahahaha, I often have to Google stuff too, but I do have dictionaries lying around on my desk, just in case Google is wrong.

Hayden: I find it easier to type a quote in rather than wrack my brains to remember. Bad news I tell you.

Dave: It isn't the internet per se but our connectedness to it. Change to my provider and enjoy automatically facilitated periods of contemplation.

Hayden: ha ha ha, you mean downtime Dave?

Dave: Yeah. Except that downtime usually only provokes the kind of contemplation that focuses negatively on the service provider and raises blood pressure.

Ryan: Contemplation is becoming increasingly difficult. My brain thinks differently to how it used to. It only functions if there are diversions. It's a problem... I haven't even read all these comments...

Hilary: And I thought it was old age that was doing that!

Barrett: False... I am dyslexic and find it helps.

Galen: Interesting discussion! We are living in an era of instant gratification, which is largely fueled by web-culture. I think the shocking spelling & grammar is not a result of the Internet but rather created by teenagers themselves. Re video games: this really depends on what is played. They can do wonders for lateral & creative thinking, hand-eye co-ords and arguably even improve eyesight. I'd much rather have all the above than be fed television and have my brain die.

Marita: One of the contributing factors is surely that people no longer read books. There are so many digital connections out there that there is never any reason to pick up a book. A book demands that you get involved, concentrate on the characters and remember who they are. When young people come to University they are overwhelmed by the amount of required reading, because they have never developed the skill.

Barrett: The main point is that parents are being ripped off and kids not given the education they deserve. It has been proven that the SA education system is a mess and not worth the paper its written on.

*****

I'd like to note that I had to correct spelling and grammar for nearly every single one of these comments. Case in point?

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