Here at Urban Times, we are all about love for the Internet. It’s the foundation for our dreams. So, we want to do something to celebrate and tribute this love. We are setting up a wall dedicated to our love for the internet; Web Love. All you have to do to be involved is to use the hashtag #weblove and your words can be shared and compared, so that everyone finally understands what those millions of voices are protecting.
It can’t have escaped anyone’s attention that we are in the era of online activism. The Arab Spring, the SOPA blackout campaign and the Occupy Movement have demonstrated the power of social media as a strong tool for organising and enlightening the masses.
Our environment and the urban landscapes which surround us can be truly stunning. Thanks to the surge in popularity of smartphones (because we can’t bear to be without our beloved internet) and the advent of social sharing through flickr, instagram and social networks, we see more of this than ever before. From street art to architecture, everyone is now a photographer and curator of the world around us.
It’s an almost indisputable fact that all things in the universe lead back to cats. Cat videos, LOLcats, status updates about the latest adventures of our friends’ cats… We’re not sure what caused this phenomenon, but since it produces items like this, we’re happy to let it continue.
There is a solution to be found to any moral, philosophical or ethical dilemma online. While some answers are less reputable than others, the ability to have a live chat on a regular basis with the fabulous Dear Prudence should be enough to convince anyone of the internet’s problem-solving powers.
The web is designed to be accessible to everyone. We’re lucky enough in Europe to have almost universal web access, and developing nations are joining us online in greater numbers. By using the same tools and sharing the same online space, we encourage participation and equality in a way that we’ve never been able to before. Furthermore so much is free – embrace the sheer wealth of information and tools available that don’t cost you a penny.
The site which irreversibly brought social networking to the world. Through Facebook, over 800 million users can potentially communicate with one another in real time. That’s not to say we shouldn’t shed some love on the vast range of other social networking sites such as Twitter, MySpace, Reddit, Digg, Stumble Upon, Skype, World of Warcraft… the list goes on.
If the #weblove trend last week is anything to go by, our readers LOVE Google. The search engine has become such a vital tool in our everyday lives that we’ve made it a verb. Think about the achievement that Google represents: every piece of information available online catalogued, categorised and able to be retrieved in a fraction of a second using just a few words. When I was at school the suggestion of such a tool would have been enough to get the librarian’s cardigan in a real twist… Oh and let’s not forget about Google Doodle.
Would you like to learn how to build a house? Make your own version of the secret sauce in a Big Mac? Make the perfect paper aeroplane? Crochet? Bake? Dougie? There’s no limit to the number of guides available online; eHow has built an entire business model out of their simple online instructions.
In difficult economic times, it is a beacon of hope for British workers. Google has predicted that 365,000 jobs which are directly connected to the internet could be created in the UK over the next three years.
Bored? You shouldn’t be. We have more access than ever before to games, articles, comics and social communities than ever before. While we agree it’s best to step away from the screen every now and then, where else is better to find out about some some local event or activity?
Let your freak flag fly!
Whatever your interest, you will find a community of like-minded people to play along with. Whether you’re a devout Christian who’s also a fan of Insane Clown Posse, an adult male My Little Pony obsessive, or you just really, really like ice.
Our news sources have completely changed in recent years. Twitter breaks some of the biggest stories before major news outlets get even a sniff of the story. From a dramatic New York plane crash in 2009 to Whitney Houston’s death, social media users get to share events as they happen, and before editorial policies dictate the coverage. Even scrutiny of the press is being live-tweeted, and the ongoing twitter updates on the Leveson enquiry continue to keep the public informed. And the face of major news has evolved too as partially user-generated behemoths like the Huffington Post have also changed the way that news gets reported.
The internet is the home of open-source, and we hope it stays that way. You can do amazing things with the vast array of Wikis such as RepRap.org where, were the urge to take you, you have all you need to build your own 3D printer. That’s why we get so passionate about ACTA, and continue to fight it.
Democracy takes on a whole new meaning. With more people than ever given access to resources, information, and those who make important decisions – “netizens” have a new-found influence on society and the world around them.
No more smug glances from “Stephen Hawkings Football Boots” at the next pub quiz. You’ve got Google on your team. (Yes, that is cheating, but only if someone finds out…)
Have you been Rickroll’d yet?
BBC iPlayer is one of the most popular services ever launched by the Beeb and Spotify has surged in popularity since they launched their integrated Facebook service. We love being able to access the media we choose at a time that’s convenient, so much so that collectively our mobile data and bandwidth usage has never been higher!
Because of our ability to access programming on demand, and have greater choice than ever, the face of television is completely changing.
Your favourite optimistic, forward-thinking, online magazine.
The internet would not have grown in size and scope to the extent it has without people dedicating their time and resources, for free, to make it a better place.
The largest and best known volunteer endeavour online. Wikipedia, we couldn’t live with out you.
When I asked my friends what they loved most about the internet, you can probably guess what the most common answer was… The .xxx domain will be sure to keep them amused for years to come. GOOD Magazine did an excellent video infographic on the pervasiveness of the Porn industry several years ago.
Zoosk and friends
What would you place in your A-Z of #weblove?