Betty asks: Is it redundant to blog about my appreciation for the Internet?
Probably; but there is just so much THERE there, if you know where to look.
Don't misconstrue me: I dislike e-mail and I hate ads and I hate computer-induced isolation (that actually sounds like a new Apple product: iSolation). But I just loooove the following free perks. In fact, they have all changed my life a little bit. Maybe they will change yours?:
1. Despite the much-touted breadth of the Net, blogs and web can be particularly powerful at the local level. Your Local Public Library's website can tell you what books and films are in and what's not and you can usually reserve and renew books and films through the site. Meetup.com connects people around specific interests and discussions, and pulls them off the computer.
2. iGive.com - Sign up on behalf your favorite good cause and they get a donation each time you shop at places like half.com and Netflix.
3. Speaking of Netflix, have you heard of Netflux? The Internet is always, always introducing new words into language.
4. Pandora Internet Radio is so awesome! You type in the name of an artist or a SONG you like and it feeds you continuous music based on your initial input, most of it stuff you've never heard before. May I suggest "Otis Redding Radio", "Justin Timberlake Radio", "R.E.M. Radio" and "Love Is a Battlefield Radio"?
5. Petfinder.com connects you to abandoned and neglected animals in your zip code. You can sponsor or adopt them, or simply contribute to the organizations that take care of them and save them from rougher fates.
6. Wikipedia current events - While Betty shudders to think of Wikipedia as the omnipotent information source some lazybutts would have it be, the current events page is a terrific complement to Google News. Betty also likes Wikipedia's Random Page feature, and suggests you designate it as your web browser's opening page for many pleasant and educational surprises each day!
7. Gawker Media Sites like Deadspin, Gawker and Lifehacker are intelligent, zingy/gut-busting/boffo and above all self-aware sites when it comes to the potential of the Internet to alter consciousness and change our lives. Perhaps this is why I feel compelled to post this list and to also ask for your ideas about what's good on the Internet. The more aware we are of how we're using this tool - which has become almost transparent in our work and home lives - the better we will resist it when we want and need to.