November 23, 1998 - Newsletter #3

By Vince Barnes

G O O D I E S T O G O ! (tm)
November 23, 1998 - Newsletter #3

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Please visit http://www.htmlgoodies.com.
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Hi Newsletter folk...

Since the last time Goodies To Go showed up in your e-mail box, there was a fantastic meteor shower. It happened last Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. You know where I watched it? On the Internet via streaming video. There might be something vaguely sad about that, but all the space dust wasn't hitting our area until 3AM. I didn't know there was still a three AM. I slept right through it. Luckily I could watch it the next morning while drinking my cup of Bananas Foster flavored coffee.

The last newsletter prompted some letters. One gentleman was nice enough to let me know that I had rambled on about my book, but never gave the price. Thank you citizen! I now have a valid reason to ask you for money. The book is $19.95 in the stores, but you get 20 percent off if you buy it online through Barnes and Nobles online. There's a link from the HTML Goodies Home Page:

http://www.htmlgoodies.com

The book is 400 plus pages with a full color pull out that contains all the color codes and ampersand commands. It really is worth the money. I know that sounds like a pitch coming from the author, but it really is cool. Plus it has a full-color picture of me. Not just the silly cartoon character on the Goodies website either. It's a real, honest to goodness, likeness of me. I don't know if that will sell any books, but it was worth a shot.

I'm always nervous when writing these newsletters that they won't be very interesting to read. So I'm going to throw in a bonus this time around. The book has, what I think, is a pretty interesting "Preface" that explains they entire history of HTML Goodies and then has a section called "What is All the Fuss About?" It's a short explanation of why I think the Internet is so popular. I thought that you might find it interesting so I am including a short version in the newsletter. It's coming up right after I tell you all about the new Stuff at HTML and Java Goodies.

>>>>>>>>>>What is All the Fuss About?

The actual text in the book is much longer, but this should give you a good feel for what I'm getting at. Enjoy it.

My aunt asked me the other day what all the fuss was about the World Wide Web and all I could say was "the Web is really, really cool."

That answer didnt satisfy her, nor me. So I went on a quest to find out. After asking 500 net users a few questions, heres what I found.

The Internet is a form of communication.

Thats a nice academic way of saying that this web of phone lines and big bulky servers is actually we humans communicating more than it is the information super highway.

This web of computers is not primarily being used to go out and get information like the super highway name would imply, but rather its being used to link up people who share the same interests.

When the Internet began to move outside the realm of nerd-ville and into the hands of anyone who could shell out the money for a computer, some people thought it was going cocoon us in our homes, breaking us of the need or ability to communicate face to face.

I believe that the cocoon phase had already occurred by the time the Internet hit. In the 80s we didnt have to go to the movies because of video tape. Any and all food items being brought to your door was big. Cable TV and the movie channels started up. We were already beginning to shut up the doors before the Internet.

Why I think the net caught on was because it was cool to those already shut in, yes, but also because it allowed a way to get the human communication we all need to exist. Now this fancy box was no longer just a plaything. It had become another person. In words only, but still another person talking back. A good conversation, no matter what the medium, is quite addictive.

Face to face communication is tough. I see you seeing me when I talk. I know if Im boring you. A pretty or handsome face makes it difficult to find clever words. With this little box in front of me, I can be whomever I want. I can change my name. I can think my words through before writing them. It is quite liberating.

The home page is becoming the business card of the 21st century. I know some people feel that they do not have enough interesting information regarding themselves to post a home page. Im here to tell you, thats probably not true.

It seemed a bit nepotistic, but I put pictures of my two cats on my first home page. The World Wide Web had just gotten started and some computer folk balked. They told me that that my page should be for reserved more important things. Who cares about cats?

Well, a lot of people cared about cats. In fact, the cat pictures received the most e-mail of any part of the page. I wrote that my 25-pound Maine Coon had a habit of choosing the carpet over the little box.

I was amazed at the amount of mail I received from people giving advice on how to solve the problem, how to get stains off of the carpets, how to correctly chastise the cat for doing it, and just general statements that their cats did it too. It was real people enjoying each others interests for no other good reason than they could.

You are important. What you like is important. Not only to you, but to other people. Communicate. Put up a home page. Tell the world who you are and what youre about. Yes, youll meet a few jerks along the way, but for the most part, Ill bet you find the World Wide Web as inviting as I have.

I think thats what all the fuss is about.

Thanks for reading,

Joe Burns

"And Remember: 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321"

Archive Home Page.


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