Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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consumption production

as I travel around the country, tryin' teach folks about web publishing,
I'm noticing folks is understanding that

if technology is a great big party,
we want to be sure to invite lots of folks

if only so they don't crash the party
but mostly because everyone should be able to have this much fun

technology fun in the twenty first century being jobs and information access and perhaps then power

so people are starting to donate computers and time and phone lines to schools and churches and public libraries

like microsoft in 1996 gave 3.1 million to help 15 empowerment zones - rural and urban depressed areas, get computers and internet connections in public libraries.

without firsthand knowledge, my understanding is that these computers are being set up as research tools

which is great, right, to give those folks access to information they would never have otherwise had

but givin' folks yahoo and a mouse ain't the path to enlightenment

it's a start
and the closest thing to making the internet tv like

cuz we're teaching the broadest band of folks, initiating the unexposed to computers as a passive project

click here for stuff
which is active information retrieval
but they aren't producing anything, contributing to the community.

there's nothing that gives folks a sense of their power through technology like seeing themselves in it. that doesn't mean reading about other pepsi bottlecap collectors as much as it does seeing their picture, or someone they know with a web page

or even better, being shown how easy it would be to have their own site, or how much they could do with it, or how they might make contact with folks through it.

as we spread technology far and wide, and endeavor to include folks in the brave new internetted world
we should not strive to make of them mere consumers of information
rather, the true power of technology lies in their power to produce, to communicate through the internet with other folks

it is precisely those poor and disenfranchised folk who should be sharing their stories over the wires, and using e-mail to network to create empowerment and opportunity

so I say to you, if you have the opportunity to see a computer put into a public school, or a library wired up for internet access,
be sure there's someone in the immediate vicinity who knows html. make sure that they feel charged to teach their community

they should produce to reflect their surroundings, and encourage their folk to share of themselves over the wires

personally speaking, it has opened so many doors, so much moreso when I am saying something, and not just clicking away

attention is the commodity of the net - folks need to see that they can command attention with personal writing
not simply spend attention in click-choosable tv.

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