internet and the future

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Internet, Future, Old School Net Lingoes

Xah Lee, 2011-02-22

NY Times is reporting how South Korea is planning on gigabit internet, and how it, and Japan, and few other countries are way ahead of US.

The article is here: 〔〕 (i despise NY Times that requires you to register. Fuck them & die.)

As tech gallops into the future, it is apparent that internet is the primary pillar of communication. In many respects, it's already more important than telephone networks, or radio, TV .

See also: Internet Users World Map.

Geek Reaction to New Media

For many of us older geeks, many of the internet phenomena were regarded as gimmicks and fads. I can remember the dot com days, where online stores first started (was called e-store or e-commerce), and it was experimental — nobody knew if they gonna stick. Then there's AOL flood (see: Eternal September), then there's instant messaging, blogs, and there's web based email apps (e.g. yahoo, Hotmail, gmail). Many of these, in the beginning several years, Tech Geeker's thinking on them is like “what has the world coming to, where idiotic teens had to use IM to chat about what they are eating, or writing embarrassing diaries in public”. And the web-based email is quite silly. I remember, when it began in late 1990s, i was thinking, there are tens of email apps. Why would people use web-based one? Sure the access-everywhere is a advantage, but there's laptops. Dedicated email app has much more features, much more convenient to use. Web-based email are awkward to use, with limited storage, and most importantly, you don't have privacy.

Then, in the last few years, there's twitter and facebook. My first reaction after having learned what twitter is, was: “another idiotic instant drivel system used by teen girls”. And for facebook, it was like: “another social shit”. But as we know, many of these techs have changed the world in significant ways, largely for the better. (e.g. blogs are key in several important political events in US in 2000s. Also witness recent Egyptian Revolution of 2011, and Wikileak.)

Here's some Wikipedia links:

Old School Net Lingoes

For the sake of nostalgia, here's some terms that have gone.

Cyberspace. In 1990s, this was the word for the brand new concept of the internet. Now this word is only used in sci-fi context (which is the word's origin). Now, people just say “online”.

Hyperlink. Now just “links”. The word “URL” is also dying in public.

• “e-mail”. Now it's just “email”. Also, email today basically mean one of web-based emails services: gmail, yahoo mail, hotmail. People don't know what dedicated Email Apps are. (e.g. the oldies are: Eudora, Outlook/Express, Netscape, AOL mail “you've got mail!”.) And, email addresses (e.g. “”) that doesn't end in one of “” or yahoo msn site, is becoming strange. Sometimes, people will ask you if that's correct. You hardy see these addresses anymore.

Snail mail. The term was popular for a few years in around 2000 i think. To contrast it to email. People don't say “snail mail” anymore. It's email or postal mail.

• e-store. It's now just online store. The word “e-commerce” is dead too. Internet IS Commerce.

• “brick-n-stone store”. Was popular around 2000. It refers to stores on the street, as opposed to online store.

It's interesting to know the change of terms because it gives us some understanding and predictive power about terms that are currently popular, such as SEO, Social Networking, Social Media, tweet, facebook, etc.

I'm sure, the evolution of terms and lingoes have been explored by specialized linguistics. But anyhow, here's some of my random thoughts.

The term “blog” certainly survived, at least for now. I think it's because ultimately “blog” has different connotation than online diary or online log.

Many other terms died because as internet becomes more popular and critical, the special term used for the online version is simply not necessary anymore. For example, commerce is just commerce, not e-commerce. Store is just a store, not e-store, though people might refer specifically to the online version, as online store, but more often today people simply say “their website”, “amazon site”.

I do not think SEO, tweet, facebook, or even social networking will survive. As internet becomes more daily routine, there's no need to distinguish the online version. SEO is search engine optimization, particularly today connected with Google Search. But in say 5 or 10 years, it is questionable “search engine” per se will still have a prominent role on the web. It might just be “ask it”, or “search it”, or “search it in library”, where the “library” here refers to the web. Likewise, tweet and facebook are probably ephemeral, just like Instant Messaging and Skype has been. For “social networking” … We human animals do networking thousands years ago. The reach and penetration of our networking is directly proportional to our comm tech. Before internet, we network by phone and contacts and among co-workers and in professional communities by conferences and meetings. Before industrial age, we network by sending postal mails. Before that, by traveling by foot, sometimes across continents, to meet someone.

Also, TV broadcasting might be dead in few years. Instead, we just have internet tech based broadcasting.

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