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Caught in the Ubernet Web | Alvaré Associates, Inc.

Caught in the Ubernet Web | Alvaré Associates, Inc. | Anita Alvare Blog |
Anita Alvare's insight:

What did you do before the letters “www” meant something to you? (And don’t say, “I had a life.”).  When I learned that the World Wide Web was celebrating its 25th birthday last week, I was surprised that it had only  been around for 25 years. It seems like we’ve never lived without it. But we did. When we had a life.

People often confuse the Internet with the World Wide Web as though it’s one and the same.

It’s not.

The Internet – “a network of networks” – goes all the way back to pre-historic times (1969) when a UCLA student programmer sent a message from his computer to one at neighboring Stanford.

The World Wide Web was created 20 years later by Sir Tim Berners-Lee who first proposed an “information management” system that eventually became the conceptual and architectural structure for the Web.

For an invention that can seem soulless at times, the inventor himself by all accounts is a very generous human being.

On Christmas Day, 1990, he released the code for his system to the world - for free - giving ordinary folks like you and me the ability to access all manner of information and interact over the Internet.

This Oxford-educated brain-i-ac has a sense of humor, too. On his official bio he has a list of “Before You Email Me” advice. It includes this gem:

If you need someone to find something for you about some arbitrary subject (travel agents, or parakeets or whatever), don't ask me, but try the Virtual Library for example, or your favorite search engine.

(Who exactly thinks to email the creator of the Web…?).

What’s fascinating is that no one owns the Web/Net.

So if no one’s in control, who decides where it’s headed?

The Pew Research Center’s Internet Project recently conducted a survey entitled, “Digital Life in 2025,” which looked at the future of the Internet, the Web, and other digital activities.

In its summary, it suggested that “the Internet will become ‘like electricity’ - less visible, yet more deeply embedded in people’s lives for good and ill.”

Some interesting/sobering predictions of note:

Joe Touch, director at the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute: “The Internet will shift from the place we find cat videos to a background capability that will be a seamless part of how we live our everyday lives. We won’t think about ‘going online’ or ‘looking on the Internet’ for something - we’ll just be online, and just look.”

Judith Donath, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society: “We’ll have a picture of how someone has spent their time, the depth of their commitment to their hobbies, causes, friends, and family. This will change how we think about people, how we establish trust, how we negotiate change, failure, and success.”

Aron Roberts, software developer at the University of California-Berkeley: “We may well see wearable devices and/or home and workplace sensors that can help us make ongoing lifestyle changes and provide early detection for disease risks, not just disease.”

David Hughes, an Internet pioneer, who from 1972 worked in individual to/from digital telecommunications: “All 7-plus billion humans on this planet will sooner or later be ‘connected’ to each other and fixed destinations, via the Uber(not Inter)net.”

Llewellyn Kriel, CEO and editor in chief of TopEditor International Media Services: “Everything - every thing - will be available online with price tags attached. Cyber-terrorism will become commonplace. Privacy and confidentiality of any and all personal will become a thing of the past. Online ‘diseases’ - mental, physical, social, addictions (psycho-cyber drugs) - will affect families and communities and spread willy-nilly across borders.”

And perhaps the biggest takeaway from the study: The world will have universal access to all human knowledge.

I used to know a lot about a little. It’s looking like I may soon know a little about a lot.

Anita Alvare (bio)/Alvare Associates/610-520-6140
Information Technology, Internet, World Wide Web, The Pew Research Center’s Internet Project, Digital Life

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Scooped by Anita Alvare!

Bloomin’ Creative | Alvaré Associates, Inc.

Bloomin’ Creative | Alvaré Associates, Inc. | Anita Alvare Blog |
Anita Alvare's insight:

Where do your creative ideas come from? Have you had any lately? If not, maybe it’s because you’re too busy staring at that computer screen. Last week I left all that behind and treated myself to the intoxicating sights and scents of the Philadelphia Flower Show. After just a few hours there, it felt like my brain was literally exploding.

Albert Einstein said, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

I’ve depended on the flower show for my spring fix for the last 25 years. After nearly 60 inches of snow this winter, it was not a question of if  I would go but rather, how fast could I get there.

Philadelphia hosts the world’s oldest indoor flower show, dating back to 1829.

That’s the year the organizers introduced the public to the Christmas Poinsettia and the Fall Chrysanthemum.

The theme of this year’s Flower Show was ARTiculture: the combination of art and horticulture celebrating everyone from Michelangelo to Monet, Picasso to Pollock, and da Vinci to Dali.

Show designers collaborated with some of the nation’s greatest art museums to interpret great paintings. In the process, they created a10-acre living canvas of exquisite landscapes, gardens and floral arrangements.

Lest you think the show is just for little old ladies in comfortable shoes, think again.

The place was teeming with families taking advantage of the children’s programs.

A room full of butterflies and an aerial dance troop falling from the ceiling kept things hopping.

There were continuous live demonstration areas and you passed perfectly normal adults walking around with flower headpieces (known as “fascinators”) that they created themselves in a workshop that also included terrarium building.

I doubt the visitors in 1829 were saddling up to the bar in between smelling the roses but in the last few years the show has featured cocktails and food choices apart from the overpriced soft pretzels and hot dogs.

One of the show’s sponsors, Subaru, was giving discounts on car purchases and the Marketplace filled with vendors in the back end of the convention hall seemed to take up more space than the flower exhibits.

In other words, there was something for everyone. Good marketing.

I didn’t really walk away with any gardening ideas from this year’s exhibits.

But I was inspired by the spectacle all around me.

The floral interpretations were so bizarre that you had to look at them in a different way. This wasn’t about gardening. It was about creativity, unexpected connections and dazzling color.

But as we all know, creativity is very subjective.

One exhibit featured what could only be described as your (dead) winter garden. A landscape of dried-out beige stalks surrounding a beige bowl with a blue ceramic center.

It escapes me which classic piece of art this display was interpreting but my husband kept passing it and saying, “If I only had a match…”

If only. But the designer definitely got our attention and isn’t that what creativity is about?

Ideas – good and bad – come to us from many different places. Not all of them are usable but it’s important to keep sifting through them.

Many of them arrive via technology (much as I prefer to draw from nature).

Every week I receive hundreds of emails from photographers and designers trying to acquaint me with their work. I open every email. Every day.

You learn so much just by studying images.

It makes me more aware of trends in photography and design.

I notice color pairings I never considered before.

I’m exposed to subject matter and concepts that inspire my client work or solve a design problem.

But most of all, I’m intimidated and inspired by all the creativity that’s out there.

Surround yourself with beauty. And watch the ideas grow.

Anita Alvare (bio)/Alvare Associates/610-520-6140
Marketing, Creativity, Inspiration, Design, Philadelphia Flower Show

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