Back in the nineties, the Internet was a mysterious place. A new technology. No fancy browsers, no sleek online tools – low-bandwidth modem connections were the bottleneck. Crappy images and a handful of text-based IRC, MUD clients were the reality. Three forces ruled this market:
- Tech / Geek / Games
While I don’t want to discuss the first two, the social aspect of the Internet is currently being rediscovered. For a number of us, it started with the Internet Relay Chat or MUDs. A longer while later came ICQ. And then hell broke lose. Marketing reps appeared out of nowhere and someone said: “The Internet is OURS! We knew it would be from the start!” IRC died slowly, chats weren’t popular in the early adopters group. Different age groups started to appear online, more women started to appear online. A whole new cake.
Now we are talking about online personal branding.
Here’s the point. Back in the ol’ days, it occurred to some of us that by embracing the net we strive to gain more [virtual] meaning, yet end up with a prosthesis of a social life. With the exception of family and friends, real value is about becoming someone and not simply being someone. It’s good to look for real value in our presence online.