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Summary:

Remember the early days of the internet? (Or depending on how old you are, remember when you first discovered the internet?) For most of us, that was a time of magic: discovering hundreds of different interests and distractions, learning that search engines could bring everything to […]

Remember the early days of the internet? (Or depending on how old you are, remember when you first discovered the internet?) For most of us, that was a time of magic: discovering hundreds of different interests and distractions, learning that search engines could bring everything to your fingertips, joing communities and connecting with other people. As web workers, we’ve gone on to harness the web for our careers. Meanwhile, the web itself hasn’t been standing still either; every time you wake up, there’s something new and innovative out there.

The question is: are there still parts of the internet that have that early magical feeling for you? Are you excited by the latest Web 2.0 sites, or social networking, or projects like Microsoft Silverlight or Adobe AIR? Why not share your finds and help the rest of us get out of the mid-week doldrums? If there’s some part of the web that keeps you coming back for more, what is it?

By Mike Gunderloy

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  1. I have been very excited about Twitter ever since I started following people who have jobs similar to mine. There are TONS of academic technology folks on Twitter, and they can just post something as simple as “I’m checking out this site, it’s great!” and in that simple statement, I have a new resource to share with my own colleagues. The simple sharing without too much commitment makes it a great tool each day. Also, it is fun and stress-free!

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  2. Mike,

    My first thought was, hmmmm, excitement? Not much really. I must be jaded!

    Then I remembered. Music! Pre-internet, I kept lists and scoured record shops for albums, many of which I never found or wouldn’t pay 30 or 40 bucks for as an import.

    I skipped the file-sharing revolution because I didn’t feel right about stealing. Then I found emusic.com and immediately found tunes I had only read about. We’re talking non-mainstream stuff.

    Recently, through a long path starting from Kevin Kelly through David Byrne, I got to Aurgasm. That led me to a web of MP3 blogs that I’m still exploring – full of tunes from around the world I could never have hoped to find or hear 15 years ago.

    Some of it I like enough to shell out for, so artists get a little more than they would have if I never heard them. Hopefully all the exposure and sales, even a song at a time, helps artists keep pursuing their music.

    This may be a naive question, but have all these great bands always been out there, just with no way to connect to an audience outside their local area? Seems like a musical renaissance to me, courtesy of the Internet. That’s exciting.

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  3. One of the most exciting things on the web these days is its ability to spread things now that people are networked. Look at lolcatz or obama girl or anything else.

    Image what would happen if more people applied this viral ability to do good instead of just having fun.

    Sites like The Point where people are grouping to together make things happen is the next stage of web interaction

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  4. As a developer, I’m excited (still) about Amazon’s webservices (EC2, S3 et al).

    And generally speaking, it excites me that the offline world is getting closer to the online. It’s no longer geeky to have an email account – you’re a dinosaur if you don’t have one.

    With that in mind, anything where an online application or website is interacting with “real life” is interesting. Where the web is actually being useful and impacts day-to-day life.

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  5. I get excited about a cool new feature from one of the web apps I use, or even a really well designed site.

    It’s also nice to discover a web app you have not heard of. Being a photographer, I like the plugins for web-based presentations for apps like Lightroom.

    It’s only going to get better! :-)

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  6. Margreet Tiwow Saturday, April 26, 2008

    I get excited about mashups that are brilliant yet so simple at the same time. A great example I find this website (found through http://www.Shinyshiny.tv: http://www.getlondonreading.co.uk/Home
    It shows books linked to google earth based on their narrative settings.

    Another one that gets me really excited if I stumple upon interesting resources through social bookmarking. Gives a good buzz every time!

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  7. Maybe my last REAL excitement was when I discovered Netvibes, which means I haven’t been really impressed on what’s “new” on the web for a while!!!

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  8. Any time data is simplified so that I can access it anywhere, it makes me happy. Also, web2.0 apps that diconnect me from any one single computer make me happy. I don’t work in front of a single computer at work, so being able to get everything from any internet connection makes me happy. Also, iTunes+ and my iPhone make me happy.

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  9. I’m currently excited by the green blogosphere, because it’s turning slowly to constructive conversation, instead of only “non-actionable” field reports. I see a parallel with the early stage open source projects. Of course, they mainly used mailing lists back then. People from different cities, different continents, who often have never met each other are educating each other, and developing solutions to complex problems fully in the open.

    I think it’s the epitome of web working.

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  10. Good question, thanks for that. And it is interesting to read other folks’ inputs.

    To me, Twitter comes to mind in terms of pure excitement. The next is RSS (and not just because we do a lot of products ourselves using that – Geexoo ). I know, RSS is not exactly new, but the very aspect of everything coming to you instead of you going to everything is quite exciting. And the many widgets and stuff like yahoo pipes that let you blend RSS feeds make this domain even more exciting to me.

    Apart from RSS & Twitter, mashups perhaps, but I must admit I have not used enough to say if the excitement will last!

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