Today is International Museum Day, if you didn’t know. The Internet is the epitome of an International Museum, so today it deserves some special recognition.
Truly, what would we do without Museums? I’ve spent some of the more memorable moments of my life inside them.
- Drawing for hours in the Museum of Natural History in Lincoln, NE.
- The first time I saw Gauguin’s jarring color of sunshine-infused blue in Woman with Mango inside the Chicago Institute of Art.
- The shock of the minute Mona LIsa with her bigger-than-life reputation — and the ridiculousness of people snapping pictures of it in the Louvre.
- Fascination with brushstrokes in the OK City Nat’l Cowboy Museum.
- More recently, at the Science Museum in Phoenix, the spectacle of my energetic son taking on contenders for the Mindball game in which the one with the greatest power to relax (brianwaves were detected through headgear) controlled the movement of a ball to win. Kids were lining up to try and beat him; I sure as heck couldn’t!
So today on National Museum Day, I pay my ongoing respects and pose a question:
If the Internet had a Museum, what would it look like?
When the Internet turned 40 years old in 2009, the Guardian published this interesting article. Remarkable and fitting that we can easily go read it right now! Chew on these morsels of Internet history, like the first email and the first ebay auction (it was a broken laser pointer). And think back to your first moments experiencing the same things.
Here are a few of mine (dates are my best recollection):
1994: My girlfriend was enchanted by these new online chatrooms. One day I was babysitting her four year old when he asked me to turn on the computer and “do what his mom does” on the computer. I had no idea how to find her chatrooms, but I watched in wonder as his little tiny hands showed me all the things his mom’s computer could do! And he didn’t even know how to read yet!
1995: Amazon advertised its online bookstore — on the radio.
1996: I was working in sales at a semiconductor equipment company in Sunnyvale, CA and had a new account to visit. My techie friend showed me how to use Mapquest to find an address in Mountain View, CA. I printed it off and was on my way.
1997: I was there when my friend at my urging signed up for his first eBay account. He offhandedly typed in an idiotic, juvenile term for his username and we had a little laugh, thinking eBay was a passing trend. Years later, Ebay contacted him (Hello, S_ _ _ head,”) about his inappropriate public persona and asked him to correct it.
2000: Before we moved from California to Texas I went Internet house-hunting. When I met with my real estate agent, I located our new home within one day — and already knew what it looked like! today I find vacation condos the very same way.
2003 or 2004: I created my first website on ItsMySite.com and showed art dolls and crafts I made. I just checked if it was still in existence and it’s so spooky; it looks exactly the same.
2005: Joined Blogger — aBirdinFlight@blogspot.com and started blogging about fiber art and my kids…I had no idea what I was doing. It was a place to play.
2006: I suggested that my kid’s school start a blog about its community service and started writing copy for other non profits, charities and businesses (both online and in print). Well, I’ve been at it ever since.
Sometimes I think I “get it” and other times I’m in starry-eyed wonder at this digital world we call the Internet. Funny to imagine that we might be at the very beginning baby steps of the existence of this wonderful invention…
The International Internet Museum’s permanent collection grows by kingdoms every day!