Celebrate OneWebDay on September 22nd
A Holiday to Celebrate the Internet
Since 2006 the world-wide holiday known as One Web Day has been celebrated on the Internet.
The intent of the organizers from the start has been to have people world-wide recognize and celebrate the role of the Internet in our lives.
Started by Susan Crawford, a professor at the Cardozo School of Law and also a member of the Board of Directors of ICANN, the organization that is responsible for managing the assignment of internet addresses, created a website for the holiday and has been promoting the holiday every year since 2006.
Her idea continues to be to let the world-wide Internet community decide what specific values of the Internet are to be recognized and how to celebrate these values and the Internet as a whole.
Despite the fact that the OneWebDay holiday has yet to be a widely celebrated event, there is no question that the Internet itself has had a profound effect on the world's economy in its few short years of existence.
Internet Was Originally a Cold War Project
Created by the U.S. military back in the days of the Cold War to link its research and development activities world-wide, the Internet for years remained a U.S. military project and was off limits to the general public until the end of the Cold War.
AT that time the first President George Bush (former President George W. Bush) issued an order making the Internet available to the general public.
Even then, the Internet community consisted of mostly of researchers and some computer geeks who amused themselves by observing the different nodes the signal traversed as traveled to its destination.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the Creation of the World Wide Web
The big break came in the summer of 1991 when a researcher, Tim Berners-Lee, at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (known as CERN which is the acronym for its original name) published a paper describing the World Wide Web (WWW) project.
Berners-Lee had been working on the project that resulted in the creation of the World Wide Web. Included in the project was the creation of theHTML (hyper text markup language) language which he had also developed.
This was the birth of the World Wide Web, or web as we now know it as, and the easy to use HTML language.
Almost instantly, the web took off and, in less than ten years, one third of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the U.S. was being generated directly or indirectly by the web.
Whole industries grew up to provide web services, but the real impact of the web was the way it transformed, and continues to transform, existing industries.
Online Banking is But One Example of the Benefits of the Web
Take banking. I rarely visit the bank now days and, in fact, the main bank I deal with is located in another state and has no branches anywhere. With the exception of an occasional telephone call, I do all of my banking with this company via the Internet.
My employer deposits my pay directly into my checking account. I can then move the money electronically, 24/7, into other accounts for the family at that bank or to accounts at other banks.
When I do receive a paper check in the mail or have cash I want to deposit, I simply visit the local credit union and deposit the money into the ATM machine and then electronically move it to my main bank.
The only reason I have to go into the credit union is when the pile of change that I toss on my dresser each night becomes large enough to take to the credit union and deposit. I pay all of my bills using my bank's free web bill pay which saves me close to $5 per month in postage. Many of my bills are sent electronically to the bank where I can view and pay them from within my web bill pay.
Most of my other bills come to me electronically via my email. All of of my bank statements from this and the other financial institutions I deal with are sent to me electronically. As a result, I not only don't use the Post Office to pay my bills, I also don't use it to receive them.
This has drastically reduced the volume of daily clutter from the mail box (since most of what is left is junk mail, I usually just move the contents of the mailbox directly to the trash). Thanks to the Internet I not only receive all of these valuable services but they are free.
Banks are Saving Money With These Free Services
Now I know that the bank is not giving me these services for free simply because they like me. No, the bank, as a result of the Internet, is saving money big time and is passing that savings on to its customers as free services and higher returns on their accounts.
With direct deposit, my pay is moved automatically from my employer's account to mine. No paper checks have to be printed. No employees have to be paid to handle the check as it makes its way from my employer's account to my account and back for archiving.
When I pay my bills electronically, I do the posting, not an employee of the bank and, with the money moving electronically from my account to my creditor's accounts there are no checks which have to be handled or shipped.
With the volume of paper checks being moved around town and around the country from bank to bank being measured in tons (for the system as a whole) you can imagine the savings in wages, transportation, storage, etc. that banks realize when people do business electronically.
Banking is just one small area that has been transformed by the Internet. What I have described here is simply the consumer deposit end of the banking industry. I have not mentioned the consumer lending side or the commercial side of banking which have also seen significant cost savings from the Internet.
Link for One Web Day Site
Official site for One Web Day Organizers
So, Let's Celebrate!
The web, in a mere two decades, has touched all aspects of our lives and has had a huge economic impact on our nation and the world.
Our lives are richer in many ways because of the web. So there is certainly something to celebrate here.
So, on September 22nd pause a moment and take time to appreciate the helpful changes to our lives that the web has brought us. Better yet, contact the nearest online retailer, order a bottle of champagne and drink a toast to the Web!
© 2006 Chuck Nugent
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