There's an interesting discussion going on in the past few days on the Web4Lib mailing list
. The thread is called
Generation shifts and technology
Here's a sample that struck me because it describes exactly what I went through when using the web for the first time.
Bernie Sloan wrote:
I still remember a demo where people ooohed and aaahed when somebody used Mosaic to bring up a picture of a dinosaur. :-)
I, too, ooohed and aaahed when I saw that for the first time.
Bernie goes on.
In some ways I think those who "grew up" with computers have an advantage over those who never knew a time when there weren't computers everywhere.
I think I agree. People that have always lived with computers may take to the technology somewhat easier but they lack the feeling we had when first seeing those images and reading those texts (and that was a powerful motivator). What I saw then transformed my way of viewing the world, even if I only later realised that. In fact it transformed my view of the world so much that some years later, when I got the chance, I jumped in blindly, both feet forward, and learned HTML
just to share that joy with the world.
Those of us that "work the web" often forget these kinds of things, but it is worth remembering. This wonder is what makes us tick. This feeling is what we strive to recreate, even in a small way, for others. For those that weren't there that first time. If at some point in an academic year I overhear a student saying to another: "but that's on the web, look at the library site!" my effort has payed off. (Even if I sometimes forget that.)