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Celebrate OneWebDay on Sept. 22
An interview with founder Susan Crawford and an invitation to citizen reporters
OhmyNews (aeogae)     Print Article 
Published 2006-09-21 09:30 (KST)   
On Sept. 22 the world will be coming together to mark OneWebDay for the very first time. This day is a chance for Internet users to celebrate the Web and its many benefits.

OhmyNews citizen reporters are invited to join in the celebrations by sending in stories about how the Web has changed their lives and the world.

To find out more about OneWebDay, OhmyNews interviewed Susan Crawford, its founder on Sept. 21.

What is OneWebDay and where did you get the idea?

OneWebDay is a global holiday to celebrate the collaborative, participatory nature of the Web.

Because the Web runs on wires and uses machines, we forget that it's fundamentally a social, human place. It's changed the world in the last 10 years; it's helped families keep in touch, helped people find jobs, brought news close to home, and on and on.

The Web is worth celebrating, and so we're going to do that for the first time on Friday. Because the Web is made of people, it's up to us to protect it -- and not take it for granted. The idea behind OneWebDay is to create an Earth Day for the Internet, Sept. 22 of every year. It is a day to celebrate how important the Web is to each of us.

I created OneWebDay because I didn't want people to treat the Web like any other network. It's not a telephone system or a highway. It makes it possible for people to gather together (in games, now, but who knows what will happen in the future) and speak clearly to one another.

I think it's the single most important development of my lifetime, and I care about its future potential.

What are people doing to celebrate OneWebDay?

All kinds of things! In Second Life, avatars will raise their flags and have a giant group picture taken.

In Sofia, Bulgaria, they're having a conference about the future of the Web.

In Boston, MA, there's a gathering to thank Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the Web.

In New York, there's a party in a public park where there will be wireless and a giant screen that people can post things to (and Craig of craigslist.com will speak).

In Canada, a celebrity did a month-long OneWebDay tour, filming people while they talked about their online experiences.

In London, the Lord Mayor will announce a new wireless cloud. In Naples, Italy, there's a gathering in a digital museum.

In Tokyo, Japan, Joi Ito will be hosting a party at the ANA hotel.

There are many things going on in different countries, and this is just the first year of OneWebDay.

We have no funding, and so we have been limited to grassroots, self-starting events -- next year we're going to be focused on schools around the world celebrating the Web.

We're also encouraging people to upload pictures tagged "onewebday" to webshots.com -- these will be rolled up into a giant online global photo collage. And video tagged "onewebday" can be uploaded to blip.tv.

We're encouraging people to make their mark online on OneWebDay, by writing about how the Web has changed their lives.

The idea is to take a moment and reflect on how the Web has changed the world, and to celebrate by doing something fun and Web-related -- and helpful to someone else. We're optimistic about the Web's possibilities for people. If you can't imagine the world without the Web, you should celebrate OneWebDay!

Are we more global citizens than ever before thanks to the Internet? Can you think of anything that unites the world more?

I think we are realizing the global community through the Web. This doesn't mean that everything around the world is the same, and it shouldn't be. There are great regional differences, and of course great inequalities around the globe. But the Web is a single social system of communication that should be celebrated.

The Web is the very first medium that lets us work together and play together in groups that stick around even when we're not there. It's an amazing transformation -- the most important development of our time.

The Web has its scary side, but for you what are the positives?

Most of the news about the Web is negative and scary, particularly in my country. I think the positives far outweigh any conceivable negatives.

The Web has given people their own voice.

The Web allows us to speak truth to power.
©2006 OhmyNews

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