The Day the Internet Died by Boris Glikman

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Image by Andy Paciorek


It was widely known that Internet had been ailing for some time. Its poor health had made it rather slipshod in the execution of its duties. Some people had to endure days of frustration until an online connection was established, while for others the connection kept going on and off every second, like a flickering light globe.

For a while Internet hovered in a half-dead condition, with one foot in the grave, and mankind held its breath, fearing Internet would continue to deteriorate and then give up the ghost altogether.

And then the day came when Internet breathed its last and nobody could believe their ill fortune. It was hard to grasp that Internet no longer dwelled in the world, and that the burden of living would never again be lightened with the ever-present alternative of escaping into an online existence. No one would be privileged any more with the luxury of having two worlds to live in.

The most eminent computer technicians of the land were assigned the task of performing the autopsy. Their unanimous conclusion was that the Internet died of virtual causes. What nobody had suspected was that the Internet possessed a finite life span. Everyone had always assumed it would be around forever, yet it too carried within itself the lethal seeds of eternal offline-ness.

The next most pressing issue was the burial. Issues never considered before needed to be addressed urgently, for the sight of lifeless Internet lying prostrate on the ground was too heartbreaking for the world to take. Where should the funeral ceremony be held? In which language or computer code should the memorial service be conducted? Who should give the eulogy? Where to entomb it?

The matter of whom to invite to the service proved to be the most intractable issue of all. A certain number of tickets were reserved for those most deeply affected by Internet’s death – online pornography addicts, social misfits, ingrained introverts, Twitter-obsessed celebrities, Nigerian scammers and long-term residents in Second Life’s virtual world. Otherwise, it was nearly impossible to determine who was genuinely grief-stricken and who only wanted to attend the ceremony so as to be a part of this historic occasion.

Eventually, all of these matters were resolved, although not to everyone’s satisfaction, and the world gave Internet the sending off it deserved. Straight after the funeral, the world went into a shutdown, mourning Internet’s passing and remembering wistfully how it could answer any question; satisfy all emotional, mental and bodily needs; thrill the mind and the senses; provide instantaneous information, entertainment, relaxation and titillation; and even cure loneliness. Tragically, given the magnitude and depth of the loss, some could not bear to continue living in a world without Internet and logged out permanently from this world.

Once the unbridled, hysterical wave of grief finally subsided, people sobered up and gradually realised how the Internet had debased and disfigured their lives.

They recalled with horror and consternation the way Internet enabled people to dawdle their lives away in the endless morass of net world, leaving vital tasks undone and crucial issues unresolved; how googling had supplanted the wisdom that comes with age, experience, learning and, with instantaneous information always at one’s fingertips, the value of knowledge was lost; the way online reality became the only world and real reality was jilted and forgotten, just like the plain sister of a gorgeous girl; how Internet robbed life of its multifarious richness and beauty and reduced the world to a small, rectangular screen; the way online reality became a prison in which humanity willingly immured itself and then threw away the key.

Mankind recognised how fundamentally Internet had altered the nature of social relations and the nature of one’s relationship with oneself. Invented to facilitate communication and for bringing the world together, the Internet instead became the perfect tool for dissimulation, distorting the truth and separating oneself from the world, thus allowing people to not only misrepresent their true thoughts and feelings, but to falsify their entire lives and the very essence of their being, to themselves as well as to others.

People discovered that fingers were not just for typing and shifting mouses but had other uses too; that out of their torsos extended a pair of lower limbs which could be used for perambulating across the spatial dimension; that Evolution had equipped their bodies with tools perfect for conveying thoughts and feelings; that their faces possessed well-developed muscles which could be employed to signal emotions such as (amongst many others) surprise, annoyance, happiness, and frustration. Consequently, successful communication could be achieved without intermediary electronic devices. Most startling of all was the revelation that other people were not identical to their icons – flat and forever stuck in the same pose with the same smile on their faces – rather they were three dimensional beings, moving about and changing their facial expressions.

Having friends and partners in the physical world meant that you were free from the precariousness, uncertainty and unreliability of online friendships and relationships, and no longer subject to the capricious actions and decisions of your web pals, to whom, after all, you were just an ethereal, abstract entity that could easily be deleted permanently from their life with just a click of a mouse. Consequently, the constant threat of online friends and lovers inexplicably ceasing all contact and disappearing forever was gone for good.

“Back to Reality” tutorials proved to be very popular and helpful, covering such topics as  “Learning How to Single-Task”; “Becoming Acquainted with the Sun and the Sky”, and “How to Survive in a World that Cannot be Photoshopped”.

Life slowly regained its meaning as mankind clambered, one small step at a time, out of the online abyss it had dug for itself. Without the Internet, no one had to grapple any more with the problem of how to balance one’s life between the two worlds. Time started to flow more slowly; instant gratification was no longer craved; contemplation and patience revealed their true worth. It was now clearly seen that online reality provided only fleeting pseudo-meaning; that emotions felt in the web world were only ephemeral ersatz feelings; and that real self-esteem came not from social media popularity, but from within.

Each human being now experienced life directly, rather than through the distorting, diminishing and vicarious lens of a computer screen; facing the good and not so-good things in their lives without escaping into the net world and evading the reality of their existence; and being true to their inner selves, instead of hiding behind their icons and online identities. Only then was it realised how inextricably Internet had woven its fateful thread into every aspect of man’s existence and how much had been gained the day Internet died.

Boris Glikman

How Do I Get More Followers on Twitter?

Follow on Twitter

Do you want to get more specifically targeted followers on Twitter who are beneficial without buying them?

If so, you must retweet other people’s content! It’s also meaningful to talk to people on Twitter, engage with them, and find out how you can be of help to them so that when the time comes, you can ask them for help without feeling creepy about it.

I was once able to connect with radio stations in Trinidad to secure several interviews for a Soca artist I worked with while he was there for the International Soca Monarch. I connect with relevant contacts for clients, land clients myself, and have tweeted with some of my favourite celebrities. You would be amazed at who you can talk to on Twitter!

I follow people who may be beneficial to my clients’ careers, like radio stations, DJs, journalists, bloggers, reviewers, venues, media outlets, or fans of their genre of music or writing who live in specific cities, etc. I put those people into lists labelled with keywords so that we can filter our Twitter feed by clicking on Lists. This helps us to decide who we might like to get to know. But we have to talk to them. You can break the ice by asking them a question, introducing yourself or retweeting their content with a comment. Make the first move. Retweet something for them that looks like it might be helpful to them if you can find it.

Don’t be afraid to follow people back on Twitter. If their account has a photo and a bio that’s interesting to you and they are active on Twitter, follow them back. If they retweet your content, it will help get your message out to a larger audience, and it will also help to grow your followers. The more you engage, tweet and retweet, the more followers you will attract. Try it for one month and tweet every day. I’ll bet you will notice a significant difference!

For seven more great Twitter tips, visit the Online Department Blog.

Be The Master Of Your Own Domain On Facebook!

Qadesh, the Siberian tiger shows me who is master of her domain!

Probably the most overwhelming thing to deal with when learning about social media marketing, is the sheer volume of how-to information out there that you have to wade through, in order to find what you’re looking for.  There are thousands and thousands of so-called experts in the field but how will you really know who the masters of their own domains are on Facebook?  Who are the social media tigers?  You’ll find out when you pay attention to the content they’re sharing as well as how big their audience and their value really is.

I have been paying attention for the past year to what some of the masters are teaching others and these are some whose opinions I trust:

I can never seem to find as much time as I’d like to attend all these experts’ webinars or watch their hundreds of videos, but they are out there to offer you all kinds of valuable information for free and even more for a fee.  They are all very successful entrepreneurs.

These are some of the tips I picked up at the Facebook Mastery Summit earlier this year:

  • Link your personal profile to your Facebook Page
  • Create a custom graphically designed profile picture (180 x 540 pixels) – or have someone skilled do it for you!
  • Use pictures to entice fans with what you offer
  • Use videos to entice fans with what you offer
  • Create a customized opt-in tab for your landing page (this requires the knowledge of iFrame language so if you don’t know how to do it, hire a professional) and offer something valuable to those who LIKE your page, whether it’s a free PDF, video, tips, coupons or simply a terrific graphic representation of your product or service
  • Choose your Facebook page name wisely – make it easy to remember and easy to think of as it will improve your Facebook SEO (search engine optimization)
  • After 25 people have LIKED your page, secure your username or vanity URL by going to www.facebook.com/username
  • Put your keyword(s) in your Info tab
  • Social proof is important so more fans give you more credibility and more effective Facebook ads (although I personally think it’s more important to have a quality audience over quantity!)
  • Identify 3-5 groups where your customers and centers of influence (COI’s) hang out.  Join them and interact in them regularly.
  • Add members of those groups to your personal profile (a maximum of 10 friend requests per day) by sending them a friend request with a direct message and a question
  • Suggest your page to your personal friends (50 per day max)
  • Engage in social networking AS YOUR PAGE and like and comment on other people’s pages, adding value to the conversations
  • Build your eTRIBE by showing the pages you like on your page
  • Facebook Ads are extremely profitable if you know what you’re doing.  Keep them social and ask questions!
  • Create viral actions by uploading photos and tagging others or writing notes and tagging others
  • Above all, create and post engaging content that offers the highest value you can provide
  • High value content is timely, exclusive only on Facebook, asks questions, weighs in on controversial topics, shares high buzz relevant content, incentives, coupons, promos, contests
  • Share your successes (i.e. “Just passed 1,000 fans!  Woohoo!”)
  • Reply to comments quickly
  • Link your Facebook page to Twitter (www.facebook.com/twitter)
  • Viral video marketing!  Upload your videos to Facebook and then tag others
  • Use applications (for landing page promos or coupons – www.NorthSocial.com) or anything that’s relevant to your business
  • Host contests (but be sure to read Facebook’s Promotions Guidelines: www.facebook.com/promotions_guidelines.php)
  • Ask for a Review from your customers and clients as it creates an automatic viral testimonial (there is a Review application that you can add to your page)
  • Incorporate seamless marketing which includes your Facebook page URL in your email signature, website/blog (LIKE Box – http://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/), front desk, business cards, brochures & marketing materials
  • Coordinated sharing – which means you can arrange to LIKE people’s pages if they like yours and share them with others
  • Create exclusive Facebook Events (but be sure to geo-target them so that they go out to the people in the region(s) that they’re meant for!)

These are just some of the ideas that you can incorporate to create a successful and enticing Facebook page that will firmly declare you to be the master of your own domain.  However, you must never forget that ENGAGEMENT is everything!  If you’re not already a household name or brand, you won’t maintain your audience without it.