Highway Insomnia

Photo Credit: Nrbelex via Compfight cc

Can NOT believe this clip is still up from 2006!

I remember when I graduated from Grade 8, in the yearbook we got to have our large photos featured with some information written beside them. Being that age, the things the students wrote were not so interesting. One thing I remember, though, was my previous teacher’s response to one of the questions beside his photo:

Future Goal: To get on the information superhighway and never return

This was in 1995, so 18 years ago. Back then, people frequently used such language as ‘information superhighway’! When was the last time anyone heard that term? This teacher’s desire was lost on me back then, I think. I didn’t really have any grasp of what this highway was, where it went or why he didn’t want to come back. I guess he was a little ahead of his time, seeing the endless possibilities that the Internet could provide. I’m sure he’s enjoying retirement these days, somewhere in the optical fibres of the superhighway.

During university, I worked in the communications dispatch centre of a quiet veteran/rehab hospital. Usually I worked evenings or weekend shifts which were 12 hours long. It was here where my deep enjoyment of the Internet really took flight. I would sit in that office in silence all night with a crazy-fast T3 connection and just consume all kinds of information. Those 12 hours would go by like nothing and I would still be absorbed in something by the time morning came around, so I would have to finish up my session at home before passing out. Amazing I was able to do that. These days 1am feels more painful than 8am used to.

yahoo-2002

Remember when the Yahoo! homepage looked like this? (2002)
Photo Credit: premii via Compfight cc

In Japan, it still does! (2013)
Screenshot: Author

Since starting work as a teacher, I’ve still continued to consume mass quantities of information, but also developed a few different websites for communication and resources with my classes. ┬áMore recently, I’ve amassed a healthy and entertaining RSS feed. The posts themselves contain endless hyperlinks to more awesome content. There’s no doubt I’m addicted to information and could spend a full 16-hour day just getting lost down a rabbit hole of hyperlinks.

At the GAFE Summit in Tokyo recently, I became acutely aware of this new form of abbreviated hyperlinking. EVERY presenter used them to lead you to the materials online. Sites like bit.ly can be used to keep a running list of websites you want to hyperlink to and it will create those sweet little nuggets of link that you see all over Twitter everyday. They are quick and easy to type into a mobile device or include somewhere you dont want a 4-line URL messing up your visual appeal. I’ve just recently made an account, so I’m late to the show here. But it seems I have arrived just when the party is getting exciting.

Screenshot: Author

Above is a screenshot of my COETAIL blog in it’s present state. I love visualizing data, but this… this I need a little more time to understand.

Featured Image Photo Credit: 96dpi via Compfight cc