Since it is our internet, we can only gain substantially from the internet if we get involved deeply in it. And I bet some of you are eager to jump right in (if you haven’t already). But how exactly does one do this?
Step 1: Obviously, you have to start using the internet in some way, any way – even if only for ‘normal’ things. That means you should get an email account, kill time at youtube, shop at eBay – Just do something!
Step 2: Next, you should start thinking about contributing, in some way, to the internet. The easiest way to do this is by joining in and contributing to online discussions. Join a USENET newsgroup, mailing list or web forum.
Step 3: By now, you should be feeling like you are part of some community since you have been participating in discussions that you care about, with other people. Take it a notch higher and join your new friends in a social community such as myspace or orkut.
Step 4: Get a personal web page and/or blog. This gives you a permanent home online where al of your new e-friends can get you.
Step 5: Finally, help make the net a better place by contributing your skills to a noble online cause. The easiest way to do this is to join a wiki – such as wikipedia – and contribute articles to it or help edit other people’s articles. Alternatively, consider helping to develop open (and free) source software.
Having done all these, you should now be a more valuable user of the internet and you will have acquired considerable experience on how things work on the internet. Moreover, if you played your cards right, you may even find yourself better off financially.
Next, we’ll look at some of these steps in-depth.