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Pre-Web and Post-Web

July 14, 2012

As a “greybeard” I can remember a time before the Web was a globally available, easy-to-use resource. And more and more, I find that when a memory pops into my head, I identify it as “pre-web” or “post-web”.

For example, today I was thinking about old radio hosts. When I was a 2-hour-a-day commuter, I used to love Toronto morning radio. One duo, Pete & Geets, did the morning show on the local alternative station (CFNY… are they still around?) for several years. When they left that market, they disappeared for me. Without this magical web to search, I had no idea where they had gone.

My point is when I think about Pete & Geets, my memory is immediately tagged as “pre-web”. My pre-web memories are filled with the excitement of the hunt, of trying to find some trivial piece of information and then actually finding it. And in the process of finding that info, I ended up reading a lot more about the topic I was researching so I ended up going more in depth.

In contrast, a post-web memory like taking my kids to a Death Cab for Cutie concert is more visual. I can’t remember the band members’ names but I don’t have to: in 30 seconds or less I could get that info on my phone or my iPad or my PC. But I do remember the roar of the crowd, the odd mix of young and old in the audience, and the opening act.

The world has very definitely changed.


From → Technology

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