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Navtej Kohli Internet Love and Passion

If you’ve been online as long as I have, you’ll remember the days of Web 1.0. The days when the internet was as controlled and inaccessible to the public as television still is today. The days when getting your
content published necessitated that you were a media mogul, a mainstream media employee or very good with HTML.

Thank God those days are over. We all complain about how easy it is for the populous at large to get online: have you ever clicked through to someone’s MySpace or Bebo account and been assaulted
by moving images, loud music and slow-loading videos? It’s terribly annoying. However, I’m of the opinion that, despite the annoyances of Web 2.0, the fact that the web is now largely controlled and influened
by the public is a great thing.

I’m not talking about awful networking sites here; I’m talking about sites like Wattpad,
which bills itself as “The people’s media company.” There, users can create and publish content in a responsible, user-friendly, well designed context. This content isn’t produced and censored by CNN,
Reuters or the like. It’s created by “real people.”

Now, you may say that everyone can now create a blog, which is essentially a website where you can post your thoughts and opinions. However, a small
Blogspot or WordPress blog is difficult to advertise and build a readership for. Publishing your content on a site like Associated press, while it’s not on your own domain, exposes your writing to so
many people without you having to market your own website or maintain it, fix its bugs, pay for it, etc.

When the net was dominated by those with money, power and knowledge, we were living in a far more closed climate than we are today. The example of the massive Digg
revolt of a few weeks ago highlights the power that we users now have online. I’ll put up with dreadful MySpace atrocities in order to feel the sense of democracy and user-control that we now have on the
internet. Contributing to sites like Associated Content only ensures that we maintain the control we now have.