September 15th, 2009
Portland One Web Day: Making the Web more accessible to more people
Not a day goes by that I don’t think, “I get to do an awful lot of cool things and talk to any number of awesome people simply because I decided to start a blog about something I loved.”
That may seem to be a ridiculous oversimplification—but when it comes right down to it, it’s not. I started blogging and things happened. I found people on Twitter and things happened. I started using services like Upcoming and Calagator and things happened. All because I embraced technology—and the Web—as a way of connecting with other folks.
Now, if you’re reading this, you’re likely among the folks who use, build, contribute, and glean knowledge from the Web on a daily basis. Unfortunately, we’re also in a minority of people who have the ability to do that.
But One Web Day is hoping to give us some more company. And to bring more people into the conversation. And maybe, just maybe, put us in the midst of the majority. You see, One Web Day believes that everyone should have access to—and have the opportunity to participate in—the Web. So, like Earth Day before them, they’re working to focus some grassroots energy on making that happen.
The Web is a vital shared resource, but most people are not empowered to take part in defining the direction of this now indispensable resource. Some take it for granted, some cannot breach the barriers to access, and some relinquish control to authoritative institutions that are all too happy to fill the void of public leadership. OneWebDay changes all of that.
I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a very compelling premise. What’s that? You do too? I thought you might. So get ready to help.
Now it’s your turn to be a diplomat for the Web and its potential. To help the “have nots” become the “haves.” To take the same passion that drives Beer and Blog‘s End Bloglessness or Day On. To use the that same care and patience that you exude every time you’re approached by a family member with “You know about Web stuff, right?” It’s time to share what you know.
Because what seems like Web and technology common sense to you—in actuality—isn’t all that common.
So whether you consider yourself 1337 or a complete n00b, you’re encouraged to come out to the Square, next week, hear a few people talk, and help even more people learn about the potential of the Web. Need more than chatter? Well, there will be a band and a screening of the film Us Now. And who knows, some food carts might even show up.
Want to do a little more? Even though One Web Day has some great sponsors and volunteers, it could still use some more. If you’re interested in kicking in some time or money, please contact Carol Justice by participating on the Portland One Web Day wiki or by emailing cjustice at ci.portland.or.us. Or, as always, you can just leave a comment below.
Oh and one more thing. Something tells me you might have a connection or two in the world of social media. So at the very least, it would be great if you’d just help spread the word. If you play your cards right, you might even be able to unload that Family Tech Support merit badge.