Spiked Articles

Wired World

Top Ten Things That RULE About the Internet

By Kristin Gambill and Christy Crews

Originally Posted

Man, has summer made you faithful followers l-a-z-y. Only two responses to our plea for help, and neither was at all useful. So to deliver -- as we always do -- we've set aside our daiquiris and come up with 10 fabulous things the Internet has done for us.

  1. Office Entertainment Never has there been a better way to screw around at the office (well, ok, there is a better way, but it's against most sexual enhancement policies). Jokes you receive from friends, fun editorial sites like Slate and The Onion, and legit news sites like CNN can help while away those long hours at work. Whether you just need a break, are tremendously bored with your work, are procrastinating, or have the urge to waste some time, the Internet is the tool and the toy of today's office folk.

  1. Communication, Communication, Communication In the old world, after a fun-filled Thursday night of partying, you'd stumble into work still slightly inebriated and call your girlfriends on the telephone. Speaking in hushed tones, praying that no one else in cubicle hell could overhear you, you'd whisper all the gossip and private reminiscences of who or what went down the night before. In the new world, we have Instant Messaging! Hooray! Provided you're sober enough to type, you're sober enough to chat silently with your friends (or even co-workers) across town or halfway around the world. And, for you more dedicated types, email, electronic faxes, and, yes, IM are great ways to increase your productivity for actual work.

  1. Entrepreneurial Spirit If you've been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, the Internet makes it easy to scratch that itch. Whether it's a side gig, like our friend's One Hit Wonder Central or big business like eBay, it's easier and cheaper than ever to hang out your shingle, as long as you do it on line. A Web site gives a great front to a business, while allowing a multitude of cost savings. Overhead savings like using a basement office, inventory savings by partnering with companies like Amazon for merchandise, and customer service savings by using well-written autoresponders are all masked by the great public face your site puts forward. In addition, there seem to be no end to the niche business possibilities on line. Whether your passion is watch fobs or One Hit Wonders, you're likely to find an audience and a customer base, without setting one foot outside of your bunny slippers.

  1. The Four P's, All in One Attractive, Interactive Package The Internet has supplied, almost instantaneously, endless topics for MBA students everywhere, affecting all four of the hallowed "P's" -- product, place, price, and promotion. It has created new products, a built-in distribution method for them (place), and new ways to promote the products, and it has defined its very own discount-driven price structure. We won't go into a complete dissertation here (write your own damn term paper!) but discussion about the effects of the Internet on business and the four P's of marketing will no doubt carry on for decades. And we can't wait to see the drama unfold (Academically, this is drama, really!).

  1. Be Famous, If Not Rich! The Internet is the biggest soapbox in the world, bar none. Anyone who has an opinion about anything is, or should be, spouting it on line, because, if your opinion is worth the code it's written in, people listen. A favorite blogger of ours was recently lamenting the loss of privacy that the gradual fame his personal Web site, lileks.com has brought him. He's been a professional journalist for years and wasn't averse to being a famous writer, but it wasn't until he started writing his Web journal -- for free -- that he gained celebrity status. Some people are able to make money with their soapbox even, like "Pud" of FuckedCompany.comfame. Pud has turned his dotcom deadpool into a very nice paycheck for himself. Even with a URL that has to be bleeped in the mainstream media (note: no bleeping bleeping here!).

  1. Garage Sales Looking for a bargain? Got a spare room full of junk? The Internet offers numerous fast and easy ways to buy and sell used treasures without all the hassle of driving all over town or sitting in your sweltering garage all Saturday. Recently referred to by Newsweek as "the world's biggest online marketplace", eBay is the way garage sales are "done" this decade. Or, if you're an avid reader but just can't seem to be able to stop by the quaint used book store down the road during business hours (10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday), because you actually have to work for a living, try Half.com as a great place to buy or sell used books, movies, CDs, or video games.

  1. Research O-Rama If we need to know something, from movie times to the number for the liquor store to the GDP of Russia, we look on line. It is an astonishing tool that easily serves up the information we need (http://www.amctheatres.com, http://www.switchboard.com, and http://www.statesnews.org/regions/world_regions/worldregions.html will answer all of the above queries). No more hours getting headaches looking at microfiche in the library. If you want to know something, just hop on line and Google it. Chances are you'll have the answer to your questions in seconds. Likewise, if you work at a big company, your company intranet will be a wealth of information for you. The directory on line is always up to date -- at least it should be -- and you never have to worry about the page with the g's missing from your copy. You can also get copies of virtually every necessary form on most company intranets. No more calling eight different departments just to turn in expenses from your New York sales trip; the Internet and/or your intranet will keep you in the know.

  1. Telecommuting Got a sick kid? Nursing a hangover? Tell your boss you're working from home today, and host conference calls, answer emails, and write reports from your dining room table in your pajamas. According to the Telework America Survey 2001, "about one-fifth of the adult workforce 18 years of age and older do some type of telework." For the bosses reading this column, it's even more noteworthy that the study found that workers who telecommute generally ...

    • work more hours,

    • are satisfied with their jobs,

    • are committed to their organization,

    • and do not plan to look for a new job.

    Each of these factors, combined with the fact that it often costs a company less to allow employees to work from home-based offices, are big plusses when it comes to recruiting and retaining quality employees.

  1. Job Hunting For those of you who are not allowed to telecommute (and may therefore be looking for a more enlightened employer), the Internet has improved the way we hunt for jobs. In the old world, we spent two hours on Sunday morning pouring through the classified section of the newspaper with a red pen in hand. We then had to send out hundreds of resumes and cover letters by U.S. mail, take a long lunch to meet with a headhunter, and find creative ways to follow up on our efforts via telephone during work hours. Thanks to the Internet, we can post our resume on any number of job search sites like Monster, WorkInPR.com, Career Builder, and FlipDog, any time of night or day. We can quickly search the job listings offered at these sites by keyword or city to efficiently find the jobs that are a good fit. Best of all, resumes and cover letters can be sent instantaneously via email for less than the price of a first-class postage stamp.

  1. Shop in Your Boxers While shopping is often touted as the number-one favorite after-school sport of teenage girls, the fun of pushing our way through crowded halls, the joy of waiting in line 10 minutes to have a purchase run up by a 16-year-old with half of her face pierced, and the thrill of spending hours in a department store only to learn that all clothing on their racks is size 2 or size 24 with nothing in between often diminishes once we've reached age 22. Oh, thank goodness we can now shop on line! Avoid the crush of people at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Dillard's, and Pottery Barn this wedding season by looking up registries and purchasing your gifts on line. Forget about arguing with 10 other cranky moms over the last pair of boy's size 8 jeans this August during the back-to-school rush by shopping on line at Old Navy, Children's Place, or French Toast. And, since there are only so many days left before Christmas, you might want to get started with your holiday shopping by visiting Amazon, Toys 'R Us, or Best Buy now! In March 2002, Jupiter Research predicted the on line shopping population will double in size over the next five years. Hot areas for on line purchasing include apparel, prescriptions, and home products. Catch the wave of this trend (and save a little money) by getting your birth control pills refilled on line at Eckerd Drug or your Viagra refilled at Walgreens.

Though some may consider us to be a little on the nerdy side, we think we've shown ample reason why we love our 'Net. The beautiful thing is, the Internet is making such inroads into American culture that we're predicting we can stop using the "nerd" disclaimer within a year. Yeah, that's right, mainstream culture will model after your babes. A heady feeling, but hey, we get those with every shot of Tequila, so we can handle it.

Join The Discussion

We will never post your email address publicly; it's used solely as part of our verification process to keep the spammers under control. After submitting your comment or question, you'll receive an email confirmation message with a link back to CornerBarPR.com® that you'll need to click before your post appears for others to see. By submitting this post you agree to the CornerBarPR.com Terms Of Service.