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Sharing Web Stories in Greenboro, NC

September 1st, 2008 · 1 Comment

Our 45th ambassador is Janna Anderson who wrote the following Op-Ed in the Greensboro News Record.  You can read her article in its original context here.

A day to celebrate glories of the Internet
SUNDAY, AUGUST 31     (updated 3:01 am)
The most intriguing stories are those rooted in truth. In the 15 years since Tim Berners-Lee introduced the World Wide Web in 1993, this amazing tool of communication has inspired billions of meaningful and life-altering connections.

The drive to continue to maintain and extend access to an open and interoperable Internet for all people around the globe is the point of OneWebDay, an annual celebration of the glories of the Web. It’s a day on which people celebrate what they can do because of the Web.

I’m writing to you as one of 100 OneWebDay ambassadors, people from around the globe who have been invited to focus attention on ways we can celebrate together. In honor of this year’s event, the editors of the News & Record are encouraging everyone to share a favorite true story about how the Web is making a difference in big ways and little ways. How has it transformed your life, the life of someone you know, a community you are a part of or the place where you live?

Take a few minutes today to write up to 300 words and send your submission Feel free to include one or two still photographs to accompany your personal story.

Or record a video that’s no more than two minutes and post it on YouTube with the keywords OneWebDay (no spaces) and then send an e-mail to to let the News & Record know about it. Your submission could become part of a feature about the influence of the Web that will run in the News & Record just before OneWebDay in September, and it may even be showcased online with a series of the best tales we receive. Add your personal prediction about the future of the Internet, and it may become a part of the documentary site “Imagining the Internet” (

The deadline for submissions is Sept. 14.

The third annual OneWebDay will be celebrated Sept. 22, and your contributions will become part of the coverage previewing this special day in the Sept. 21 News & Record.

Here are two stories to whet your appetite for telling your own tale.

Tim Berners-Lee

When Tim Berners-Lee was working at CERN (the European laboratory for particle physics) in the late 1980s, he decided to find a way for scientists to work together to share information more effectively from computer to computer. He wrote a memo to his boss in 1989 about it, spent the next few years developing and testing his concepts, and made his invention – the World Wide Web – available to everyone in April 1993. He and the administrators of CERN agreed to make this tool available for free and to keep it open for everyone in the world to use.

Berners-Lee next moved his work to Boston, where he founded and still leads the World Wide Web Consortium, which was set up at MIT to serve as a global standards body for ensuring that whatever computer, server or browser you use the Web will work for you.

In 1995 he wrote, “I had (and still have) a dream that the Web could be … an interactive sea of shared knowledge. I imagine it immersing us as a warm, friendly environment made of the things we and our friends have seen, heard, believe or have figured out.”

There are now nearly 1.5 billion people using the Internet; they mostly use it to share information on the World Wide Web; Berners-Lee has touched all of these lives and more.

Susan Crawford

When Susan Crawford was entering law school at Yale in the late 1980s, she had no idea that the Internet would become her passion and her life’s work. She began her career in 1989. She saw legal issues tied to the Internet emerging in her job as a law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and her later work as a partner at a Washington firm was focused on Internet issues. She saw firsthand the ways in which the Internet is making a difference in the world and how important it is to tread carefully when considering what to regulate and how to encourage the development of a secure, trusted and open network.

Crawford left her law practice and moved to teaching cyberlaw at universities (including Michigan and Yale), wrote pieces including “Who’s In Charge of Who I Am?” and “Regulatory Ambition in the Digital Age” and became a board member of the global group in charge of many of the Internet’s key operational decisions, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

In 2006 — inspired by Earth Day — she decided the Web deserves and needs a worldwide “day,” dedicated to keeping the Internet free and open for all to use on an equal basis, so she founded OneWebDay. “It’s up to the celebrants to decide how to celebrate,” she has written. “Collaboration, connection, creativity, freedom. By the end of the day, the Web should be just a little bit better than it was before, and we’ll be able to see our connection more clearly.”

* * *

Share your story — big or small — about the impact of the Web. Take a few minutes to write or to record a video and submit it today and be part of the global celebration.

Janna Anderson is director of the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University. E-mail: Web site:


Has the Internet changed your life? Did it lead you into a new profession, cause you to meet new people, change your way of thinking? We want to hear from you.

Send your comments (up to 300 words) to opinion@news-record with a related photo or two. Or make a video of up to two minutes, post it on YouTube with OneWebDay as the subject and send an e-mail to the above address to let us know about it. Your responses will be considered for a Sept. 21 package in the News & Record on the topic.

Send your personal prediction of the future of the Internet and it may be included on an online documentary site (

Deadline: Sept. 14.

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 OneWebDay » Archive » Stories from Greensboro // Sep 22, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    [...] Record Sunday September 21, along with a few other submissions in response to Ms. Anderson’s earlier appeal in an op-ed column to News & Record readers to share their Web stories.  The stories and [...]