The early web was a participatory environment. Everyone created web pages, and openly published their Bookmarks. People would visit your site, see your content, and – from your list of Bookmarks – jump to their next destination.

Online content flourished. People created web pages for everything under the sun. I worked for NASA at the time, and helped our research scientists publish their work online so colleagues around the world could read it and comment without incurring the enormous costs of sending manuscripts overseas via Federal Express.

The amazing breadth of content available on the internet drew more and more people online. Only a small portion of the new arrivals actually generated any content. They just consumed what was there, and moved on.

Over the past couple of years, the pendulum has swung back. With the rise of Social Media tools like Facebook, blogs, MySpace, LinkedIn, Flickr, WordPress, etc, it no longer takes an engineering degree to create new content for the internet.

This democratization of the internet – putting powerful tools into the hands of non-techies – is a good thing in my estimation.

You don’t have to be a techie to have good ideas. And, you no longer have to be a techie to create content for the internet.

Of course, with no editors working between the creator and consumer of the content, the high quality content is harder to find… but that is a topic for another time.

Welcome to the internet, and thank you for participating!