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bLink 40

The ultimate bLink!

By Thom Wong 29 Jun 2006 | TheTyee.ca

Thom Wong writes regularly about music for The Tyee. He has also been a teacher and contract specialist. With eight years of education and three bachelor degree, Thom focuses mostly on marketing writing.

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Last of 40 bLinks.

[Editor's note: Almost seven months ago, we welcomed Thom Wong to The Tyee to direct us to the secret pages and portals of the internet, ones not yet discovered by other mortals. And to give us his thoughts on why those ones matter. He did just that -- 40 times. Other than big sites like Boing Boing, Thom's column was one of the few places to find unusual spots to land on the web. And as many people have pointed out, once it's on sites like Boing Boing, it's not new anymore. Readers clicked on his bLinks twice a week to see where Thom's laptop had landed.

In the seven months, he went from being a five-hour a day surfing junkie to an occasional one. Is this just Thom, a general trend, or a seasonal one? We'll know when the rains return in the fall. Until then, here is Thom's last virtual heads-up.]

Penultimate is a much better word than ultimate. For one thing, penultimate sounds like an event. Ultimate makes you sound like a doink. "This is the ultimate bLink!" "It will rival all others in scope and majesty."

As you probably can tell, and if you can count, this is the final bLink of the 40 bLink series. We've done a lot of growing these past few months. We cried a little. We laughed a little. We almost moved to Tibet and joined a commune. But most of all I'd like to think we learned a little bit about the world, about people, and, most of all, about ourselves.

Pause for effect. And continue.

The internet, so I hear, is changing us. It is, I've been told, modifying the way we live our lives. I remember when it was considered enough of a novelty to order things online that someone even presented it as a challenge -- live one month without ever leaving your apartment! Now it's more of a novelty for some of us to buy things in an actual store. We've probably reached that stage where we can stop calling the internet "The Internet" and start referring to things as happening either online, or in real space.

When I started writing this column, I was online upwards of five hours a day. I was also in school, using a computer for probably 99% of my work. (That remaining one percent was when I shockingly had to take a book out from the library.) As my reasons for being on the computer diminished, so did my time spent aimlessly surfing. I now tend to only open my computer to check e-mail and possibly download a song I heard on the radio. Even blogging, which I once did religiously, has become less than a weekly occurrence.

I'm sure once I'm back in the hallowed halls of academia, I'll be mindlessly clicking the links once again. I still have a great fondness for the possibilities that exist on the cyber information super highway (thank you, Al Gore). And so here's to you, Subservient Chicken! And to you, Numa Numa Boy! And to you, Star Wars Kid! And even you, Bonsai Kitten Makers! Long may your stars burn on the online firmament!

Or at least until I can get e-mail on my watch.

Thom Wong is a law student who spends an unreasonable amount of time online. His 40 bLinks column ran every Tuesday and Thursday on The Tyee.  [Tyee]

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