Internet archival work is a real pain in the ass, but boy is it turning up some gems. I found this one from when Philebrity asked me to write the closing piece for “Internet History Week” back in 2008 about how the internet in the future will impact life in Philly.
I can almost see myself writing this while wearing a scorched Philebrity trucker hat, as the piece oozes with my fairest attempt at their trademark snark.
For reference, Indy Hall was nearing it’s 1 year birthday at this time (today we’re fast approaching the ripe age of 4), and I still wrote about social media on my blog. Ha!
It’s nice, though, that my sentiment that “the internet should bring us outside rather than keep us inside” still holds true.
Roads? Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads
And thank god for that, cuz our roads have 4’ wide potholes and traffic backed up along the Schuylkill
The local history of the internet’s contributions to Philadelphia’s culture is rich and exciting, as we’ve learned this week. But what does our future hold for internet and technology in the city of brotherly love?
Luckily, we don’t need a Mr. Fusion-powered Delorean to step into the future of the Internet in Philly.
Will city-wide wifi ever happen? Not if it’s the city behind it. More likely, we’ll one day flip on our iPhones to discover that the guys at The Hacktory have figured out how to cover the city with a user-powered mesh of wifi hotspots. And with ubiquitous internet connectivity, you’ll always have the option of reading the latest post on Philebrity while waiting for a Septa train or bus, which is inevitably late. Apparently, public transportation isn’t any more reliable in the future. iSepta will settle a legal dispute with SEPTA by renaming their app to SorryYoureStillWaitingForTheTrainYouShouldProbablyCallACab.com.
Comcast and Verizon will continue their skyscraper pissing match, spending all of their energy showing the skyline “whose is bigger,” while Verizon continues leaving customers wondering, “When on earth will FiOS get to my neighborhood. I heard it was coming in 2008.” Comcast’s twitter-loving evangelist, Frank a.k.a @ComcastCares, will inevitably burn out from personally replying to each inquiry. Luckily, in the future, Comcast has cloned Frank into an army of Franks, giving them an edge on customer support. That’s right. In the future, Comcast’s customer support won’t suck, but the prerequisite is the invention of cloning. You heard it here first.
Ultimately, though, the future of the Internet in Philadelphia looks extremely positive. With every new technological advance, it brings our communities closer together and does a better job of helping us discover each other and the great things we have just beyond our own doorsteps. Just don’t forget that the future of what the Internet has in store for us isn’t inside your web browser, it’s what your web browser gives you access to that you get to experience in real life.
Get outside and enjoy the future. Just don’t try to bring your Hoverboard™ to Love Park.
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