Web sites are not just places to sell things; they are a medium where people can get insight into other people’s lives. Take the musician Xavier Rudd for example. I recently saw this guy play at a concert and had never previously heard his music. He was really cool, literally blowing me away with his many skills, beautiful music, positive energy, and humble attitude. So being thus affected, I decided to check out if he had a website on the Internet. After finding his site (http://www.xavierrudd.com/) I automatically got to become more acquainted with the man, not as a fan looking up to a so-called ‘star’, but as a human being receiving real insight into the workings of another individual in our global human community.
First, just let me tell you a little about seeing this fellow play live. He is literally a one-man band! While sitting down he plays a stomp-box (type of drum), a lap guitar or several other 6 and 12 string acoustic electric guitars, while simultaneous alternating between playing one of three Australian Aborigine Didgeridoos or harmonicas which are placed in front of him on a stand. He sings intelligent thoughtful lyrics in between blowing and his voice ranges from softly spoken to powerful rebellious yelling. On his site he explains in one newspaper article interview that he goes into a trance while playing…I don’t see how he’d be able to do it all otherwise!
The idea is, and this goes for any and every website on the Internet, business or personal, that your website is a place to share your identity as well as links to other identities (people) in the community. On Xavier’s site, (I call him by his first name as I now feel I know him on a more personal level, although he doesn’t yet know of me) you can read a few journal entries from his recent tour in Alaska and Canada. As these words come straight from his own mouth/pen/keyboard/mind, visitors to the site can see into how this guy views the world around him. The style and content of personal language can really tell you a lot about someone’s personality.
Of course in the old days there was no real way of knowing the people you admired. This personalized approach to website communicative interaction need not be solely used in this paradigm. Businesses and individuals can now connect with the wider community on a much closer, intimate level. Just imagine if you got to know what the CEO of your electricity provider’s views were on important issues that affect us all, like environmental sustainability. Or, how about knowing that they like to listen to Mozart and play with remote control cars?
We now have the opportunity to realize who each of us are, not just as names and faces, but as human beings with a soul or a spirit with dreams, loves, and aspirations. Another point to make as an example to be found on Xavier’s (enjoying this intimate first-name referral) site is the one about meeting other people through someone else’s connections. The site constructors (with Xavier’s approval) have recently added a section where anyone can contribute essays relating to important issues about humanity. This gives added insight into what type of person Xavier is (socially conscious), as well as possible links to the writers of the essays. E. g. Abigail Rose, the first contributor who wrote an essay about the current state of politics and public beliefs in the U. S. A.
There is also a whole section entitled, ‘Inspiration, friends, art’ which exemplifies this whole idea of forming a community through linking with others. Here Mr. Rudd (still have to be respectfully formal on occasion) has a list with photos of artworks and instruments from people he has met who have helped him, who he’s played with, or who he’s interested in. All of them are people he knows personally and in putting them on his site we can get to know them as well, by simply reading about them or by going via links to their own web sites which of course will produce a much more in-depth identity to connect with.
Add photo galleries, recorded interviews, biographies, lyrics etc. and we can get a really good view into this one person’s world. You’re on the Net, or you want to be; why don’t you take it to the limit, sharing yourself and your friends with the world? You never know how many new friends or comrades you’ll make in the process.
Jesse S. Somer
Jesse S. Somer can see the possibility in humanity coming to realize each other as individuals again via the new Internet medium. Can you?