In the first year after I retired from FT work, July 1999 to July 2000, Google officially became the world's largest search engine. With its introduction of a billion-page index by June 2000 much of the internet's content became available in a searchable format at one search engine. In the next several years, 2000-2005, as I was retiring from PT work as well as casual and most volunteer activity that had occupied me for decades, Google entered into a series of partnerships and made a series of innovations that brought their vast internet enterprize billions of users in the international marketplace. Not only did Google have billions of users, but internet users like myself throughout the world gained access to billions of web documents in google’s growing index/library. It was a finer and more useful library than any of those in the small towns where I would spend my retirement.
In 1994, at the age of fifty and as I was beginning to eye my retirement from FT work as a teacher and lecturer, Microsoft launched its public internet web domain with a home page. Web site traffic climbed steadily and episodically in the years 1995 to 1999. Daily site traffic of 35,000 in mid-1996 grew to 5.1 million visitors in 1999. Throughout 1997 and 1998 the site grew up and went from being the web equivalent of a start-up company to a world-class organization. I retired from FT work at just the right time in terms of the internet capacity to provide me with access to information by the truckload on virtually any topic. This new technology had also developed sufficiently to a stage that gave me the opportunity, the capacity to post, write, indeed, “publish” is quite an appropriate term, on the internet at the same time. From 1999 to 2005 then, as I also released myself from FT, PT, casual and most volunteer work, Google and Microsoft offered more and more technology for my writing activity.
The Internet has become emblematic in many respects of globalisation. Its planetary system of fibre optic cables and instantaneous transfer of information are considered, by many accounts, one of the essential keys to understanding the transformation of the world into some degree of order and the ability to imagine the world as a single, global space. The Internet has widely been viewed as an essential catalyst of contemporary globalisation and it has been central to debates about what globalisation means and where it will lead.
There are now several hundred thousand readers engaged in parts of my internet tapestry, my jig-saw puzzle, my literary product, my creation, my immense pile of words across the internet--and hundreds of people with whom I correspond on occasion as a result. This amazing technical facility, the world wide web, has made this literary success possible. If my writing had been left in the hands of the traditional hard and soft cover publishers, where it had been without success when I was employed full time as a teacher, lecturer, adult educator and casual/volunteer teacher from 1981 to 2001, these results would never have been achieved.
I have been asked how I have come to have so many readers at my website and on my internet tapestry of writing that I have created across the world-wide-web. My literary product is just another form of published writing in addition to the traditional forms in the hands of publishers. The literally hundreds of thousands of readers I have at locations on my tapestry of prose and poetry, a tapestry I have sewn in a loose-fitting warp and weft across the internet, are found at over 4000 websites where I have registered: forums, message boards, discussion sites, blogs, locations for debate and the exchange of views. They are sites to place essays, articles, books, ebooks, poems and other genres of writing. I have registered at this multitude of sites, placed the many forms of my literary output there and engaged in discussions with literally thousands of people, little by little and day by day over the last decade. I enjoy these results without ever having to deal with publishers as I did for two decades without any success.
The last eight years of internet posting, 2001-2009, have been immensely rewarding. When one talks one likes to be listened to and when one writes one likes to have readers. It is almost impossible, though, to carry literary torches as I do through internet crowds or in the traditional hard and soft-cover forms, without running into some difficulties. My postings singe the beards of some readers and my own occasionally. Such are the perils of dialogue, of apologetics, of writing, of posting, indeed, I might add, of living. Much of writing and dialogue in any field of thought derives from the experience each of us has of: (a) an intimate or not-so-intimate sharing of views in some serendipitous fashion or (b) what seems like a fundamental harmony or dissonance between what each of us thinks and what some other person thinks. In some ways, the bridge of dialogue is immensely satisfying; in other ways the gulfs over the valleys of life are unbridgeable. When the latter is the case and when a site is troubled by my posts, I usually bow out for I have not come to a site to engage in conflict, to espouse an aggressive proselytism but, rather, to stimulate thought and, as I say, share views. And so, for now, I remain yours sincerely and I look forward to hearing from you should you desire to write again.-Ron Price, George Town, Tasmania, Australia.