Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Internet Story

One of the questions I receive from friends is how did I got into this whole Internet thing. Here's my brief sharing. This was first published on page 7 of the Philippine Internet Review.

My fascination with computers started as early as 1984 while I was in grade school. I remember the time when I went to the office of my Auntie (who works for Globe at that time) and had my first encounter with the computer. It was running a spreadsheet program called Visicalc. I played around with it for a few minutes, just typing in numbers. From that moment on, I knew that I want to work in the field of computers. In 1986, I studied basic computer system, COBOL, Wordstar, Dbase II, and Visicalc.

In 1988, there was a big marketing pitch that one doesn't need a college degree to get a high paying job. I believed in it and took a computer literacy course and trainer's training in two computer schools.

Janette Toral 1994I had my first computer tutorial job in 1989 and pursued various IT careers thereafter. In 1995, I logged on at Daniel Chua's Nightstalker Bulletin Board System who also convinced me to try out and subscribe to Extra Mile Online. That is where I got my first shot to moderate my first forum - Infotech. With that experience, I began writing to several ISPs offering volunteer forum moderating work in exchange for Internet access. Portal Inc. and The E-Mail Company accepted my offer. (The photo inserted herein was taken back in 1994)

I guess you can say I got hooked to the Internet and my life was never the same again.

What is great about the Internet is that you can be who you want to be. In the past 13 years since I first went online, I had become a writer, community organizer, lobbyist, activist, evangelist, entrepreneur, online educator, among others - living all of these identities online and offline.

Information Technology and the Internet provides you with a feeling of empowerment. It gives you room to achieve greatness and attain personal achievement if used properly. But it can also destroy you as well if abused. The again, it also gives you room to bounce back and start all over again.

How about you? What is your Internet story? If you have your Internet story posted in your blog, let me know and will link it here. Cheers!