What is the internet?

I asked my little nephew and niece (7 and 9) and my aunt (in her 70s) what the internet is. (I translated their responses from Flemish).

Me: “But what IS the internet?”
Niece: “The internet is where everything comes together… where all the information comes together”.

Me: “What’s the difference between your computer and the internet?”
Nephew: “on the internet you can find programs all over the world, and on your computer you only find a few files that are yours.”

Me: “What is the internet?”
Auntie (70+): “So when are you going to India? … The internet is when you can write to everyone…” (she doesn’t have internet access.)

Me: “What is patience?”
Nephew: “You have to have patience when the sand-clock is there.” (refering to the icon that indicates the computer is working.)

I have all this on video, but haven’t asked for permission to post it yet.

Walmart’s motto: “don’t be evil”?

People seem to really want the Google OS to compete with the Microsofts and AOL’s of this world. There are calls for a Google IM client or a Google Browser, and these are not based on rumors of Google working on these projects. They are just “wouldn’t this be cool” kind of ideas.

Google’s “don’t be evil” motto is one of the strongest branding exercises of the decade. What I hope is that this example will lead the way for a wave of realizations (books, gurus) about how large companies that explicitly try to be NOT evil get tons of consumer goodwill. And I hope that in turn, other companies (Coca Cola, Walmart) will start feeling the effects of that. I don’t think we can get rid of large transnational companies. But we need to change their values, at least a little bit.