For example, what sense is there in promoting tourism solely
on the Web and then not maintaining a kiosk with the basic information
in a given town or destination?
Time spent offline is spent with friends or in serious introspection
in a natural setting. I would rather be biking
or pretending to play rugby
or such. That requires work in the 'virtual realm' where contact
and contracts are made in the global market.
Chat it up!
Once online, you might find someone else in the realm of cyberspace
to talk with (well, actually to type to). Chats aren't just
about getting dates. They offer real
time, one-to-one conversation.
Some are spontaneous. Others are scheduled, such as conversations,
such as our dialogues
about the environmental impact of transportation, on ECOCLUB.
The downside of chats is that with a lot of participants,
they become very slow. Chats favor those who can type
quickly ... and that's not many of us! Also, some people find
it difficult to focus or they focus so much that the spontaneity
of the chat is lost.
In these cases, it's better to use a forum or bulletin board
to encourage a more meaningful discussion.
I have had mixed successes with chats. Software such as MSN
Messenger are not always compatible with my Mac.
Outside of technical considerations, the social use of chat
needs to be explained, particularly with new users. Chat 'rookies'
are baffled by emoticons!
chat is rewarding when there's a stated objective and it remains
fun for both parties.
The following sites provide software for real-time chats.
AOL Instant Messenger
The following websites offer online chat (no download required)
but they are focused for specific topics. Please respect their
Conservation Learning Network