Flip the Switch on the Power of Online Networks

The Electricity Infrastructure Operations Center
The Electricity Infrastructure Operations Center - photo courtesy Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

When you turn on a light, do you think about where the electricity comes from or are you just thankful you can see?

The electricity that powers your light is delivered through a vast and complex network of power plants, substations, transmission grids, and distribution lines. The electricity running through your home or workplace could have been generated at a nearby plant or at a wind farm a thousand miles away. Most of us don’t care where the power comes from. We care only that it is there, a steady stream of electrons waiting to light up our homes and businesses. All we have to do is flip the switch.

Now imagine using a complex network like the power grid to deliver information, knowledge, learning; a stream of new ideas waiting to light up your mind. That network exists. We called it the Internet, then the World Wide Web, Web 2.0, and social media. It’s a vast and complex digital network that gives anyone with a connection the power to transfer information at great speed and to create connections across great distances.

Every day online networks are filled with thoughts, experiences, ideas, and information on a myriad of topics, some mundane or profane and some significant or even sacred. If you want to tap into the stream, all you need to do is flip the switch.

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