WeEarth Goes Live on the Web

by Michael D. Sellers

As many of you know, Way of the Dolphin is not the only project on my plate — WeEarth.com is there too and in fact it’s first up. We’ve been working hard on it for a number of months and have now reached a preliminary milestone — we have “gone live” on the internet. Previously we’ve been working on it offline. What is WeEarth? Here’s the way I tried to explain it on the Welcome page over at the WeEarth site:

A century ago Albert Einstein wrote: “Strange is our situation here upon Earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sake of others…for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day, I realize how much my outer and inner life is built upon the labors of people, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much a I have received.”

Einstein got it a long time before the rest of us did. He saw that we are connected in ways large and small. It is stunning — yet perfect — that a man locked in the most solitary of cerebral human pursuits recognized this connectivity, and gave voice to it.At WeEarth we too celebrate that we are all connected We know we share a fragile, yet resilient planet and our actions toward that planet affect one another in ways both subtle and profound. But our connectedness goes far deeper than that the physical realm. Technology empowers us in ways never known before. More than at any time in human history, we have the means to connec. We can find what we have in common, explore our differences, amplifying them, and in the process we can learn, grow, create art, share expression, give voice to ideas.That’s what we’re about at WeEarth.Our sense of it is that WeEarth is not so much a specific philosophy as it is a general orientation toward the world, a view that rejects isolation, rejects the ‘nation-centric’ view of the world that might have been appropriate decades ago, but no longer applies in a time when we’re as likely to be chatting online with a student in India or a blogger in Russia as we are to be having a conversation with our next door neighbor. We used to be defined by our physical communities because we had no choice — those were the people we could connect with. This is no longer the case and as our ability to connect with anyone anywhere in the world becomes second nature, so too does our view of the world and our place in it begin to change. WeEarth is a place to explore that changing world; a place to learn, a place to grow.But those are just highminded words. What about really making it happen? Are we looking for a particular kind of person? One of the arguments that runs counter to the ‘one-world’ thematics that we embrace is the idea that the internet, by creating thousands upon thousands of niche communities, each with the ability to reach out and find like-minded people, is creating a universe of echo-chambers where like-minded people seek out other like-minded people, and in the process limit exposure to multiple points of view and diverse ways of thinking. Is there a danger that this might happen at WeEarth?We think not. The operative word here is “connected” — as in, we are all connected. That doesn’t mean we have to see things the same way, and it is our belief and expectation that over time a variety of points of view will find their way onto these page and into the videos.As we progress, we want you to undertand that WeEarth when it is full deployed will consist of at least four elements:

1. The WeEarth Portal — this is where you are now. New, articles, videos, blogs — everything that we and our community members feel is valuable and worth sharing on a wide basis.
2. Social Network — Each community member will have a profile, be able to upload videos, photos, be able to blog among friends or publicly, and generally be able to connect via email, chat, and other means. Our social network.
3. WeEarth Mall — we will offer a fascinating array of products, both bits and atoms (digital and physical).
4. Video Blog Hosting — we will serve the growing community of video bloggers as a premiere hosting service that in turn will offer our community the best selection of video commentators and producers.

If you come to WeEarth and see what we’re doing, and if you feel like you’ve got some ideas that you’d like to bring to the table, we’d like to hear them.Use your voice. Be heard.

So by all means — please check it out. This is very much a work in progress — but we’re committed to growing it into something special.

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~ by Michael D. Sellers on February 26, 2008.

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