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Let me first start this post out by saying that I have loved the Web since the very first time I pulled up a Web site. Literally the very first one. I don’t remember the site (although it’s likely it had a stone background image), but I do remember the rush of ideas, emotions, and potential that flooded over me the first time I pulled up that site.

In the last year or so, I’ve been decidedly harsh in my critique about where the internet has gone in recent memory. In particular, I was incredibly disappointed in this last election, not because of the results (that’s another topic, and if you read my twitter stream you’d probably be¬†surprised¬†why). Actually the reason was that in all the conversation that’s happened around US politics in the last two years, I feel like we’ve largely seen Social Media used as a marketing tool meant to skew reality, not as an ability to create transparency and deeper thought and discussion.

So yeah, I’ve been pretty down on the Internet lately.

But last night I was reminded why I <3 the internet: social community that works. I am learning (or trying to learn) photography. I’m getting there, slowly but surely. But after acquiring a new (and really cool) lens via Craiglist, I was having some problems figuring out why the autofocus never seems to work quite right. I’m less concerned about the physical quality of the lens, it was in great shape. No, I knew I was likely doing something wrong.

So I exported an example image, uploaded it to my new favorite photography community, and asked for help. Hours later a kind soul had responded, giving me some direction in how to address the problem. Why? Because he wanted to help.

This is the information utopia I saw so long ago, and it’s pretty fantastic.