INTERNET TRAVELLER By Hilary Ostrov C.W.*


So, it's a new year in cyberspace! Some 'auld acquaintances' have been forgot and others brought to mind. The technology seems to change weekly - if not daily - and some technological changes bring significant shifts in the 'culture' of the 'net.

While the verdict is not yet in as to whether or not advertising makes a difference to a company's 'bottom line', if tastefully - and inobtrusively - done, I can certainly see that there are many potential benefits.

One tasteful (and tasty!) bit of advertising I came across is 'Around our Table - California Cooks Kosher'. The recipes in this cookbook (which of course you can order on-line) were contributed by the Seniors and volunteers of Jewish Family Senior Services in Los Angeles.

Speaking of making a difference, don't ask me how my mouse and I got there, but recently I arrived at the Home Page of Sue Zakar.

On Sue's home page, you can find a link to her story of how she chose to become an observant Jew - and the key role that her 'net contacts played in this decision. She describes this very movingly in an article entitled 'Finding Torah on the Internet'.

What's a gopher, you ask? Well, as you can see Chabad uses it …so it must be a net kosher URL! Actually, in pre-WWW days, gopher-space was the place to be! Lots of information there, but just 'plaintext' documents - and, although mouse-friendly, no linking from one page to another - and no net enhancements of the text, such as graphics, colour, sound or any other bells and whistles.

The Shoah deniers on the net have wasted no time in advertising their wares. Zundel and Doug Collins have had pages for a while now, and they were recently joined by Doug Christie - these 'auld acquaintances' one would like to forget! But on the bright side, try a quick visit to the Nizkor Project Guest Book where you will find comments like those of Claire Dickens: "…Keep it up..the world is watching the Internet and we need more people like you."


*Hilary Ostrov is a Chartered Webaholic, who lives in New Westminster, BC. When not busy "surfing the net", she is a consultant and educator who offers Internet "driving lessons", hypertext authoring and design of World Wide Web "Home Pages", and computer- related training. She can be contacted via e-mail (hostrov@telus.net) or telephone (604) 525- 3055

Copyright © 1996 Hilary Ostrov

This article was submitted for publication and appeared in the The Western Jewish Bulletin, Vol. LXIII, No. 1

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