The Internet is now acknowledged as the new Great Equalizer (effectively replacing the classic, “death and taxes”), thanks to its promise to bridge the gap between the information haves and have-nots. Indeed, being a knowledge worker, I am one of those who have benefited immensely from the World Wide Web.

Working at my own pace from the comforts of my own home, I like to think that I am living the dream, safe from the elements, away from the madding crowd.

And yet, every so often, I have felt detached. Disconnected.

While, occasionally, I do get to meet some interesting people I would otherwise not encounter, I have also wondered if, somehow, I have allowed my online relationships to outnumber my “real” ones. Thinking old school, should I try to reverse this trend? Should I give up the dream, return to the rat race, and go back to “real life”, just to have that kind of connection again?

Web 2.0 = Women 2.0 When I first toyed with Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites, I considered them an amusing pastime. Sure, I touched base with old friends, even made a few new ones; and we try to catch up with each other’s lives. Still, I thought, is this all there was to it?

And then, I started to catch on to the possibilities. I saw some early adopters demonstrating how the connecting powers of these new technologies could help create scale…how Web 2.0 is opening doors to people who want to do good so they can do even better… how a simple “poke” to a total stranger could turn into a life-changing event.

I saw Granovetter’s “weak ties” concept coming to life like the proverbial light bulb. Web 2.0 is an enabler, I discovered, that gives an entirely new definition to six degrees of separation. Ultimately, I realized, every connection counts.

Thus, I am grateful to have come across some truly inspiring women who use the Internet as a tool for empowerment, making their own voices heard, telling tales of other women who cannot even enjoy access to information as a basic right.

Barack Obama said recently that “knowledge is the currency of the 21st century”. Doing what I do, indeed, knowledge is my personal currency and so, this form of scarcity is unthinkable.

The Real Currency Today, working with nonprofit organizations and social enterprises from the other side of the world—many of them led by women—I have realized I need not give up the dream just to be able to reconnect with humankind.

All I need is a change of paradigm.

I am connected. I am able to impact the lives of people, not only through technology, but through people. It is my partners who work in the grassroots that help turn my visions into reality. And Web 2.0 helps provide this synergy.

Connections, more than knowledge, are the more valuable currency.

Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Empowerment and Web 2.0.

Comment on this Post


I think we are still trying to grapple with the Web 2.0 life :) Thanks, Daydri!


_______________________________________________________________________ Life is how you design it.

Dear aarsenal...

It is nice reading your are very articulate and your writing is clear! You have put forward some very interesting aspects of web 2.0 I especially like your equation.

Keep writing and sharing your thoughts!

Best Regards Khushbu

Khushbu Agrawal

Hi, Khushbu! Thanks for reading and taking time out to comment. Please drop by again soon.


_______________________________________________________________________ Life is how you design it.

life is really made up of opposites, good and evil, life and death, ups and down, positives and negatives, high and low, and the sorts, then you have your middle ground, things that stabilize, permanency, realities you are right pulsewire is todays equalizer i like that

i hope you win this competition and then ill get to see you keep on writing anna


Solvitur ambulando (it is solved by walking)

Hi Everly, thanks for the kind comments. Your writing has been inspiring, as well.


_______________________________________________________________________ Life is how you design it.

Well done, Anna!

I very much enjoyed reading your first assignment, it is beautifully written and inspiring. You have a very strong voice, and I look forward to reading more from you.

Great job!


Hi Anna

Your voice jumps out of the screen at me, beautifully capturing the dichotomy between solitude and isolation/ "real life" craziness and real life connections. I love the narrative rising towards hope and joy towards the end. You are so right. The tool is what we make of it, eh? It is so true that people are what is at the end of the technology, anyway, so how can it not be powerful?

I too have oscillated between the disconnection of internet profiles and possibility of endless connections. Eventually, the connections win out!

I got a very intriguing glimpse of you work history and your life, present and past and am intrigues to know more. I hope you write another piece about your experience in the "rat race" and how you came to work from home/ pursue your dreams more actively. I am sure there are some interesting and inspiring stories there :-)

Hi, ShukThi!

Reading the stories of the other VOF applicants, I've discovered that I share my experiences as a knowledge worker with many other women. In a way, this brings me a lot of comfort and reduces the feeling of being disconnected.

I will try my best to write more about my life experiences but I am happy to hear you have already found that balance between real and virtual. Cheers! :)


_______________________________________________________________________ Life is how you design it.

Hi Anna, I enjoyed reading your post. I think you do a great job of relating your perspective on communication via the internet and how it is providing positive changes. I also like how you write about your transition from other social networks to Web 2.0. Your excitement and enthusiasm about Web 2.0 come across very clear. I think you do a great job of presenting the possibilities available through Web 2.0. I do think you can elaborate on more specific solutions Web 2.0 can provide and how you see yourself contributing to those solutions. I think you do a great job of showing how you are empowered by Web 2.0. I was interested in knowing more about what you do as a profession and how it specifically ties into your communication through Web 2.0. You mention Granovetter's "weak ties" concept, I was wanting to know more about that and I think you can provide a few more details for those of us who are unfamiliar with Granovetter.

Great work, I look forward to reading more! -Lisa

Hi, Lisa! Thanks for your comments and insights. Your suggestions are all very helpful!

TCW Inc is actually my start-up enterprise that I plan to launch next year. It will utilize social networking tools for business development and fundraising for nonprofits and social enterprises. In my research, I have come across so many useful ideas, including the weak ties concept, and I am happy to have finally found in World Pulse an avenue to share my findings.

I will write up a storm in my journal soon. Thanks again!


_______________________________________________________________________ Life is how you design it.