Last month, I posted my 40th “Then & Now” blog using next year’s Centennial Celebration of Fred J. Wiseman’a first airmail flight on February 17-18, 1911, as the subject matter. When I woke up this morning, it dawned on me that tomorrow, March 11, will be the fourth anniversary of my first blog for the newly created online edition of the Argus-Courier (since renamed Petaluma360.) The title of this first column was “From Cyberspace to Cyberplace,” and the new category was named, Our Cyberplace-Petaluma.  That original post is reprinted below. It is representative of our thinking about ICT (Information & Communication Technology) back THEN; but it is appropriate to repeat NOW, in light of the City’s current campaign to persuade Google to select Petaluma as the community to create an experimental fiber network.

“You are lost out there. Stop wandering and return home.” But I am home when I think about my CyberPlace – Petaluma, USA. There are two elements of our cyber world that are As a Cybernaut, I’m continually on a journey in CyberSpace. Sometimes my wife says, not separate, but connected and interrelated by more than X’s and O’s. They are connected in the human mind that has the cognitive power to Think Globally About Our CyberSpace; but Act Locally in Our CyberPlaces.

As humans, we often think about how we can do things better. No matter what sector of society we identify with – Education, Government, Business, Health Care, or Community Benefit Services – we are constantly challenged by how we might achieve the stated goals and objectives of our respective institution, agency, organization, or group in a more effective and efficient manner. Since the advent of telecommunication and computer technology, our world of information and communication has been greatly altered. How ICT might build a stronger community is why PetalumaNet was founded in 1995. One of its guiding principles is the greatest resource of any community is the collective wisdom, intellect, and creativity of its citizens.

Ten years later, this slogan and the PetalumaNet logo keep our volunteer Cybernauts on course as they continue to explore their CyberUniverse and hatch new collaborative projects that are later institutionalized and sustained after demonstrating their viability and benefits for the community.

One of the emerging trends in our CyberWorld is the art of blogging. It is no longer just for geeks, but has become a mainstreamed communication vehicle. Just enter “blog” or “blogging” in a search engine and see what appears. Using Google, 537 million “blog” items appear in 0.15 seconds. “Blogging” produces 84,900,000 entries.

Last August, almost nine years to the day since the first portal web site was created for Petaluma by Eric Silverberg, he introduced his plans for a community web site that would contain only blogs. Unfortunately, soon after his PetalumaNet.com site made its debut, Eric was hired by Google and his pilot project was laid to rest. Michael Estigoy’s community information web site, PetalumaOnline, currently contains sections for both blogs and community discussion forums.

The Petaluma Argus-Courier, however, has posted announcements seeking bloggers for its entry into the World of Blogging. Consequently, this particular blog, Our CyberPlace – Petaluma, USA, has been created to help keep Petalumans informed about what is happening in its own backyard with regard to new applications of ICT in our daily lives.”

Stay tuned, as this aging blogger who sometimes gets help from his team of writers (Eagle-Eyes, Hammerhead, Me, Myself, and I) continues to bombard readers with comments and thoughts related to the Past, Present and Future of Our River Town, as well as Emergency Preparedness, Our Web of Life, Our Information Highway, and Remembering Bill Soberances.