History of Worldbridges (Long Version)

Worldbridges started as a grad school vision of how internet based multimedia technologies could be used to create a global 'people's webcasting network'. It was 1993 and  I had returned from a year of teaching English in Thailand to begin a Master's program in Training & Learning Technologies at the University of New Mexico.On the first day of that program I was given an email account and introduced to 'gopher'.   I was blown away with the possibilities.   I still felt the full 'Wow' of travel and  intercultural discovery as I contemplated how the internet could be used to help people connect, learn, and collaborate.  My first major project required that I create a multimedia presentation (basically a narrated slide show... using real slides since this was pre-Powerpoint) on some learning program.  My project was called 'Worldbridges'.

History of Worldbridges (Long Version)

  [At this point, I sorted through some old boxes and actually found the slides from that project.  It turns out that it was called 'World Explorer'.  I've been remembering this part of the story incorrectly for years.  It's still appropriate to begin my Worldbridges story here, because this is when the convergence of intercultural interaction with online interactive technologies first happened for me.]

 After I finished my Master's program, I headed back to Asia and started teaching English at a university in Pusan Korea.  Worldbridges didn't evolve in any significant way, until a friend of mine opened up one of Korea's first 'Internet Cafes' and I built my first website (called Pusanweb ) as a way to promote it.  The site didn't gain much traction until I bought the camera that changed my life -  and discovered the power of personal images. .

 As I continued learning about basic web design,  I came across Real Producer and discovered how easy it was to produce and publish audio online.  This was another 'wow' moment for me, as I envisioned  everyone having their own global radio show within months. I registered Worldbridges.com in October of 1997 with the thought that this could eventually be home to a people's network of this kind of homegrown webcasting. I started experimenting myself with this kind of media.

    I produced my first piece of online audio in December 1997, shortly after a major currency crisis hit Korea and later published my first video on the same topic.

In 1998, I attempted 'virtually live' coverage of events, by reporting from the Nagano Olympics (images only).  By the summer of 1998, I was starting to feel burnt out - with my job in Korea and with the overwhelming task of trying to manage my existing websites while build this envisioned webcasting network.  I decided to quit my job, shave my head, and go to India for a while to contemplate the next chapter, for me personally and for Worldbridges.  After some quality offline time, I decided to give Worldbridges a shot. I bought a new laptop and video camera and headed back to Bangkok to begin bridge buidling with the Worldbridges Manifesto and the Travelbridges plan.   It was a great few months that included covering The Asian Games and buildingWorldbridges Tibet, but it didn't take long to realize that Worldbridges wasn't going to be  generating signficant earnings anytime soon.

  I headed back to Korea in 1999 and ....

...to be continued