The Online Guy

Columnist • Blogger • Author

Digital media specialist • Speaker 


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About The Online Guy

Welcome to the new home of The Online Guy, Al Gibes.
I'm calling it The Online Guy 2.0.

I've been living in the digital world since the mid-1990s, and fully embrace the reality that "new media" is here to stay. Technology continues to deliver new tools that change the way people communicate. Most of the change is for the good, as family, friends and business associates have instant access to the Internet and social media from just about anywhere.

The Internet has spread from desktops to laptops to smart phones, tablets and televisions. It can be overwhelming at times. I've written more than 650 columns and several hundred blog posts about how people use technology in their lives and understand that every consumer uses today's tools very uniquely.

There's plenty of buzz about what's new, what's next and what people are doing with technology. There's also plenty of confusion to accompany that buzz: "Should I be on Facebook?" "What's Twitter?" "What should my business do online?" "Getting my e-mail is all I can do." "Should I upgrade?" "I'm worried about privacy."

These are all good questions and new ones pop up daily.  I'll help you cut through the fog to get answers and take some of the mystery out of living with technology. Today's tools should make your life easier and more enjoyable. It shouldn't be feared or avoided because of confusion.

I led the team that developed the original website, which became a model for other city/regional portal sites. The same team later built the original site. Both sites continue to be go-to places for people booking travel or looking for reliable information for two of the top tourist destinations on the planet. My team in 2005 redeveloped, which quickly become the most visited news site in the state. I oversaw the site for more than four years.

As more people use the Internet as the number one source for news and information, it's important the organizations behind those sites stay ahead of the curve. Website users are increasingly contributing to the flood of information, with videos, photos and first hand accounts often the reports many see first. 

The great debate about how to make money online rages on, as advertising dollars are being chased by thousands of sites. Some sites are experimenting with pay walls, which raises an entirely new set of issues. Other sites rely on attracting large audiences and match site visitors to advertisers. Then there's Google. Search advertising continues to lead the pack, but how long will that model last?

I'm continuing to write about all of this and invite you to chime in with comments on my posts. I'll tell you about the newest phones and the networks behind them; how to stay safe in the social media world; what businesses are doing to connect with customers; and much, much more.

Let the fun continue!