Thursday, July 27, 2006

Internet For Winos.

I read an article in Wired a while ago claiming that public-access Internet terminals, and even laptops, allowed the homeless to create a home for themselves without having to pay rent.

Living in a squalid, Woodstock-style bus parked in a Fillmore, California, orange grove, the 53-year-old homeless man [named Happy Ivy] charges a power generator from a utility shed and uses Wi-Fi from a nearby access point. From this humble camp, he's managed to run a 'round-the-clock internet television studio, organize grassroots political efforts, record a full-length album and write his autobiography, all while subsisting on oranges and avocados.

I imagine Happy Ivy is a bit of an exception; most homeless surely don't have the luxury of owning their own laptop. I'm willing to bet, however, that homeless individuals with 'net access via public libraries and similar methods do, as the article contends, use e-mail as the postbox they've never had.

I know social networking has been expanding at a rapid pace into ever more focused niches. But imagine my surprise to find a social networking site tailor-made for those guys on the benches in front of Libby's in Central Square: Cork'd!

The creators may call Cork'd a wine reviewing/networking/tagging site, but I tend to see it as a liberating way to trade tips on cheap wine. Unfortunately, it's currently occupied principally by yuppies. You should probably check it out, as it's wicked cool. Me, I've got to do my part for the less fortunate and start reviewing the "Mad Dog 20/20 Blue Raspberry (BLING BLING)".

P.S. For extra coolness, check out the inline wine journal below my blogroll on the right. Kickass.

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