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A virtual, living ’building’
Valentina Pellizzer | 14 March 2005


Both virtual and real life metaphors can help us to locate ourselves in the world and to express our thoughts more easily.


Information and Communication Technologies, and especially the fact that technology was involved, made me think that I needed to finish school or to take a new course. When I started focusing on information and communication, however, the reason was more immediate: to keep me in touch with the most important and relevant relationship in my life.
The first time that I moved from emails to something interactive, ICQ chat, was when my husband Denis was living 1000 kilometers away. We could not afford the stress and expense of international phone calls. Interactive technology offered us a tool that was easy to set up and use. It gave us the pleasure and privilege of talking late into the night without looking at the clock and worrying about the frustrations of the next bill. We enjoyed our long, happy and cheaper hours!
What really made us enthusiasts was the fact we could exchange much more information, both in terms of quantity and quality, than we could ever exchange through an ordinary phone call.
Since then, the Internet has become my favourite way to interact, the means I use to talk and express myself. Two years ago, when I started coordinating OWSEE Civil Society Portal, I understood that, just as in the real life, a platform is a building: it has many floors and flats, it has an elevator and air conditioning and terraces. But all the potential comforts that this building offers will be meaningless if tenants don’t move in and start using the building. We need to put our names on the doors, invite our friends in, knock on each others’ doors, and exchange recipes: this is what makes the building our home. It is up to each of us to decide whether or not to move into the building. We don’t have to move in, we can choose to stay outside, but if we do, then we shouldn’t complain or have regrets it if our messages arrive too late or get lost.
We should not get scared about or intimidated by a technology that we can learn to understand and use any time. It is technology that we need. This connectivity provides us with the possibility to create our visions and bring them to life.





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