For as long as I can remember, I've had aspirations of becoming a performing musician. As the years passed and reality set in--and probably to my parents' relief--I decided journalism was a safer career to go with.
But, if the Internet was as pervasive back then as it is now, would I have made a different decision?
Take latest singing sensation Marie Digby, for instance. The 25-year-old singer-songwriter rose to fame after she started posting videos of herself singing cover versions of hit songs on YouTube. Digby was already signed to a record label, but had turned to the video-sharing site as a marketing platform to gain visibility.
Her strategy worked. To date, she's posted 33 videos on YouTube and the one that shot her to fame--her cover of Rihanna's hit song Umbrella--has been viewed over 6.5 million times.
Digby last month released her debut solo album, which hit the Billboard 200 chart at No. 29--not too shabby for someone who was an unknown when she posted her first YouTube video just over a year ago.
So maybe, just maybe, my life could have taken a completely different path if I had the Internet and YouTube to turn to. Okay, make that a BIG maybe, especially since I can't gyrate as seductively as Korean pop star Rain, nor do I have the four-octave vocal range that Philippine singer Regine Velasquez has.
Digby's story is nice one to tell the grandkids, and to future generations that are fortunate enough to have the chance to witness the continuing evolution of the Internet. The Web affords many opportunities that generations before never had, and every one of us should find any way to leverage this platform to fulfill our ambitions--whatever they may be.
America is no longer the land of dreams...the World Wide Web is.
Hmmm, maybe I'll have better luck with a paper clip...