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Columnist: The amazing Internet — a new route for becoming rich

By Glenn Dowell

Contributing columnist

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Are you a self-starter? Do you like money — lots of it? Do you just hate the grind of a 9-5 routine? Do you have a boss you absolutely detest looking over your shoulders with condemnation on a daily basis? Well, the Internet may be the vehicle that can dramatically change your life. Maybe, into a millionaire!

Need proof? Remember all the hoopla this past Thanksgiving leading up to Christmas about Patti Labelle, the famous R&B singer? It was certainly not about her singing. It was about a young man, James Wright, who created a YouTube video about her potato pies that went viral.

His satire related to how delicious the pie was generated 4,651,000 hits on YouTube. After the video, Walmart could not keep the pies on their shelves. You know what? A pie was sold every second of the day.

Although it was alleged that she initially denied the impact his video had on the sales of her pies, she changed her “tune” when it was discovered that consumers loved her pies but were enthralled with Mr. Wright’s video of the product.

Ms. Labelle, realizing his positive impact on sales, ultimately invited him on stage to perform with her during one of her concerts. The story of James Wright is about a young man goofing off utilizing the Internet who ended up making Ms. Labelle a lot of money and coincidentally, enshrined himself into our national consciousness.

Is your beak wet yet?

If not, remember Steve Jobs? When he died his net worth was $10.2 billion. Known as one of the richest individuals in the world, he was generally recognized as the co-founder of Apple Computers.

Utilizing the vehicle of the Internet he was instrumental in introducing the public to computer technology resulting in the Apple computer being recognized as one of the major inventions of the 20th century.

Do you own a computer, a phone, car or television? If you do, you have probably contributed to one of the world’s richest men. His name is William Henry “Bill” Gates III, an American business magnate, philanthropist, investor and computer programmer.

In 1975, Gates co-founded Microsoft, which became the world’s largest PC software company. His net worth is a staggering $79.50 billion! His inventions are either the actual operation systems on computers or serve as applications such as Microsoft Office, which allow us to more efficiently process information, which greatly reduces the time it takes in completing a task or job.

Considered a kind of “nerd” in school, even his mother was concerned about his becoming a loner. Mothers should probably have a talk with their daughters today and let them know to be nice to the “nerdy” kid in school. He could remember their kindness later and become a wealthy son-in-law.

The list goes on ad nauseam concerning the number of persons who have become rich via the Internet and the use of technology. Even though I am continuously on the Internet, I am forever surprised at this information medium which most of us use daily.

Last year I wrote a book titled, “No Cross -No Crown.” In looking up my publication recently on the Internet, I discovered by accident that Google, the mighty search engine that most of us use, maintains a record of each time an Internet searcher clicks on my book.

In fact, as of this date Google has recorded more 63,000 such hits. That being said, I hope that, when I receive my honorarium from my publisher, at least 10,000 of the hits are related to actual book sales.

A discussion of the Internet would not be complete without mentioning the many applications that fueled its growth and success. The following are just a few of the technologies that have a considerable impact on the way we communicate and do business:

Email — one of my favorite utilities utilizing the Internet

It’s hard to fathom a world without email; it has made sending a text message half way around the world with just the click of keyboard. Originally conceived in 1972, email is now essential to practically all types of businesses and personal communications.

Meeting a potential date online

Over the past two decades, securing a date is now just having Internet connectivity and the ability to appeal to others with similar interests. Although this is a very popular online enterprise, there are risks related to connecting with persons who are deceitful and in some instances dangerous predators.

Social networking

If you live on planet earth, you probably have a Facebook account. The creator, Mark Zuckerberg, is an American technology entrepreneur who has a net worth of $47.1 billion dollars. More than a billion people around the world are on Facebook at some point in the day communicating with friends and others in their social networking circle.

It is without a doubt that the Internet has had a major impact on our lives. It can essentially create millionaires, overnight.

Do you have an idea or product that the public might be interested in? Try the Internet. You might just become another millionaire.

Glenn Dowell is an author and LaGrange native who currently lives in Jonesboro. He may be reached at glenn.dowell@gmail.com.