The Power Of The Internet

Elena blogged about the Cassie Edwards situation earlier this week; the whole kerfuffle came to light because of the internet: The Smart Bitches discussed their opinion of Ms. Edwards’ body of work, someone wondered just why it was the way it was, they did some googling, and voila, accusations of plagiarism ensue. It seems quite clear that it would not have happened without the internet. Who would have found those old books and compared them if it meant hours and hours in dusty libraries?

Your opinion of what Ms. Edwards may or may not have done aside, I think this situation, this possibility, is a good thing–transparency of information is fabulous, whether I’m searching for a butternut squash recipe, or want to see 1814 walking gowns, or a Biblical quote for my vicar’s daughter to spout during an argument with the hero.

The internet is also an incredible word-of-mouth vessel. For example, a blog-friend, Kristie, has been on a Crusade to get people to watch the BBC version of Elizabeth Gaskell‘s North & South. I had heard of it from an offline writing friend, but hadn’t gotten around to watching it, especially since my local library didn’t have it. Thanks to Kristie, who lit a fire under my posterior, I got it from the New York Public Library and watched it this week.

I have to say, thank goodness for the internet. I wouldn’t have known about the splendor of North & South, and the compellingly dark charisma of the hero, played by Richard Armitage, without it. Any fan of romance, and history, and alpha-sexy Mr. Broody-Pants-type heroes should try to see it.

In other ‘What has the Internet Done For Me?’ testify stories, my husband and I are renovating a house right now (fingers crossed: March 1), and we’ve done TONS of research on the web: Paints, stoves, refrigerators, lighting, building codes, etc. Would we even have a clue about anything without it? Unlikely. Not unless we wanted to spend tons of money on reference books or loads of hours in that same dusty libraries.

I find recommendations for books, food, movies, foxy guys, connect with friends, meet new friends (hi, Kristie! hi, Cindy!), introduce myself and my writing to potential readers, and have made some lasting connections that have escalated beyond the keyboard (hi, Myretta! hi, Tracy!).

And, of course, without the Internet we wouldn’t all be gathered here, sharing a love of Regency romances.

What do you love most about the web?

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19 Responses to The Power Of The Internet

  1. Elena Greene says:

    Megan, a friend of mine (Kathleen Bolton at Writer Unboxed) has been urging us all to see NORTH AND SOUTH. We’re planning a writers’ retreat this spring and that will probably be our evening entertainment.

    As to what I love most about the web, it’s the chance to meet people with similar interests. History Geeks are hard to find where I live, for instance, or even too many women who read romance (or admit they do). I also love being able to search Google Books for period resources (more History Geekdom) and find recipes for anything and everything.

  2. Jennie says:

    A friend and I were just talking about what we would miss if we lived in the past. Antibiotics. Clean drinking water. The Internet.

    I love the way you can connect with people who share your hobbies. Like if you love romance novels and most of your friends and family just don’t get it. πŸ™‚

  3. Georgie Lee says:

    I also found North and South through other bloggers. I was able to watch the first hour through Netflix on-line instant viewing. It is a great film and Richard Armitage is hot. What did we do before the internet?

  4. Diane Gaston says:

    Okay okay… I ordered North and South. I mean, I purchased it! That and $30 of books from Amazon. All because of the Internet…

    What I love most about the internet, though, is the friends I’ve made!

  5. I love being able to order research books with just a few simple keystrokes from Alibris or the wonderful people on or Barnes and Noble. I’ve managed to get a copy of Scribner’s Magazine from 1895 that I would never have had. Also the opportunity to meet and share information with other history geeks and writers. And to be able to share aspects of myself and my writing journey with friends and new friends. And finding new hotties like Richard Armitage. He’s even hotter in Robin Hood! Thank god for BBC America.

  6. I knew you would come over to the North and South side, Megan! It’s one of my favorite historical costume dramas now. πŸ™‚

  7. Cara King says:

    My favorite thing about the internet is that it takes up all my time, thus preventing me from ever writing.

    Just kidding! I think.

    Okay, no, I like lots about it. I just discovered I can even check the local traffic online! Heaven.

    When my connection goes down, I’m lost. I can’t remember how I used to find out the weather forecast, movie times, restaurant hours, or pretty much anything else day-to-day before the internet.

    (Though I still do most of my historical research from books, which I find more reliable…)


  8. Kristie (J) says:

    Wow – that’s a good question you ask. First and foremost what I love about the Net is the friends I’ve made. These are real, honest to goodness friends that have helped get me through difficult tims, even though I haven’t met most of them and chances are never will. And the sweet thing is I continue to make more – and because they share my grandest passion – romance books, they are deep too.
    I love ordering books online. I also love getting them in stores, but there’s nothing more exciting than coming home and seeing a package at the door – or *g* more frustrating than having one that needs to be signed for and I’ve missed it.
    I love being able to delve deeper into things on the internet – for example *g* I now know quite a few things that Richard Armitage has been in. And just recently for the heck of it I googled an NHL hockey player I had a crush on when I was ever so much younger. I found a great picture and thought – riiiight – that’s why I had a crush on him alright! I love being able to share things I’ve really loved with others. And *another grin* at the moment I love finding new Crusaders and potential Crusaders such as………Diane (hah hah hah hah).

  9. Kristie (J) says:

    Mr. Broody Pants???? *spewing on the computer with laughter*

  10. Oh, and you should also give “Robin Hood” a try. πŸ™‚ He’s still Mr. Broody Pants, just darker–and Robin Hood’s not bad either, lol

  11. All of you guys:

    Yeah, how awesome is it that we all don’t feel alone in our love for what we love, whether it’s regencies, or research, or Richard Armitage, or anything.

    And I watched Robin Hood once, was bored, but might have to revisit.

    Kristie, I thought you’d like that nickname!

  12. doglady says:

    What do I like about the Internet/ Well Risky Regencies, of course! Truly, I love finding friends with the same obsessions as myself who will talk about and any aspect of said obsession. I love the research books and sites I learn about from all of my online friends. And yes, I will now HAVE to get North and South. Mr. Broody Pants! This I have to see. That is the other thing I love. I had a HORRIFYING day at work today and yet I come home and read something like Mr. Broody Pants and I HAVE to laugh.

  13. Katie(babs) says:

    Hey Diane!
    I work in NYC πŸ™‚
    As for mister broody pants, I wouldn’t mind taking those off and he can be all broody naked.

  14. how awesome is it that we all don’t feel alone in our love for what we love, whether it’s regencies, or research, or Richard Armitage, or anything.

    This is my favorite aspect of the internet. No matter how esoteric your interest, you’re never the ONLY one.

    And, like others, I love it as a research tool. Just this week I had a moment of Google serendipity. Eugene de Beauharnais is one of the real people who appears in my alternate history WIP, and I was looking for a portrait that showed his hands so I could describe them for a scene where he’s playing chess. Not only did I find the portrait, without even MENTIONING chess in my search, I found an article talking about him buying a chess-playing automaton. From which I deduce that he almost certainly WAS a chess player himself. I hadn’t known that when I was starting out–I just thought chess was a good prop for the scene.

    And then, for much more mundane research, I decided this week that one of my characters is going to suffer a broken nose. I’ve never had one. So I went to an online group I’m part of and asked if anyone else had–and within half an hour I had everything I needed to write my scene, including a description from a rugby player of how to do a rough reset without medical help.

    The internet makes the world bigger and smaller at the same time–a universe of information and a worldwide community at your fingertips.

  15. Santa says:

    It was the internet that introduced me to all of my auto-buys authors, like yourselves. It also sparked my desire to write my own book. I have met some amazing people through the internet – whether in person or in cyberspace. And I now call many of those people – friend.

  16. Hi, Megan!

    I love the Internet, as well. It’s an incredible tool for a writer, but I also can’t imagine making travel plans without it, or buying shoes (in a store? -ew!), or looking up an odd fact to win a bet with my husband…

    It’s the perfect way to keep a recluse like me happy, informed, and well-shod.

  17. madnaduk says:

    Mr Broody pants is a fantastic name and does suit John Thornton. The delicious Richard Armitage can be found in so much more though, so in case you are interest – have a look at for more info. There is a fab forum there too, if you fancy a drool fest with like minded ladies!

  18. recipes, quick odd facts, overwhelming time wasting, online shopping (or at least as getting as far as filling the basket), keeping in touch with people. Blogging. Going from link to link and ending up somewhere you would never have found otherwise.

  19. Todd says:

    The Internet has completely transformed many aspects of how I do my job. This had just begun when I had started my career (back when the Internet was still the Arpanet), but the only thing that really existed in a useful form then was email. One still had to go to a library to look at actual journals printed on paper, and then submit your own papers by mail, etc., etc. Now, everything new appears online, and much of the old stuff has been scanned in and posted; papers are posted online as soon as they are written and submitted to journals via the web. If there was a talk you missed, it’s not that unusual to find a video of it posted online. It amazes me that all this has happened in less than twenty years.


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