Vancouver Ethiopian Blog

Ethiopian life in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Cool Things You Can Do with the Internet

In my first tech post, I discussed about the magnitude of the Internet. Yes, the Internet is huge. In fact, the word “Internet” is so huge that its first letter “I” is capitalized all the time. So, you might ask, how do we get the best out of the Internet? What can I use the Internet for?

A recent survey showed that the vast majority of people use the Internet for only email communications and searches. This means, a lot of people don’t use the Internet to its full potential. So, I have decided to post this article and give you some ideas on how you can further use the Internet.

Some of the things I personally use the Internet for include, but not limited to:


  • Emailing family and friends
  • Video and voice chatting in VOIP applications – such as Skype
  • Chatting live with friends and family using Instant Messaging (IM)
  • Making and receiving business phone calls (Sitting in Vancouver, I have phone numbers in 40+ major cities around the world all using the Internet – hope to have a number in Ethiopia one day)
  • Conference calls (e.g.:,, etc.)


  • Banking online (fund transfers, etc.)
  • Paying my bills (hydro, phone, taxes, etc.)
  • Buying and selling stocks
  • Wiring funds all over the world (using my bank account, paypal, etc. – now we have a great local service to send money to Ethiopia from


  • Downloading and listening to my music library
  • Watching videos

News and Current Affairs

  • Reading news (never bought newspaper since 1998)

Data Protection

  • Backing up all my files online, including photos, videos, music (as a precaution against computer theft, fire, flood, etc. – my files are protected. Recommended online backup service providers are found here)


  • Publishing my 100+ websites and blogs
  • Marketing myself and my services (e.g.: on Twitter, FriendFeed, Delicious, Tumblr, Multiply, BlogMarks, Faves, etc.)


  • Connecting with old and new friends at social networking sites (e.g.: LinkedIn, Facebook, Myspace, etc. Although, I have never used the Internet for dating purposes, I have friends who have met their significant others using dating sites)

Time Management

  • Scheduling events and tasks using my online calendar
  • Managing all my contacts


  • Searching information I need, like phone numbers, addresses, and anything in between


  • Learning programing languages
  • Keeping up with the latest in the technology realm

Researching and Learning

  • Researching any academic papers
  • Finding valuable industry white papers
  • Taking online university courses
  • Recording lectures using Audacity


  • Checking the weather locally or internationally
  • Checking the local traffic hot spots using online webcams
  • Finding location using map sites, for example, Google Maps and Street View


  • Sending automatic email notification alerts to myself (e.g.: birth days, if a certain stock goes below or above a certain amount)
  • Receiving alerts for any keywords (e.g.: I get email notification for keywords “Addis Ababa” and “Ethiopia” on a daily basis. This means – if some one writes the word “Ethiopia” or “Addis Ababa” anywhere on the Internet, I get an email notifying me with a link – cool, isn’t it? This way, I keep on top of all the things I like. Currently, I get more than 500 emails a day for these two keywords and a bunch of others).

These are some of the things I do on the Internet. I am sure that the above list is not a complete list.

The lack of Internet access is one of the reasons why I don’t plan to move back to Ethiopia, where Internet access is limited, expensive and still dial up (mostly). Some areas of Addis Ababa have now Satellite / G3 Internet services. I hope to write a separate post regarding Internet services in Ethiopia in the future.

Do you have anything to add to the above list of the functions of the Internet? If so, please write your comments below.

My next blog entry will be on Thursday November 26, 2009.

Mullkam Samint!

November 19, 2009 - Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Music, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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