ALEXANDER IN CYBERSPACE - Part I
by Robert Rickover
(originally published in 1997)
I first new last fall that something important was going on when, over the space of a few weeks, I received five calls from people wanting lessons who had found my name in the Internet. More calls than I had received from the NASTAT, ATI and STAT teachers lists combined for the previous ten years!
At the time, I didnt own a computer so I arranged with a friend for a short tour of the Alexander Technique Internet scene. Heres what I found: approximately a dozen Alexander Technique web sites, several of which offered useful information. The major site, hosted by ATI, included on-line articles, useful links to other sites and and, most importantly, an easy-to-use on-line list of teaching members - thats where my new clients had all come from. STAT and NASTAT both had very rudimentary sites which, ironically, were most easily accessed through ATI. There was a site hosted by Jeff Haas which led to an active Alexander Email discussion group and which contained several useful links to other sites. There were also a number of sites hosted by individual teachers or groups of teachers.
During that time, the number of Alexander Technique sites has grown to about 60 with a couple of new sites added each week. (Note - as of late 2003, the number is closer to 300.) Among the newcomers is a completely revamped STAT site with its own on-line teachers list, a site devoted to parents and teachers who want to see the Technique introduced into the school system, an AT-repetitive injury site, an AT-Tai Chi site and my own site, The Complete Guide to to The Alexander Technique.
In many ways the Internet has proven to be the ideal medium for making a relatively small, coherent field, with practitioners scattered around the world, like the Alexander Technique, known to a large audience. More and more people have access to the net at their home or office or through a friend or relative. Today, if you go into almost any public library in America and ask for information about the Alexander Technique, youll be directed to the Internet via the librarys own computer. And of course almost all schools and colleges provide Internet access for their students, or are in the process of doing so.
I urge those of you who are unfamiliar with the Internet to do a little exploring. Its fun and remarkably easy to navigate - although having a friend show you around for a time or two can be a great help. I also urge you to consider creating your own web site, especially if you feel you have a unique perspective on the work, or see a clear connection between the Technique and some other field. Its remarkably inexpensive to do this and you dont need to own a computer or have any special technical abilities.
I hope to explore this new medium, and its usefulness to the Alexander Technique, in subsequent issues.
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