What I love about working in the field of advertising and marketing is that I often come across some very cool information. Cool to me at least. Often the information is in the form of presentations. Some I find while doing my own research. Others come to me from friends or colleagues. Today my sister sent me this one.
I live approximately 123 miles from K-State. My sister lives approximately 629 miles away. She found this video before I did. That got me thinking - a dangerous pastime... I know.
When I was a kid I made one of those can and string contraptions to talk to my neighbor Charlie from my bedroom window to his bedroom window in the house next door. It worked, but barely. To get it to work the best you had to pull the cans and string tight. If it was loose it wouldn't work. We had to be directly connected to each other to talk. To exchange information. To say things like "pretty cool, huh?" and "definitely awesome!". We were kids of the seventies and having your own can and string phone was pretty dang cool. It was right up there with Stretch Armstrong; red, white and blue wristbands and hand pumped, water propelled space rockets.
The can and string phone allowed us to make a direct connection. I'm sure we were limited by how far away we could get before it wouldn't work, but we never tested it out. Distance didn't hinder our communications. Finding enough string and two old cans was all we needed. We wanted to find a way to communicate and we did the best with what we had available to us.
Flash forward to 1991 and me sitting in my dorm room at Syracuse University. I had a 2,400 baud Cardinal modem and subscription to this new service from a company called Prodigy. I can recall waiting for my brother Brian to call me back to let me know that he got my message via the Prodigy service that we both had. He could call me back faster than a reply message could travel through cyberspace. When I got him on the line he'd say something like "pretty cool, huh?" and I'd reply "definitely awesome!"
Flash forward again to this week when my sister sent me an email with a link to this presentation. She could connect with me just as fast, if not faster via an email message than she could via a quick phone call. A few keystrokes, control- v to paste the link and hit "send". That's it. What she was really doing was wanting to communicate with me. She found a way she felt was the best and made a connection.
And so in some round about way, thinking about tin cans and string, my 2,400 baud modem and watching this presentation got me thinking about distance as a factor in accessing information. It's not a factor any more. Actually, check that, maybe distance is a factor, but not in terms of feet, yards or miles. Distance in terms of number of connections from the original source is a factor. But not much. Information travels so quickly that we all can get the exact same information in a matter of milliseconds. That is, as long as someone decides that they have some information they want others to know about.
Pretty cool, huh? Definitely awesome.