Email to me is like writing a journal. Whenever I feel like I need to say something. I log-on, sit down, and start to type. It doesn’t really matter to me who I’m writing to, in fact many times, my writings turn into something I want to publish online.

It’s clear to me that I enjoy writing and I especially enjoy communicating with people through CMC (computer-mediated communication). I’ve been a huge advocate of this for years. Some of my classes in college were partially taught using CMC. This concept, which started in universities, spread to the web (and email) and is gaining momentum very fast. Some of the best mailing lists (email) I’m subscribed to are made up of smart people who like to talk about very interesting things. People who can write eloquently and convincingly. Some of the debates get very very good. This type of information exchange is what sets our generation apart from our parent’s generation. Because we’re accustomed to the integration of technology into our everyday lives, we easily embrace the new ways there are to communicate.

These days, my brother the high school teacher tells me that most of his students have pagers, cell phones or both. A few years ago this would have been seen as ludicrous, and still is by some of the older generations. Technology devices have become social vices for the younger generation (and the geek generation). Remember that great Dilbert cartoon about Dilbert and his co-workers having a contest to see how many portable technology devices they could own? Very funny, but sadly true. Beepers and phones that ring in church, at funerals, in grocery stores, and yes, even during sex, we are the early adopters of communications technology. Just this evening I read about electronic book devices that can replace paper-based books. Not a new concept, but one that is expected to come into fruition sometime later this year.

One of my best friends started a successful ISP (Internet Service Provider) solely as a way to get a T1 (high-speed data bandwidth line) into his living room. Fortunately for him, he’s a geek enough to figure out the technology as it rapidly progresses. Meanwhile, the larger corporations that make up the global business industry feel like they were caught sleeping. Do the advances in technology move too fast for these goliaths to respond? Many people would say yes. Microsoft’s answer to this problem is to “embrace and extend,” buying up the competition or reverse-engineering the cooler software being developed my the kids in the garages all around the world.

I’ve been reading a great book. Marketing Warfare by Al Reis and Jack Trout, two very smart advertising executives. The concept of the book simple: the apparent and useful correlations between advertising and warfare. Competitiors are the enemies, focus on the competition’s weak spots, etc. Atack! For anyone in a competitive situation, I highly recommend this book. Especially if you’re the underdog.

Someone once told me that knowledge is power. I didn’t believe them then, but I sure do now.

Posted by Cameron Barrett at June 24, 1998 11:59 PM