Sunday, 27 July 2008

The Internet Effect

It struck me a few days ago that while the internet has had a prolific and pronounce affect on many aspects of society, one of the strangest is the effect on the accessibility of people.
For a start there are now millions of us that carry mobile phones with smart technologies or pda's that allow us to have access to the internet and email 24 x 7. But this also means that people have access to us 24 x 7. People even take there phones to the beach when they're on holiday. The last time i went away, instead of the relaxing sound of crickets and the surf all i could hear were mobile ring tones.
Then there's google, you can get a huge amount of background information from google, so much so that its almost common practice for people to google candidates before an interview, or meeting. I've even heard of people googling potential boy or girl friends before dating them and or after a break up.
But possibly the strangest area that i've noticed a change is that it would seem a lot easier to get access to people high up in some of today biggest businesses. Through services like twitter and get satisfaction, and lots of other online communities. I've posted comments to some top people in companies like microsoft, apple, wikipedia, twitter, slideshare and magnolia and to my amazement i've got responses and sometimes responses from company founders. Just a few years ago this would have been completely unheard of a series of pa's and secretaries would almost certainly have vetted this kind of stuff long before it got that high.
I'm not sure if this is because attitudes are changing or because technology is making it possible or even if its because businesses have to be more agile to survive these days, but it certainly seems to be changing.