Welcome to the Web Wide World

Welcome to the Web Wide World. Many readers of this blog are so immersed in the world that the Web has created that you take it for granted, but let's not. The flattened shrunken world of the Internet has this power to change lives. It strikes me every day, because I live it.

I don't mean I live it in the sense of those who develop or analyse it, the pioneers and pundits from Berners-Lee to Scoble.

Nor do I mean in the sense that another pioneer Chris Dancy does, instrumenting every action, sense and orifice online as the Quantified Man.

No, I live the power of the Web Wide World because it changed my lifestyle and my work, and it still does. And most of all, it changed me while I was living in a tiny office in a small house in a little village in a minor country on a small island which is The Last Rock On The Planet - it is as far as it is possible to get from anywhere that matters. My office, house and village are now twice as big but the rest remains the same.

I was a software presales guy in an American corporate. I had a bit of an international profile within the company, built on no platform more advanced than email; but outside the company only customers and a few conference attendees on this side of the planet had heard of me. Seven years ago I left to found my webpreneural company Two Hills. Now I work more than half my time from home. I work for me. I see and do stuff with my wife and son for hours every day. Hundreds of thousands of people read my stuff, and I'm invited to speak around the globe. My books sell at about two a day - still some work to do there.

All because of the Internet connecting and levelling the planet. Welcome to the new world, the Web Wide World. That would never have happened in the last millennium.

This is front of mind today because I have just returned from Pink13, Pink Elephant's 13th annual ITSM Conference in lovely Las Vegas. Actually, Vegas is kinda fun and interesting the first couple of times you go there, in a "human zoo" and "architectural gob-smack" kind of way, though I'm way over it now. But I'm not over the conference, which is still a blast every time I go: fun, stimulating and fabulous networking. The internet is great but there is still no substitute for pressing the flesh. My remarks here notwithstanding, it is harder for a Kiwi to do what I do than for somebody living on the East or West coasts of the USA or in Western Europe. For now...

My point though, and I do have one, is that I first got selected to do work with Pink based on being seen on the Internet. I conduct my content business on the Internet. I deliver via the Internet (and a horrendous flight to Vegas).

When I do go to a conference, my business comes with me. My financials are in Xero; my documents are (mostly) in Google Drive; my mail and contacts are in Gmail. My phone and laptop roam and stay connected. The Internet again, liberating me from a physical office.

What's more, I can capture, curate, and share the conference experience via the Internet with tools like Storify, where I have published my impressions of Pink13. Now Storify is a bit clunky and my efforts are pretty basic compared to others'. But the fact that I can bottle the zeitgeist in this way and then distribute it to potentially millions... it still blows me away in 2013.

Dozens of events, companies and vendors reach out to me every year via the Internet, based on what I do on the Internet, inviting me to work with them.

So far I provide only content overseas. I still do very little consulting to clients far away - my consulting is in or near Wellington, my nearby city. I believe good consultants don't parachute in and beam up after a week or two. Consultants should be selling effective change, and effective change requires time and regular contact - being there for the client over the long haul (and I don't mean that killer long haul from Auckland to LAX). But consulting is about to change, thanks again to the Internet. With tools like Google+ hangouts we can casually pull together a group as easily as by sticking our head in their office to ask them to step down to the cafeteria. With Oovoo or GoToMeeting etc, we can do high-quality video-conferencing and record it without accidentally publishing it on Youtube. The tools are reliable and cheap (well, Hangouts is at least cheap).

So I think my consulting business model is changing: I can now do consulting to international clients, working with their people over an extend period to effect real transformations that work and stick. Sure I'll still have to risk deep-vein thrombosis to spend quality time onsite, but I can wrap that in a total package of online interactions to drive progress, guide directions, entrench change, and prevent recidivism.

All because of the Web Wide World.

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