By Dale Rensing, Senior Market Analyst at Porter Consulting
At the start of my career many years ago, I had an opportunity to work for an incredibly forward-thinking company, a company that was connected worldwide through its electronic communications before anyone even coined the term internet. It was the Star Trek Academy of its day, inventing many of the technologies that we now take for granted.
I was star struck. Fresh out of college where I took one computer programming course involving the use of punch cards, I couldn’t get over how easily everyone interacted with one another through computers. Email was the preferred method of communication; forget about the phone. There were forums and chat groups, very similar to the social networking websites of today. Members would chime in on problems, resolve issues and share common interests. We communicated quickly and easily from our keyboards, often with people whom we had never met in person, but people we came to respect due to their demonstrated expertise.