I'm still waiting for the Internet to change everything, as the
tech-stock gurus promised in 1994.
And I just had to reply – Don’t you see that it has???
Without the Internet, we wouldn’t have this forum. Without this
forum, many of us would be struggling along learning ONE way of doing
things – the way that the person who taught us had been taught by
their teachers. Many would struggle along on a daily basis not
knowing about new tools, new techniques, new opportunities to embrace
and new scams to be wary of.
Without web sites, Dave would be doing business in his local
community and with people he met in shows that he managed to find out
about in print media. He would be printing expensive brochures and
mailing them out to people who managed to hear about him, and would
be sending sketches for custom work back and forth through snail mail
(which we thought was speedy at the time). He would probably be
buying stones solely from people he met face-to-face, missing out on
a whole world of wonderful materials to accent and enhance his
pieces. (Sorry, Dave, used you as an example because of your
Today, people like Dave and I can work with a remote customer on the
phone, put a file up on my website and have them take a look at it in
real time. While I’m talking with them, I can make changes and put
another copy of the file up and say “is this what you mean?” This
can happen wherever in the world they happen to be, whenever they are
ready to have the discussion.
We can have these amazing conversations about the feasibility of
supporting ourselves and our families doing the work we love. We can
share experiences with suppliers, find new ones, and support each
other with strategies for dealing with difficult customers.
Previously, those networking experiences were pretty much limited to
those in our geographic region, and those with whom we interacted on
the show circuit.
In short, change – even major change – usually isn’t something
sudden. It creeps up on you and you think that you’re going along,
doing business pretty much the same way you did 10 or 15 years ago.
But if you stop to think about the many ways the Internet HAS changed
business – and the jewelry community represented by Orchid – it’s
I personally don’t believe that the internet will ever make print
journalism obsolete. It may change it beyond our imaginings, but it
won’t be obsolete. Rather, networked technologies have transformed
print journalism and extended it into our daily lives. The jobs of
journalists within any industry have been extended beyond print, and
now reach more directly into the businesses and homes of the
practitioners in ways we never dreamed possible 20 years ago when I
started out as a tech writer.
Ok, Orchidians, let’s think about it – in real terms, what are you
doing in your business today that you could NOT have done 15 years
ago, either because it wasn’t technically possible or because it
would simply have taken too much time or resources? How has the
Internet transformed YOUR personal jewelry career or business?
kgoeller at nolimitations.com