In the week that Facebook floated on the Nasdaq exchange for an incredible $104bn, I had a very interesting conversation with our head of business assurance. I find the Facebook valuation quite incredible. The world of technology and consumer interest is moving so quickly – Friends Reunited anyone? – that I have to ask whether long-term shareholders in Facebook will ever really get a return on their investment.
Facebook may be top of the social media game now but who is to say there won’t be a new piece of technology developed tomorrow that makes the way we interact through Facebook redundant?
Anyway, back to my discussion with the head of business assurance. He is compiling a “Crisis Management” handbook in the event of a major work-based problem and approached me because he needs everyone’s home telephone numbers.
I walk around with four communication devices at all times, yet all depend on satellites circling the globe. We’re somewhat vulnerable
I explained that I didn’t have a home landline – like an increasing number of the population, I rely on my mobile only. This perplexed him – didn’t I know that in the event of a major incident, the police had the right to turn off all mobile transmitters, and in fact had done so twice in the past ten years? As such, I would be uncontactable in the event of such an incident, which as the marketing director was not good.
To me, I have never been more contactable in my life. I walk around with four communication devices at all times (five if you include a pen): my work laptop, work mobile, BlackBerry and personal iPhone. I have a Mac at home, plus an iPad. I have business and personal email addresses; business and personal mobile phone numbers; I have two work Instant Messenger systems; I am active on Facebook, Twitter and Skype. Yet all of these are dependent on a few satellites circling the globe. All it takes is a few carefully aimed terrorist missiles, and we will all be in the dark (quite literally).
While I am an advocate of getting rid of paper, and storing information electronically remotely (I think it is called ‘in the cloud’), it does make us all somewhat vulnerable.
For those of you who are also responsible for communication, it makes you think…