The Punch of the Pad

The Punch of the Pad

I am not an “early adopter.” So, the fact that I’m writing this blog
in a coffee shop hundreds of miles from my office on my first iPad isn’t
that blog worthy. But what is stunning to me is how computing has
blended my work with the rest of my life.

I’ve always been kind of a workaholic. Not that I’m that super
driven, I just respect the muse. I get excited about ideas, inspiring me
to work at odd hours, in odd places.

That’s exactly why I bought my first laptop.
I purchased it just before a business trip to Florida, I remember using
it to organize meeting notes in my room at night and design logos in a
cabana on the beach one afternoon. I felt untethered and free, even
though battery life was no more than three hours and Internet access was
only through Ethernet. I started to work outside the office more and
used the computer to organize my personal as well as business life.
Business and personal computer use was starting to blur.

This new iPad is similarly liberating. I use the app Upad to sketch
and mark up emailed pdfs. I use Pages to take meeting notes and write
copy. Daylight Touch handles my account management and Designsoft tracks
our time. We’re even planning to build an iPhoto version of our
portfolio for it.

In addition I can use my Google Voice account for texting without phone service and FaceTime for meetings.

On the other hand, I already have six new books on my iPad, and I’m
halfway through two. I store my photos on it, and my music. And my
daughter loves to play games on it.

I barely even need my trusty iPhone anymore.
Wait, did I say that? If I don’t have constant access to Facebook,
Twitter, Foursquare and regular texting through my smart phone I start
to sweat. Being without the internet is like being without electricity
these days. When Bin Laden was killed I learned of it, not through
traditional news media, but through Facebook. Social media is my filter
for the world, critical to my business and personal relationships. And I
think it is for a lot of people.

That’s why social media and internet-based communications are so
critical to corporate marketing plans, now. Businesses must be a part of
their customers lives, and those lives are on the web now. If
businesses want word-of-mouth advertising their conversations have to
take place online.

Ten years of toting a computer
I was cleaning and getting ready to recycle some old computers a couple
of weeks ago when I found that old laptop. I was shocked at how heavy
and bulky it was. The screen is nearly the same size as this tablet. And
the hard drive wasn’t much bigger than the memory on this iPad!

It was my first laptop, and ever since I’ve been dragging a computer
around. But I think I’ll keep the old one. It helps remind me of the
freedom I first experienced then and the promise to be able to work
anywhere—even in a coffee shop.

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