Friday, October 17, 2008

Going off the grid -- the professional cost

So now that I'm off the grid for the rest of the week, the big question is how do I run my (mostly) virtual business? Digital Chips, Inc., and its record label, DCD Records has a lot of balls in the air right now -- and they're all flying around online.

We have some CD compilations we're working on for various clients -- and I'm expected some clearances via e-mail to come in before the weekend. In addition to the online store on the DCD Records site, we also maintain a store on,, and distribute to It's my job to process those orders when they come in so they can be picked and shipped -- orders that arrive over the Internet.

I'm also trying to maintain our company's presence by posts to Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace. And that's all done online. So what happens when my motel room doesn't even have a phone (and no cell phone reception)?

Basically, I'm going to rely on my business partner. Normally we divide up the various tasks involved with the company. My partner's strengths and skill sets aren't the same as mine, and he'll have to step into ongoing projects without a lot of background. I'll talk him through it, of course.

But he'll have to check e-mail regularly, and then we'll have to decide what needs a response and what can wait. And if there's a response, well, he'll have to make it.

I know there was a time when out-of-town business was normally conducted this way, but I'm used to carrying my office around in the form of a laptop. It may get a little stressful before it's all over.

But then I think of the Amish, who are everywhere up here in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Many people think they shun technology, but that's not quite right. The Amish just prefer to keep technology at arm's length.

They'll turn on an electric generator for a specific job, and once its done they'll turn it off. The Amish control their devices -- not the other way around.

And there's something to be said for that.

- Ralph

Day 122 of the WJMA Web Watch.

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