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Wireless: Anytime, Anywhere?

Wireless: Anytime, Anywhere?

I'm writing this month's editorial from the show floor at the CTIA Wireless 2001 Global Conference in Las Vegas where everyone who's anyone in the unwired world has come together for three short days to talk, showcase, and learn about everything wireless. Also worth mentioning is the unbelievable amount of networking that's occurred at the show, off the beaten path. Several companies, as you'll be hearing in the next few months, forged new partnerships through discussions over dinner, while on line for the overpriced show food, and around the floor. Stay tuned for coverage of those, but in the meantime, get the latest industry news and view all of WBT's extensive live coverage of the show at www.wbt2.com. There are over 50 interviews - direct from the conference floor - with many of the movers and shakers of the wireless industry.

Here at the show, there's not a single direction I can look in without seeing hundreds of people talking on cell phones, typing into their Palm Pilots, sending BlackBerry e-mails, or using other wireless devices. The attendees of this show are among the most connected people in the world, and most would probably say that being always connected isn't such a bad thing...

It does, however, have a downside. Imagine this - you're sitting at a Broadway show, the lights go down as the curtain comes up. The conductor raises his baton and instead of the first stirring notes of the orchestra, you hear the ringing of a cell phone. Even if it has a custom musical ring, it's just not as exciting. In fact it's disturbing. Most of us have had a similar experience while sitting in a class, a movie, a restaurant, or countless other places. Cell phones are everywhere, which is by no means a bad thing, as long as it doesn't result in sacrificing common courtesy towards others, or a life for yourself, in the process.

There are many advantages and positive effects to having instant access to information and people, and I'm the first to admit it, being a poster boy for the wireless lifestyle. But it's important to always make sure that you are the one with control over your technology, and not the other way around. While the 9-5 lifestyle may be extinct these days, the 24-hour-a-day version hasn't completely arrived yet. Now's the time to stake your claim for some disconnected time to avoid that, and to remember the other things in your life that aren't electronic.

All of these unwired gadgets do have off buttons that, believe it or not, can be used at times other than when you're on an airplane. So the next time you're at a show or a movie, or some other place that you don't really need to be reached, turn off your phone and relax. You'll thank me for it later. And so will the people around you.

To end this month's editorial, I want to thank everyone who has given us feedback on WBT. We've heard from readers over the phone, via e-mail, and in person at trade shows. The consensus has been that we're headed in the right direction with our blend of coverage on both business and technology. This encouragement has been noted, and has helped inspire us to make the magazine even better going forward. For starters, as you've probably noticed, we've responded to overwhelming and unprecedented demand, and after just two months, have gone from bimonthly to monthly. Keep talking to us. If there's something we should be covering that we're not, something we're doing right, or, more important, something we're doing wrong, please drop me a line and let us know. Expect a fast response, because we're always online... even though I may be out to dinner and can't immediately reply to your phone call.

More Stories By Robert Diamond

Robert Diamond is the founder and editor-in-chief of BroadwayWorld.com, the premiere theater site on the net now receiving over 100,000 unique visitors a day. He is also the owner of Wisdom Digital Media - a leading designer of entertainment and technology web sites. He is also the lead producer on BroadwayWorld.com's consistently sold-out Joe's Pub concert series, and Standing Ovations benefit concerts. Diamond was also named one of the "Top thirty magazine industry executives under the age of 30" by Folio magazine. Robert holds a BS degree in information management and technology from the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. Visit his blog at www.robertdiamond.com.

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