The Digital Age

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By Gary Pudles

I hope everyone had an amazing holiday season. Last year was certainly a transition year for AnswerNet, and I’m pleased to report that we ended the year much stronger than we began. Last year, we spent our time enhancing the company and strengthening our people and processes.

The year of GAP (Goals, Accountability, Processes and Procedures) is certain to produce significant benefits in achieving our overall purposes of sustainability and profitability for years to come. One of the areas that we spent a lot of time and money on was our integration of technology to better our processes. These technological changes and developments made me realize that one of the most interesting byproducts of the digital age is the documentation of life and history that is occurring.

As I have recently begun trying to remember parts of my childhood for the book that I someday dream of writing, I am realizing that the challenges I am having in remembering important events in my life won’t exist for my children. Thanks to digital photographic technologies (from digital cameras to cell phones) our children’s lives are being documented in so many ways.

The same holds true for AnswerNet. My nostalgic feeling, brought on by a wonderful visit with an old family friend, led me to look back at some of the things we have accomplished over the years. I took the time to read some old memos from AnswerNet’s first year in operation (digitally stored on my computer) and I looked at pictures (not digital) of the first couple of company national meetings. As the years have gone on, I was amazed at how much more information existed on the things we did and how part of our challenge was capturing and storing these digital archives in a useful way.

This journey of discovery also made me wonder what I will look like to a world that would only know about me from my digital history. I can see what my digital history looks like now, but what will it look like 20-30 years from now when I am in my seventies and have lived in a world where documenting your life is the norm. How much of my life, and yours, will be available for all to see? Will this be good or bad? Only the future can tell.

In the meantime, if you ever want to feel a sense of pride in AnswerNet’s accomplishments, just put AnswerNet in any search engine and look at all of the wonderful things we have already done. I can’t wait to see what we do in the future.

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