Wednesday, November 17, 2004

This has to be quick...

I’ve been looking at some stuff on-line that extolls the benefits of speed. High speed. Whether it’s information or inventory or your connection to the Internet, speed is good, and faster is better. No argument there, right?

Well...I’ve got to pause for a second to consider this. I am a proponent of high speed communications. But I don’t know whether faster is always better. I’m also a bit of a fan of the new “Slow” movements that have sprung up, dealing with food, mostly, but also life in general. I know I’m a big fan of the slow pace in Mexico that I experienced last year. But on the other hand, I love the speed of modern communications. I like being able to instant message my daughter at university and chat in real time. Heck, we could even have visual links, if we had a camera.

This post doesn’t have a point, or a resolution. It’s just something to consider. Here's" a story from Fast Company that extolls the virtues and the wonders of Dell’s zero tolerance for inventory. They build 80,000 computers a day, yet they often have as little as 2 hours worth of inventory on hand. It’s interesting.

For another take at the benefits of speed, consider this Wired News story about bloggers making no apologies for running things that conventional media didn’t want to touch. This issue concerns the US election, and the fact that some bloggers started running exit poll information on election day. As it turns out, the information wasn’t right...leading to some interesting results.

I point to these stories because they both centre on speed and raise the question of whether it’s always a good thing. As an editor, I know the value of letting a story or a report sit for a bit, before I give it that final once-over. I usually find something that needs some work. But in today’s work place, that’s a luxury that most of us don’t have. Of course, some will argue that I can always go on-line and correct something that turns out to be wrong. But what about the people who look at it before that? How will they know that I’ve changed my mind, or that some of the information they read, and perhaps copied, forwarded, or printed, is wrong?

No answers today...just grist for the mill. Comments?

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