If you have been tuning into CNN the past couple of weeks to watch the 2012 U.S. National Conventions, you may have noticed the commercials for Cisco flash across the TV screen. I always take note of them particularly because, at Annese, we work very closely with Cisco, and have for over a decade.
Seeing the commercial appear on such a famous network during such a historic national event momentarily morphs me into the proud soccer mom in the stands whose kid just scored his first goal. Although, this is hardly Cisco's first goal. The manufacturing powerhouse was the technical force behind another major global event this year - the 2012 London Olympics.
Advanced technologies are tearing the walls down between states, countries, and continents. No matter which side of the podium you are standing on or which ideologies you subscribe to, these devices and tools and apps are connecting us on a global platform. We can converse, debate, and learn from people we've never met, thousands of miles away. We can interact with Wolf Blitzer and the CNN political team through "Insider Chats" live from the convention floor, via Cisco WebEx.
"The 2012 conventions will be the most connected, most social, most covered ever — making the proceedings as seamless as possible and more accessible to people across the country and around the globe," said Cisco's Chief Marketing Officer, Blair Christie, in her post, "The 2012 U.S. National Conventions: Compelling, Collaborative, Connected!.
She continues; "At the Republican National Committee’s “Convention Without Walls,” voters can get live video and highlights direct from the convention floor — following the convention sessions as they unfold. At the Democratic National Convention, wireless access points across seven convention-related locations will give staff and guests complete mobility without losing connectivity. And delegates at both conventions will use IP phones to directly connect with party leaders during vote counts."
Technology is handing out VIP passes to the global affairs that affect us today. Technology has promoted the average citizen from spectator to participant. Technology has given all of us a larger soapbox to stand on and a louder microphone to speak into. ...And the world is listening.
I love Cisco's tagline, Built for the Human Network. Notice, the word "technology" is not in there. The specific solutions are not called out. Technology is the medium, but people hold the power. Our purpose is to equip people with the right tools to exchange ideas, spark innovation, and cause the ponds to ripple.
Think back to a few elections ago. You'd watch the debates, you'd read the papers, you may deliberate the issues with your neighbors, co-workers, or around the dinner table.
Today, we can send tweets directly to the political pundits if we feel inclined. Got a question you want answered? Tweet @AndersonCooper and maybe he'll address it on-air. We are sitting in a global auditorium, communicating in real-time with people of all ages, races, beliefs, and citizenship. That's a human network.
We're proud to partner with a company that is playing such a pivotal civic role in this historic election. I encourage you to use technology to your advantage and claim your front-row seat to the show. And don't be afraid to throw a tomato or two every now and then ;)
*Infographic courtesy of Cisco.