Jason Dea's Pages

Monday, January 10, 2011

What I learned from a homeless dude with a golden voice…

I'm certain that you've all seen or read, and heard about a man named Ted Williams who's blessed with a golden voice. He was once a radio announcer but had fallen on hard times until Doral Chenoweth III posted a video of him online showcasing both his voice and his story.

That little video went viral and now Ted has several job offers on the table, and even some offers from some to sponsor him a new home.

Definitely a great feel good story, and definitely a much happier story to start the year than the other big story in my news feeder at the moment which involves hundreds of thousands of animals dying and falling out of the sky… scary.

Anyway, back to the man with the golden voice. His story reinforces something that I believe in with when it comes to social media or web 2.0 or whatever other buzzword you want to attach to communication on the internet. These are technologies that can finally bring us together as a global village.

The portion of the video that to me was the most powerful was not simply the voice, but when he described how he used to have a career in radio, but then drugs and alcohol became a part of his life and things took a turn for the worse. With that, I was pulled in to the screen and Ted resonated as a real person. A real person, with a real story, who had experienced real tragedy, which all somehow made me care. What the internet provided was simply a platform for him to distribute his message to an audience wider than he could have ever imagined.

That's what a global village is all about. It's about going back to a time when we all knew each other's names, a time when I felt a personal connection to my neighbors. A time when people even had real relationships with vendors, only they were called local businesses back then. Joe the butcher, Doris the florist, Ken the guy who cuts my hair.

Some will tell you that things have evolved past those ideals. But this new communication platform now give us an opportunity to turn back the clock… at a global scale. The internet changes the definition of local. My neighbourhood is no longer measured in kilometers, but instead by the reach of my message.

So all you sales and marketing people out there. A request. Please stop inviting me to "like" stuff or asking me to follow you if all you're going to do is send me the same boring brochures and press releases. Tell me something about yourself. Tell me why you're a real person. Make me laugh. Tell me why you're a real person who I should trust, and heck maybe I'll even take a look at what you're selling along the way.



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