Thursday, October 26, 2006

I felt like a historical figure

the other day in the office when the server crashed and we lost our internet link. Work stopped.

And that prompted three reporters to ask the Ancient One among them -- me -- what it was like in the old days before the internet. That would be about 1993. What would you do all day without the World Wide Web.

I laughed good-naturedly because I have put my hair into a bun and decided to age gracefully as a wise counselor. But the funny thing was I had to actually think about it to remember such outmoded rites of reportage as:

1. Visiting people in their offices or calling them on a phone -- that did not fit in my pocket, and which might ring and rung without a machine picking up if no one was around on the other end -- to get quotes.
2. Going to a library for information
3. consulting the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature in order to find relevant and recent magazine articles on the topic of my choice.
4. Pulling public records from courthouse files
5. Looking through books of associations and lists of experts at various universities around the world in order to find pertinent experts
6. Putting together books of paper and carbon paper before I could type a story.

These young people now have it so easy.

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