Tomorrow morning I am off to Huntsville, AL to speak at E-Info Global Symposium, where I'll be presenting on "Trends in eRepositories." The more time I spend in airports, the more it amazes me that we are not yet using our digital technology to its full potential. That is likely due to cost (although really if you considered the cost of travel...could connecting us all for an online conference be that outrageous?), the importance of face-to-face interaction, and the fact that some things must be seen live. Seeing a digital copy of a book is not the same as seeing the physical book with my own two eyes.
The photo above is the New Year Eve Ball that "drops" in Times Square in New York City. Most of us have seen it on TV and even seen close ups of it. We've read the descriptions and details of it. Yet seeing it live as it was displayed in Macy's was a major "wow". Although I had seen photos of it with people standing next to it, I was still amazed at its small size. Me standing by it put it in perspective for me.
We know that placing digitized materials online often causes more people to come and view the materials. Why? Because they believe that they will know more about the item if they see it live. If nothing else, it may allow them to connect to the materials in a more personal way.
I wonder if digital will ever be a real substitute for "live"? In my lifetime?
Technorati tags: Digitization, New York State