Social Media at 28.8

I`m at the cottage. Peaceful and slow.

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Plenty of time for a quick paddle or swim while the latest Viral Video Chart or ITConversations podcast loads. Out to pick raspberries for pie as my RSS subscriptions update and plenty of time to compose before posting, to keep the phone line free for neighbours calling.

There`s a different pace in the woods – more deliberate. Some say more authentic.

It`s not that our cottage is far from the city. It`s an easy communte, less than an hour to downtown. And a 10 minute drive to the nearest town (Low Quebec for map fans) 2 minutes as the crow flies. But even Low doesn`t have high speed despite a 5 year old national program to promote rural broadband, and a mayor keenly aware of the economic opportunity it would bring.

Even if he could get 1.0M for most of his residents – that`s still only a hundredth of what`s available in some cities, and less than a third of what some wireless providers can deliver.

As the rest of the world moves to faster and faster connections, and more pages will be optimized for those connections. For a while we`ll have the Mobile Internet to thank – because it`s growth will put the breaks on that optimization process – keeping average connection to less than 3M – but if Google and friends have their way with the 700Mhz auction the pressure on mobile to increase connection speed, combined advances in receiver technology (frequency negotiating cognative radio) and the new devices with no legacy hold backs mobile speeds will rise – dramatically.

What I`ve learned after a week on dial-up alone is that its high speed that has made the world flatter – and made social media possible.

There may be 6 degrees of Separation when everyones on the same network – but rural folks know it`s not the same network at a twentieth of the speed – and that a loss for all of us.

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