Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Morgan: Will Wikinomics and WiFi catch on in Lake County?

Do you remember in school being taught about the benefits of sharing? According to Don Tapscot and Anthony Williams, co-authors of “Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything,” learning to share is more than simply a tool to facilitate peace accords. Learning to share can transform both a business and a community.

But, could it transform Northern California's “undiscovered country” the county that is often describes as “waiting to happen?” Could the concept of sharing as defined by Wikinomics transform Lake County into an economically viable community that is on par with its neighbors?

The word "wiki" means "quick" in Hawaiian. And Internet communication is quickly changing the way the world works. Consider, for example, Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. Here is a publication, written, compiled and re-edited by "ordinary people" from around the world. But, the actual company only has five employees.

Many mature firms are benefiting from this new business paradigm. Companies such as Boeing, BMW, and Procter and Gamble have been around for the better part of a century. And yet these organizations and their leaders have seized on collaboration and self organization as powerful new levers to cut costs, innovate faster, co-create with customers and partners, and generally do whatever it takes to usher their organizations into the 21st century business environment.

Indeed, when you can connect with people who care about what you want to accomplish, amazing things can happen. Which brings us to Hidden Valley Lake and a small restaurant in the Hardester's Shopping Center called Ting's Thai Kitchen. From its outward appearance, you would not expect this restaurant to have attracted worldwide attention. But, it already has. Just visit its online lens at www.squidoo.com/TTK and read what people around the world have to say about what this little Thai restaurant plans to attempt. Believe it or not, Ting's plans to be the county's first FREE WiFi hot spot with splash page advertising.

What does that mean? It means people will be able to walk into Ting's, order delicious Thai cuisine and while they wait for their meal to be prepared, they can access the Internet with a mobile device they bring into the restaurant with them. All that is required is for restaurant owner Charlie McFarling to put his "secret code" into the mobile device. Once the code is submitted, you can view some fascinating local ads in print, audio and video on the advertising splash page. You can also check your email, surf the Web or make VOIP calls. All FREE inside Ting's.

Of course, it is the splash page advertising that makes the WiFi freely available to the public. So, this is indeed a collaborative effort. But, that is not all. This is also a synergistic effort. Different parties are doing different things to make the system work. Ting's is providing the location. AT&T/Yahoo is providing the Internet connection. The WiFi Company of Denver, CO is providing the WiFi VPN (Virtual Private Network), which makes the public Internet access not only possible, but secure. And, the public will be bringing their own mobile devices into the restaurant.

The reason why the process can work to the advantage of everyone who participates is because everyone who participates cares. Caring ... connecting ... and having a good design. It really can work ... even in Lake County. Perhaps we just need more of it?

Lamar Morgan owns CDMM Synergistic Business Marketing. He live in Hidden Valley Lake.


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