By Ellen Bari
Last week a cloud of volcanic ash over Europe precluded thousands of travelers from getting home, reminding us just how big the world really is without air travel. At the other end of the spectrum, here in New York, my partner Melissa Lopata and I, experienced the power of the global village and found ourselves inviting total strangers into our homes. Virtually, that is, and I might add quite unexpectedly.
It all started with a test, not of the ’emergency broadcasting system’ but of Vokle, a new web-based interactive conferencing technology that we were pioneering for our first live video event. We learned by default, that the system is public. That is, once you start an event, anyone can join from anywhere as long as they have an internet connection. As we were struggling with what seemed to be a bad connection with our conference leader and host, Cathy Greenberg PhD, happiness expert extraordinaire, we were a little concerned that our lack of mastery of the technology was testing Cathy’s happiness nerves.