Travelling abroad has always involved an element of adventure, but even as recently as 20 years ago visiting countries as technically advanced as the USA meant that you literally went into a communications black hole until your return. That is because the cost of transatlantic phone calls was so outrageously high that your entire holiday budget could be used up calling home, and that was just for a few minutes.
However, advances in competition amongst telephony companies have changed that. For example, travellers to the USA can purchase great value phone cards starting from as little as £5 for approximately 167 minutes of calls to a landline number in London. Or, if they prefer travellers can also call home using a mobile phone. But, even though that’s not as relatively expensive as it was to use landlines at the end of the 1980s, it is still an expensive way to keep in touch with calls to home typically costing around £1.37 – £1.99 per minute outside Europe.
As technology has advanced the amount of differing communication methods have also grown exponentially. Now even without a landline or mobile phone, it is still possible to call home just as long as you are connected to the internet. VoIP (Voice over internet protocol) now enables broadband users to be able to communicate both freely and for free with anyone on the internet who has the same software installed.
Indeed, modern technology expands at such a phenomenal rate each year that nothing seems impossible when it comes to global communication. Logging into your email account when in the heart of Peru to send and receive messages or even using your laptop to make free calls to home via WiFi at the top of the CN Tower in Toronto; both are eminently possible in the 21st century.
Wherever you go in the world the internet has invariably got there first, unless the destination is extremely remote and off the beaten track. For those on extended holidays or especially back-packing then internet phone calls can be a great way to make sure everyone back home realises what a great time you are having, as well as a great way for you to keep in touch with happenings on the domestic front. But the real advantage is that you save your much needed cash to spend on essentials or fun activities and without having to spend it all it on expensive phone calls. So, before heading off to foreign parts make sure you open an internet VoIP account, and you’ll have the ability to stay in touch just about wherever you go!
Isla Campbell writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.
Alec Ross during media interviews – The Project (R)evolution conference 2012
Image by US Embassy New Zealand
The Project [R]evolution Digital and Social Media Conference offers a unique opportunity for business, government and media managers to glean insights, ask questions and mix with some of the leading players in the field.
One of the keynote speakers:
Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Alec Ross serves as Senior Advisor for Innovation in the Office of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In this role, Alec is tasked with maximizing the potential of technology in service of America’s diplomatic and development goals.
Before that appointment, Alec worked on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team and served as Convener for Obama for America’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications Policy Committee.
In 2000, Alec Ross and three colleagues co-founded One Economy, a global non-profit that uses innovative approaches to deliver the power of technology and information about education, jobs, health care and other vital issues to low-income people. During his eight years at One Economy, it grew from a team of four people working in a basement to the world’s largest digital divide organization, with programs on four continents.
Power to every citizen
To me “digital revolution” can be defined as the massive shift in power that has taken place from hierarchies to citizens and networks of citizens as a result of powerful digital technologies.
What this means in practical terms is that everyday citizens have power today that they did not have as recently as five years ago. Anybody with a smart phone now has the kind of global reach that was once reserved for governments and large media companies. This shifting power has disrupted commerce, communication and governance.
I see this “digital revolution” as being overwhelmingly positive. Some of the disruption it has caused (and will cause in the future) is negative, but this has been far outweighed by the ability of people to connect and engage with the world and with the marketplace in ways that were previously unimaginable. I think about my own experience as a school teacher in an impoverished community. When I was a teacher, the only educational resource my students had beyond my own knowledge were a set of tattered, 30-year old textbooks. Today, that same classroom is equipped with an internet connection that can deliver world-class educational resources directly to the students that most need them. While there is no replacement for a good teacher, our students should not have to suffer with out-of-date and substandard educational resources. With the digital revolution, that no longer needs to be the case.
Another Keynote speaker:
Associate managing editor for Mashable
Emily Banks is responsible for organizing and overseeing Mashable‘s growing editorial operations, including assigning, editing and publishing stories, as well as sharing them to Mashable’s social accounts. She is also responsible for coordinating with partners on video and syndicated content. She joined Mashable‘s New York team in October 2010. Mashable is well known as the largest independent news source dedicated to covering digital culture, social media and technology.
Some of Emily’s recent engagements include "Social Media 101" for New York Women in Communications, "The New Face of Social Good: How to Make Your Own Social Media Magic!" and "Challenging Conventional Wisdom of Social Media".
Abstract: Social media and the newsroom: the Revolution of the Newsroom
Without question, social media has changed the pace of news; how and where it breaks and who breaks it. How does this change our trust in media organisations, journalists as individuals and news-makers? As we remove the layer of authority provided by news organisations, by placing the news directly in the hands of journalists on social media, how do — or should — our readers approach the news? This talk will discuss tools for verifying news through social media, cases of misinformation caused by the rapid nature of breaking news on social and the ethical questions involved in reporting in this new age.
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