Behold The Awesomeness Of Technology!

I use technology for three reasons:

1) To learn/teach something (Yes, I cheated and combined two reasons into one. Sue me.)
2) For fun
3) To make life easier

It is that third one – making life easier – that is the key for me. Show me a piece of tech that simplifies my life, and I’m sold. What I really love is when I am able to take a thought and bring it quickly to fruition through the application of technology. Yesterday was a perfect example.

For a variety of reasons (most of them falling in the “too busy” category), I was unable to participate in yesterday’s #CMEchat (If you don’t know what that is, go here.) I always make it a priority to participate in the chat and hate when I miss it. I especially hate when I miss is due to being “too busy” (after all, I am the guy who wrote this).

So, when I finally had a chance to get on Twitter, well after the conclusion of #CMEchat, I wanted to offer a lighthearted apology for not being able to participate. At the same time, I wanted to try out a new app (audioBoo) that Lawrence Sherman brought to my attention with this tweet from earlier in the day:

The end result I was hoping for was a tweeted audio apology. From the moment I thought of this idea, these were the steps I took:

Step 1: Used my laptop to google the words “I’m sorry so sorry”. This was the first “apology” song that came to my head, but I couldn’t remember who sang it (C’mon, I’m not that old!) It’s Brenda Lee. Probably a more appropriate song than Nirvana’s “All Apologies”.

Step 2: Used my iPad to search for Brenda Lee’s “I’m Sorry” on Spotify. I already had Spotify open on the iPad, so it was quicker than starting it up on the laptop. Side note: LOVE Spotify! Love being able to listen to entire albums without the fear of “Ugh, I just spent 10 bucks on this dreck!” Suck on that, iTunes! (Ed. note: Real mature, Derek. Nice.)

Step 3: Downloaded audioBoo app on iPhone and setup an account.

Step 4: Played “I’m Sorry” on the iPad and recorded the audio with audioBoo on the iPhone.

Step 5: Used audioBoo on the iPhone to send out the following tweet:

Step 6: Mission accomplished!

Total elapsed time: About 5-7 minutes. Seriously.

I realize this is sort of a silly example, but I really was quite pleased at how easy it was to make my idea a reality. Two years ago that same task takes me at least half an hour, maybe longer (a lot longer, really, since I wasn’t even on Twitter two years ago.)

Is there a moral to this little story, besides the fact that little geeky things make me happy? Maybe  one thought to consider is whether we are nearing a sea change in how we utilize technology in CME and the inherent costs involved. Do we need an entire camera crew to make a webcast? Would the quality of video shot by one person with an iPhone be so inferior that it would hamper the educational value? Instead of flying in a KOL from another country, what if we “Skyped” him/her in to the conference live?

In addition…audioBoo is pretty cool and really easy to use. I’m intrigued by the possibilities. How about this: the faculty at your symposia aren’t able to answer all the questions submitted via question cards or Twitter or whatever means you’re using. So after the meeting, you pull aside a presenter, grab your iPhone and use audioBoo to record answers to the lingering questions. You can then tweet out the questions, using the conference hashtag, with the audio answers attached.

Pretty cool.


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