In which Bill Butler boils the Internet down to one very important Shakespearean statement for my edification (or someone's) during the first official Telalink meeting, circa October 18, 1995.
I was really glad to get some feedback from the Telalink intern graduates following my last post. There were a few posts in response on my Facebook wall that I thought needed to be merged into my blog so that's what I am doing today.
The story of Telalink can't be told without dedicating some time to its innovative "internship" program.
"This is a website," said Bill, pointing to the Mosaic browser with an image of Reba McEntire. We can build these and businesses will start to market themselves on them.
"What's an Internet, Again?" - In which I say good-bye to my dying father and the birth of a new industry
My office at 110 30th Ave North is surrounded by windows, offering a nice panoramic view of the west side of town. I probably have the best view of the Vanderbilt football team's victory flag waving over the stadium, a rarity since it has not had such a lengthy presence during the offseason. Perhaps of more interest to readers of this blog is the 5" pipe protruding from the wall directly behind me. It is partially hidden behind a bookcase and is hardly noticeable since it is only about 8 inches from the floor. In the springtime, baby birds usually chirp incessantly from a well-fortified nest on the other side of the stuffed paper towels that have been crammed in the hole to serve as insulation. There is little to suggest now that this was once the gateway to Telalink Corporation's oh-so-primitive "data center" in the early years and that this pipe would allow for Nashvillians to take their first ride on the 'Net.
I experienced a lot of nostalgia last night while attending SouthernAlpha's inaugural Spark Nashville at 3rd and Lindsley. Listening to the panel discussion with Marcus Whitney and Nicholas Holland, I was fascinated with the stories of these "pioneers of the industry" when I happened to notice the familiar profile of Bill Butler in the balcony. If I were in a movie, the scene could not have been better scripted. For there, hovering with saintly presence above these "old" gents in their reminiscing about the old days (early to mid 2000's) was a true visionary for technology in Nashville before there was any awareness of any kind by most anyone. How could this be, you might ask? Pull up a chair. Pour yourself a beverage. Raise your hands, clasp your hands with fingers intertwined and, with your best Wayne's World flashback impersonation, come back with me...."doodl-oodl-oo, doodl-oodl-oo, doodl-oodl-oo, doodl-oodl-oo........"