Conference Calls and Campfires

I am reminded of campfires and conference calls on these steamy hot days here in Iowa. What is the relationship, you may well ask between a conference call based on advanced technology and campfires that come out of our primeval past? It goes back to when I worked in Yellowstone National Park as a ranger. On those cool summer evenings. . . yes, cool, park visitors and myself would gather around the campfire to discuss and answer questions about the park. We planned together a few visits for people around the park, explained geology, wildlife and park policy as well. That circle around the campfire has become a metaphor to me of conference calls. People call into a central conference call number and drop in together for a group discussion. It's like people coming out of the dark to join others in the light of the campfire. In the first months of Conference Calls Unlimited’s existence back in 1998, I had the choice of conference call bridges everywhere in the country. My favorite one was up in Yellow Bay Montana.  It seemed that when we had a conference call at this location we were all gathering together in authentic campfire country. During the winter I would sweat a little bit thinking remembering that Yellow Bay was near the base of the mountainous Bob Marshall Wilderness. I could almost visualize the very unlikely prospect of  avalanches sweeping into our Yellow Bay terminus and wiping out my conference calling bridge. Today, our clients can rest easier knowing that we locate our conference bridges in many different areas around the country in large urban exchanges known for their telecommunications stability. But at the same time the metaphor remains strong of people sharing ideas, hopes, plans and dreams on their conference call just as they do around the crackling campfire.