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Internet, where art thou?

MBJ Editorial

Today’s editorial begins from a personal experience. Last week, the Mississippi Business Journal lost its primary connection to the outside world.

No, it wasn’t the telephone or fax lines or the mail, but rather, the high-speed Internet connection, which provides MBJ staffers with news and information and what has become a business necessity, e-mail.

As we talked to the company, and later, companies, providing the MBJ with its Internet services, it became clear that people were working to solve the problem, but they couldn’t give us answers about when we’d be back online. They couldn’t get us connected. So, we, muddling through Internet withdrawal, had to figure out a way to do it ourselves. And we did. Rube Goldberg, creator of those amazingly complex inventions for solving simple problems in Mad magazine, would have been proud of our cobbled together network connectivity.

And that brings us to the point: don’t take your connectivity for granted.

MBJ’s staff writers have written a number of stories about new companies that provide their clients with redundant Internet connections. We’ve also featured pieces on the importance of having backups – files, databases, lists and plans – for when the unexpected happens.

We didn’t take that advice, but we’re looking into it now, and perhaps it’s not too late for other businesses to learn from what we’ve been through, and being forced offline for a couple of days isn’t an experience we’d wish on anyone.

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