I am organizing the Beauty & the Beast Annual Convention this summer. I have to have convention t-shirts made up and I tried one or two local shops thinking that would be the easiest way to get the job done. But sometimes shops don’t like doing fan related orders for copyright issues. Also, if I haven’t used them before there is no way of knowing what kind of quality work they do.
So, I was given then e-mail of a very good, reliable t-shirt shop that past convention chairs have used. The shop is located in Texas. I was concerned about the cost of shipping to New Jersey from Texas, but the woman who did the convention a couple of years ago in Cleveland said that ground shipping is still very reasonable and she loved working with him.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have been working with a guy I have never met to create this year’s convention t-shirt. We have been corresponding through e-mail, and I’ve been thinking how amazing it is to be able to do that, when, I came across the above article.
In class, we have talked about the “scapes” involved in the process of Globalization. A scape is defined as a “view or picture of a scene.” These include financescapes, mediascapes and ideoscapes.
This article, from the Huffington Post, describes what Arjun Appadurai termed technoscapes: the cross-border movements of new and old technologies, based on both machines and computers.
The article says that the singer Adele posted her new song on YouTube last fall and soon sold more than 15 million downloads worldwide. “That makes her one of the most famous beneficiaries of the new age of digital globalization.”
When we think of cross border merchandise flows, we think of goods being shipped from one country to another the way it used to be – on freighters crossing oceans. But that is no longer the biggest way that sales are crossing borders.
Shoppers are turning to on-line stores that can cross borders with a lot more ease than a ship or a truck. According to the article, just fifteen years ago, cross border digital flows were almost non- existent. Today, they exert a larger impact on global economic growth than traditional flows of goods, which took centuries to develop. Overall, the usage of cross-border bandwidth has soared 45-fold since 2005. This digital economy also differs from its older counterpart in that it is knowledge-intensive, rather than capital- or labor- intensive.
The result is that small businesses can now be a part of the same global marketplace as the big transnational corporations. All they need to enter the market is a computer. Such small companies that are doing business in a global marketplace are called “micro multinationals.”
An example of this given in the article is that a weaver in Africa can find customers for her handiwork in Europe by posting pictures on Etsy. It is estimated that 30 percent of sales on Etsy are now cross-border.
So, if a group of Beauty and the Beast fans from say, Italy or Germany, ever needed t-shirts made, I could see it happening that they would be given the name of this guy in Texas, just like I was, by other fans. That’s how a little t-shirt shop in Texas might become a micro multinational company!
If you are digitally-connected, it really is true that all kinds of business opportunities are available today in our Global world that would not have been possible just a short time ago.