I met Anton Chekhov.
This is what I said to him:
JAMES: The thing people don’t get about the Internet is that everything is new, the past is dead, nothing is real, everything’s good, nothing lasts, it’s all changing, there’s no up, there’s no down, no one’s rich, no one’s poor, nothing is better than anything else, yeah? You’ve read the magazines, you’ve read the blogs, they call me a “genius”…
Chekhov – understandably confused, having only recently woken from a hundred year coma – asked me what it is that I actually do, so I explained “I make things happen. I build web presence. I innovate digitally. I think the new media. I design apps”.
I demonstrated the latest app I’d designed:
JAMES: Hit this button and now what have you got? Look, the app starts tagging everything in the picture. See here? Point at my laptop, it’s telling me that this is a MacBook Air, 13″ screen, starting at £1,378, click on that button to be taken to a range of selected stores…
I explained further:
JAMES: …It knows the value of everything. With this app you can buy literally anything you see.
ANTON: I understand.
JAMES: In Web 2.0, seeing isn’t enough. It’s about tags and dialogue and flexibility and interaction and being non-fucking-linear for once in your life and its social networks and it’s now and it’s super-now and it’s having information at your fingertips because what’s money? Information is the new money. You see Wikipedia, I see money. And it works with people too. Point it at me, what does it say?
ANTON: James Ward, Internet guru, futurologist, Genius.
I didn’t actually meet Chekhov. Anton Chekhov died in 1904. But a version of him didn’t die. A version of him simply slipped into a coma and woke up in the twenty-first century. That was the version of Anton Chekhov I met. That was the version of Anton Chekhov which a version of me met at least.
Actually, the version of me in the play is a bit of a cock, but I don’t take that personally. In fact, it could have been worse, I could have been Jessica who appears a couple of scenes later.