A Nepalese telcom outfit has installed 3G service at the base of Everest. So now Sherpa guides can suffer the same inconsiderate, multi-tasking oafs we do at restaurants, supermarkets and Starbucks.
This news item heralds cell service for the Nepalese masses. The actual first cell phone call from Everest was made several years ago by Brit climber Rod Baber, to whom VMG must award the Living Human Being With Least Imagination trophy. Upon reaching the top of the world, he texted, “One small text for man, one giant leap for mobilekind — thanks Motorola.”
We understand he had to pander to his sponsor. But did that message have to be so stultifyingly derivative? Then, when he had a chance to redeem himself with a voice call (unscripted, presumably), Rod said, “It’s amazing. The Himalayas are everywhere.”
We hereby re-name Rod Captain Obvious. Had he substituted Alps, Andes or Catskills for “Himalayas” he might have been Captain Funny. Or he could have said, “I’m standing on Chomolungma” (local nomenclature), and gotten at least a chuckle. What a stiff.
4,000 have attempted to scale Everest. Some 660 were successful. 142 wound up stiffer than Captain Obvious. Which means seekers of bragging rights have a 3.5 % chance that their Everest text will be their terminal text.
In Social Media, (as in all media) content is still king. Let’s hope the Nepal marketers have more clever copywriters than Motorola did.