An Internet Moment

The Internet gives so very many things, but one area where it’s weak is context — or so it seems. For example, today I was doing a little research on a site that interested me, and I wondered: who’s behind this? How big is their operation? As we all know, it’s easy to create a facade online.

So I dug into the site a little bit. The traffic numbers were pretty good. The site had plenty of inbound links. The domain was registered with a “Care of” address, but the site itself provided this Chicago address: 3540 N. Southport Ave, with an (office? suite? apartment?) number. Not being too familiar with Southport Av., I pulled up Google Maps in satellite view. Assuming the geocoding was correct, 3540 was a pretty big building. That would make sense, given the additional number, but what type was it?

I plugged the same address into Amazon’s A9 Yellow Pages, and I had my answer: 3540 is a UPS Store, and in fact was a former Mailboxes, Etc., home of P.O. box-style mail drops.

Of course, I could have reached the same conclusion by simpling Googling the address, but that’s the beauty of it: just sitting here on my lazy ass, I have all sorts of resources at my fingertips, and I barely have to move to get ’em.

2 Responses to “An Internet Moment”

  1. Joel Says:

    If you ever become homeless, it might be hard finding work without a permanent address. Apparently you can get around this by using the trick you’re talking about here: get a PO Box at one of these UPS or FedEx stores. Don’t say it’s a PO Box and let Human Resources misinterpret it into thinking you’re a productive member of society, which of course you want to be.

  2. jsp Says:

    If I ever become homeless, so many things would have gone wrong (you’d take me in, right, sibs?) I don’t know if I’d be worried about missing my mail. My e-mail, on the other hand…

    Joking aside, I’ve heard that some shelters offer voicemail and such for this purpose, which I think is a great idea.

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