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Months of preparation and hard work have led our two teams to this point here at the December Madness finals. Your votes have eliminated 30 excellent digital competitors and now we're down to only two remaining. It's time for the Stage Managers of SMNetwork to make the final decision as to the most useful digital tool in their arsenal.
This entire competition has seen a pitched battle waged between the two main focal points of the stage manager's job: communication and organization. Our final matchup is no different.
On the one side we have Webmail, a universally accessible and free resource that allows rapid dissemination and easy control of the large amounts of information that pass through our hands on a regular basis. Webmail came out of the semifinal match with text messaging with a landslide victory, 21-4. With a strong offensive lineup including Gmail, Yahoo mail, AOL mail and whatever Microsoft is choosing to call their mail offering at this time, Webmail brings a lot to the table. It has made the rehearsal hotline obsolete and allowed theatres to cut postal and travel budgets since its invention in 1996. Its foundation technology, Email, has had half a century to practice (since 1962) its defensive moves and turn into a powerhouse to which current webmail interfaces merely add flair and gloss.
Of course, its competitor is no slouch, and it brings an equally long history of evolution and refinement to the court today. Spreadsheet technology also dates back to 1962 and Excel descends from an equally impressive pedigree including Lotus, Quattro Pro and VisiCalc. However, while Webmail is free, immediate and targeted towards communication, Excel has a cost to it and a more substantial learning curve to use to its fullest extent. While Webmail has made the communication part of the stage manager's job infinitely easier, Excel led the charge of stage managers bringing the computer into backstage work. Its ability to parse information into tidy boxes has tickled the stage manager's organization urges all the way along, and its mathematic abilities have allowed it to integrate throughout the backstage world from the box office to the scene shop. Excel came out of the semifinals with a perfect 31-0 victory over Facebook, a result that I'm sure pleased the SMblr crowd. Can it repeat its vicious trouncing of opponents in the finals?
The outcome is in your hands, stage managers. Let the voting begin! Polls remain open for 1 week.