The Odyssey 2.0

Let's take a step back for a moment from the business of the new economy, technology, and social media, and focus on what the new media revolution has given us just for us (for our souls, if you will) -- the real-time sharing of the human experience.

In the 8th century BC, Greek poet Homer gave us The Odyssey, the ancient epic of the celebrated warrior Odysseus and his long journey home after the 10-year Trojan war. The poem was comprised in the oral tradition of the time, and handed down to generation after generation as a song -- a very, very long song. The Odyssey has been read, studied, praised, villified, re-told, re-worked and even stolen from, by millions of people from students to scholars to movie producers, for a few thousand years.

Fast forward to the 21st century.

Like never before in history, we can connect, share, collaborate and live each others' stories and adventures. You can follow your colleagues, your college roommate, your ex (if you really want to) and people you will likely never meet but just find fascinating.

From the comfort of your home, you can live some epic adventures (and some okay but really funny ones, and some bizarre ones), including:

The Beat Below the Street - Out-of-work journalist Steve McGookin combines his brilliant storytelling and musical skills (he's a guitar man) to live and tell the incredible story of buskers in the New York City subway system. (With apologies to Steve for this description, which doesn't even begin to tell his story.)

Kyle Across America - Using only his iPhone and a budget of $25/day for food, lodging, and transportation, U. of Minnesota grad student Kyle Potter is traveling across the US to see (and show) how Americans are coping with the recession.

In Homer's day they had the singing Aoidos. (And that guy was an expert with a pretty exclusive job.) Today, we have the blog and the tweet. (And suddenly anyone can be the Aoidos.)

The coolest thing about The Odyssey 2.0? You can choose to participate or simply observe, or you can create an epic of your own (and you don't have to read 2000 pages and write a 20-page essay.)

An oral performance for the ages in 140 characters or less? Perhaps not. But we can guarantee an adventure for every one of you that starts to experiment in this new digital space. It took Odysseus 10 years to get the job done. Here's your 10 minute head-start: here, here or here.

Homer would be proud.