Last fall, I attended the New York Web 2.0 Expo. You can tell from my blog and twitter stream then (September 2008) that that conference was wholly inspirational for me. On multiple fronts, from the keynote speakers (we enjoyed Gary Vaynerchuk, Arianna Huffington and Ben Huh from ICanHasCheeseburger) to a fantastic series of workshops and sessions …and then there was the networking, and Wine 2.0 tasting, the tweeting, the blogging…you get the idea…value and inspiration.
So yes, from this side of the event, I can identify the value, inspiration, excitement and content that has changed the way I do business, marketing, blogging and sales. Now on the early side of a new conference and a full cup of coffee…it isn’t so easy to see the inspiration…all I got is anticipation. And I’m wondering, though trusting, that the inspiration, excitement, etc. will come. But that takes time. And you could also probably say you get out what you put in to it. Sifting through the details of the first session, Web Monitoring, requires…more coffee, and some critical thinking, focus and application of strategy. In a snapshot cliche from the 80’s, “No Pain, No Gain.”
I’m looking forward to all of it. More coffee first, then content and connection, then cocktails. This is where ideas gestate, then are able to take on a life of their own. And you never know where you’ll find inspiration; but I can promise that Web 2.0 is definitely among the most fertile ground in this space.
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Good Eats and Zin on Thursday night gave me another opportunity to enjoy my work while NOT sitting at my desk. Likewise I met a few new bloggers, tweeters and winemakers. Some favorites of the evening include winemaker Doug Hackett from Dogwood Cellars, chef, owner, Greg Cole from Napa’s Celadon, tweeters: @theBeerWench, @robin_g and @luvschandon. These meetings and events are the reason Social Media is a complete and total redemption for computer technology. Far from separating and isolating, this tech is bringing people and ideas together in exciting ways.
While I participated in 2 of the 3 days of ZAP, including attending 3 interesting wine industry “best-practices” sessions on e-commerce, social media and direct to consumer business, I will miss the consumer tasting where wine 2.0 will host a bloggers lounge. In a designated area at the tasting, bloggers will be able to blog and tweet with free internet access. I must say, I am very much looking forward to those blog posts.
I’ll have more follow up on the sessions including the social media session I moderated with 2 impressive experts I asked to be on the panel: Lesley Russell, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, DTC for St. Supery and Joel Vincent, founder of OWC, producer of WBC and co-founder of VinTank. Stay tuned…it’s been a week!
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Have you ever seen the Blue Angels perform their Flying Stunt Show? It’s an awesome, as in awe inspiring, sight. My kids and I watched from a friend’s rooftop on Van Ness in San Francisco. The jets flew so low over us a couple times that we could read the numbers on the tail of the aircraft. My kids cowered from the boom. The building vibrated. And I couldn’t help but catch my breath thinking about their brilliance, grace and strength.
It was a strange feeling. I’m what you might call a Peace Freak. In the 1980’s, I registered Green to help get them listed as a new political party. I attended rallies against The Gulf War in the 90’s. Since I had children, I find it even harder to imagine sending our young people to war. In 2003 I collaborated with theatre companies in the Napa Valley to present a reading of Lysistrata along with theatres all across the world in protest of our launching war in the Middle East.
But as I stood there on the roof in the sunshine in San Francisco watching the Blue Angels whoosh by me with a vibrating boom above a picturesque sailboat-dotted-bay, I was proud, in awe, and hopeful. On the heels of the last few weeks’ economic and political news, we’ve watched our country descend into the worst economic turmoil in our lifetime. Politically, divisive and hateful speech has become common at some rallies; stirring a frightening and toxic force among our citizens. Watching the Blue Angels reminded me of our potential, our better selves. This seems ironic to me since they are also part of our military and as I said before, I’d prefer peace, in a big way.
So here they were in our fair city, people gathering to be together to watch this spectacular display of artistry and science and skill. It’s one of those moments you remember forever. Maybe the Blue Angels in context within the rest of the political and economic muck and despair was jarring. Maybe it is a time when their artistry, science and skill can be especially appreciated. And maybe coming together with everything aligned under an amazing display of strength, grace and leadership is what we need more of right now. I’ll be looking for it, imitating it and finding it.
Lt Gretchen Doane & LCDR Mark Lambert, photographs above are Blue Angels Officers.
I looked into the history of the Blue Angels a little since they stirred my curiosity.
A few facts:
- The Blue Angels first performed in 1946
- There are no safety or alternate pilots because, “The teamwork required for the high speed, low-altitude flying in the tight Blue Angel formation takes hundreds of hours to develop. A substitute pilot would not have enough time in the formation to do this safely.”
- The average age of a Blue Angels pilot is 33 years old.
- The F/A-18 can reach speeds just under Mach 2, almost twice the speed of sound or about 1,400 mph. The maximum rate of climb of the F/A-18 is 30,000 feet per minute.
- The jets bear the official colors for the U.S. Navy.
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