Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Travel, Rudeness, and Two Conferences

I have just returned from a whirlwind two-week trip. 22,000 miles in 14 days. Lots of time spent in airports waiting for cancelled flights. The high point was our company launch at DEMO 07 in Desert Palm, CA. (See the demo at It was a lot of fun. Preparing for the conference was a lot of work, but the feedback has been extremely positive, so it was more than worth it. The absolute low point was being in Chicago and watching the Bears lose (in -27 wind chill weather).

In contrast to the congeniality of the show, I was really shocked by the rudeness of some of the bloggers who "covered" the show. There were so many stupid comments about things that had nothing to do with the conference. Bloggers wrote about what clothes the presenters wore, mocked the terms they used (one guy had a really tough time with the term "long tail"), and generally downplayed what was being shown on stage. Once I noticed it, it seemed to appear in each subsequent posting.

I walked away thinking, "what is happening to us?" So I guess it was prescient that I ran across a book called, "Talk to the Hand" at the airport. How can you turn down a book whose subtitle is "The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door?" Written by Lynne Truss, this book is funny, and really hits the nail on the head regarding how rudeness has permeated our society. Certainly, part of this has to do with the relative anonymity of blog posts and email flames. I think another part has to do with trying to sound clever and insightful, when people don't really have anything to say. Whatever it is, the downside of blogosphere democratization is that people don't feel they are held to the same standards of decent behavior as in the "real world," and this is a shame.

On this trip, the airport and travel "downtime" gave me an opportunity to catch up on reading (and crossword puzzles as well). I also attended FASTforward in San Diego and met some interesting folks. More on all of this in upcoming posts.

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