September 2008

Don’t you know who I am?

You know what they say about that question, “if you have to ask…”

I was recently on a panel discussion, and at the last moment the moderator said that since he couldn’t find appropriate bios for everyone on the panel that he wouldn’t be introducing anyone, but instead asked each of us to spend a moment introducing ourselves to the audience. This is essentially the worst thing I can imagine happening in a situation like that because I hate talking about myself. Really, it’s one of my least favorite things in the world.

The other people sitting with me spent a good 60-90 seconds rattling off their merits and accomplishments and explaining to the audience why they had any business being there. When it was my turn I froze and I think I said something like “Hi, I’m Sean Bonner and I’m a blogger. I blog about a bunch of stuff.” and left it at that. Later on Tara asked what the thinking behind that introduction was and why I didn’t mention any number of things that might have wowed the audience. I didn’t have a good answer for that, I didn’t have an answer I would have been happy receiving anyway.

This is hard to explain and talk about because it doesn’t even make a lot of sense to me — it’s not like I want to lead some secret existence that no one knows about. Quite the opposite, I want to do things that everyone knows about, but I don’t want to be the one to tell them. In some respects I think if I have to tell people about who I am and what I’m doing then I’m not doing things as well as I should be and I’d be better served shutting up and working harder. I’m sure some of this stems from anytime I see someone talking about themselves I assume they are just patting themselves on the back, part of it is that the people I really admire I do so because of what I’ve seen them do and never what they’ve said they do, and some of it is certainly that I just don’t think I’ve done anything worth bragging about.

To make this even more confusing I’m actually embarrassed when I meet someone for the first time and they do know who I am or something that I’ve done. So what the fuck is my problem? I’m sure a lot of this is based on how put off I am when I see someone else talking about themselves and I never want to have someone make the assumptions about me that I do about those people. I guess to some extent I feel that I have two choices in these situations – give out too little info and let people find out the rest on their own if they are interested, or give out too much and be a boastful self promoting dick. I always opt for the prior and when pressed can’t determine what amount of self description would be appropriate.

Which brings me to the point of wondering what I’m even getting at with this post, assuming I eventually hit publish. It’s been sitting in my drafts folder for 3 days now, a drafts folder I created only three days ago and thus making this the longest time between when I’ve written something and not posted it right away. Maybe I’m over thinking this editing thing, and maybe I’m just really uncomfortable with this topic. Maybe both. I promise I’m not writing this to brag about how modest I am, which is what I feels like to me. It’s something on my head that I’m trying to work though. Maybe I’ll be able to, maybe not, but all I can do is try and somehow writing about it seems like a good first step.

One sided conversation while waiting at the airport

Orlando International Airport

I’m concluding this lovely Florida excursion with a multi-hour wait at Orlando International Airport. I’d be lying if I said it was anything but a giant pile of suck. Tara and I had different destinations and thus different flights, and hers flew out almost 3 hours before mine. I was planning to just hang out in the Admirals Club, except surprise! There isn’t one in here. Awesome. Anyway, she took off and I miss her like crazy already (sorry for that divergence into sappiness, won’t happy again) and I’ve got a few hours before I can board so I’m staring at this lovely scene pictured above and if you choose to keep reading, you’ll get the brunt of it.

Once again I’m swimming in thoughts and just have way too much I want to write about and process and think out. I had several super good talks with Merlin this weekend and his presentation at the conference titled ‘How To Blog‘ was really amazing. He’s advising against doing what I’m doing right here, just vomiting out ideas and thoughts but when I do this it’s really more for me than it is for you. I plan to rewatch his talk several times and really want to try to do a lot of what he’s suggesting. I do some of it already, but not to the extent that I want or the extent that I’m happy with.

And that’s really the trick of it, I want to be happy with it. I need to be, otherwise it’s not worth doing. Writing every day isn’t so much of a problem for me, neither is finding what to write about. Editing and holding back unfinished or less than top notch posts are much harder for me. I’ve been trying to blog every day and with the exception of traveling days I’ve been much better about that recently, and I know in the past when I’ve really stuck to that I’ve seen improvements perhaps not so much in my writing but in my ability to convey what it is that I’m trying to say. I often write just to sort out my own thoughts on a topic because I find myself running in circles when the discussion takes place solely in my head. So to some extent I use my blog as a sounding board, but I’d like to continue to refine and improve that so it’s really worth peoples time to come and read it.

I have a bunch I want to write about being here in Orlando for IZEAfest, but it’s way too much to throw into this post and that’s something I want to make sure I say exactly like it needs to be said. Needless to say I was conflicted about it on many levels going into it but I think it was more than worth it in the end. I’ll make the case for that soon and you can tell me if I’m full of shit or not. Or if I’m full of shit, but make a good point regardless.

That is just one thing I’m thinking about, amidst a swarm of others. You might have noticed I’ve been back and forth to SF a lot recently, and I think all signs point to that only increasing. This has me thinking a lot about the Multibasing idea again. Couple that with the fact that I just moved to a new (old) apartment myself in Los Angeles, it’s got me thinking a lot about the concept of home and what we all really need, really want, as well as what we often put up with in the quest for whatever it is we are looking for. I might be heading back to Tokyo soon too, and that may end up playing into this even more so expect some thoughts on all of that in the near future.

The over reaching thread in all of this is that it’s getting increasingly important to me that what I’m working on makes me happy, and is fulfilling to some extent, and that I feel like I’m making a difference somehow. This isn’t new, as most of you already know, but it’s getting magnified a lot which will either work out smashingly or, well, not. This applies to work and life – we don’t get any do overs here, we get one shot and need to make the most of it, and need to be able to look back at what we did and feel like it was worth it. At least I do.

Mai lahptop iz brok

So I got on the plane yesterday and was confronted with a screen that was less than working. Really. Pics on flickr too probe it. So after a. $40 cab ride from the orlando airport to my hotel I took another one to some mall and found an apple store and begge and pleaded for them to take it in and they did and with any luck it’ll be fixed before I fly out Monday. That said, I’m sans laptop until then an forced to do everything with my iPhone so well see how that works. This post is even being written with the iPhone WordPress app. Anyway, I might be forced to enjoy myself or something, and if I’m slower than usual to respond to something sorry in advance.

This whole Palin thing

I’ve been meaning to write something about the Sarah Palin thing since I first learned about it. Of course I’ve been swamped and bullshit politics seems to always get pushed down the list of things I want to think about but I wanted to actually say something before the election actually happens. I read the incredibly thought out piece that danah boyd wrote about being offended, as a women, by this choice and watched this video that Jason DeFillippo posted.

And those folks said, much better than I could, pretty much everything I was thinking. Choosing her was such a transparent grab for votes it’s amazing. I’ve had good things to say about McCain in the past but this is so shady and so spineless it’s fairly clear, to me at least, that none of what he’s said in the past holds true and he’s right in line with “cheat and play every dirty move so long as we win” policies that Bush laid out. What’s worse is that people are buying it. I don’t recall a time recently where the two biggest public reactions I’ve seen to a political move have been “Are you serious, you’d have to be a complete idiot to not see that this is a total scam move” and “Amazing! Best move ever!” It’s shocking, it’s embarrassing, and it’s disappointing. In my travels outside of the country I’m frequently confronted by folks who want to know how Americans can be so stupid as to support Bush enough to elect him twice, and I have to explain that it was a close call and there’s a lot of people who don’t agree and actually think things through. But then something like this happens and I can’t turn on the news without seeing some a mic shoved in some housewife’s face while she goes on and on about how she either used to support Hillary but since she’s out Palin is clearly the choice, or how she wasn’t sold on McCain but with the addition of Palin she’s 110% behind him while her husband stands supportively behind her nodding. Hook. Line. Sinker.

And today, the “lipstick on a pig” thing. I can’t believe the McCain camp thinks anyone believes they are offended by it. I can’t believe the McCain camp thought that would be the good thing to pull out of context and over react about. I can’t believe that McCain supporters are jumping right in line behind this and wagging their fingers. I can’t believe it. Yet it’s happening right here in front of me. A month ago I was positive there was nothing McCain could do to win, and that Obama was locked in already. I think I was giving the Republicans too much credit.

Going to O-Town

I just posted about this over on Orlando Metbogs but I’m heading that direction tomorrow as I’m participating in IZEAfest which runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This is a new conference so I don’t know what to expect but looking at the list of folks who will be talking and the topics at hand means it’s a pretty safe bet it’ll be interesting. I’ve been contacted by a few folks who found me though that (either they are also speaking, or attending or something) about how I can make a bunch of money with their service/product/widget and my blog all of which have been responded to with a clear “I don’t fucking think so” which leads me to believe there will be some lively discussion there to say the least. I know for a fact that the panel I’m on will be discussing the ROI on social networking. Yep. I’m curious about the ROI on a dinner party and hanging out at a coffee shop myself. Also the ROI on playing Rock Band is questionable. Guess we’ll find out!

I’m pretty excited that my special lady friend was able to grab a day or two off and will be flying over to hang out and provide the moral support I’ll need due to stepping foot in Florida. The awesome part is I’m finally going to stay at The Veranda which is a bed and breakfast that my cousin and his wife own. I’ve been there a few times and seen it through many stages of remodeling but I’ve never actually stayed there so this should be fun. The downside is, well, I guess I already pointed out the “going to Florida” aspect of it.

I don’t know if or how many old Florida friends might read this in time, but if you are around and wanna swing by while I’m there please do. I’d love to see anyone who can make it.

Is that marketing or a pile of trash? Is there a difference?

Ineffective Marketing at TC50

The amount of marketing materials being thrown around at TechCrunch50 is insane. There’s literally piles of printed flyers and stickers and brochures on every table to the point where people have to brush it off in big stacks to even sit down. This is completely useless as the chances of visually identifying one brand out of the rest when walking by is next to none, and when sitting at a table it’s essentially a pile trash that just happens to be on your table. I can’t begin the imagine the cash that is being wasted on this, not to mention the unneeded waste building up because of it. These companies should be fined.

As I’m writing this I’m sitting here talking with some other folks at this table about how useless this kind of promotion is and how could anyone look at this mess and decide they had to throw their stuff into the mix, talking out loud about it being bad and people are still walking right up to the table, making no eye contact and throwing down their flyers. It’s nuts!

Crap on tables

Adding to the crap