If you attended the event, please tag your posts and photos with Bloggerdinnerbostonoct07 (just link to that Technorati page)
Last night was the much anticipated Web/Blogger/Social Media/Live Web community dinner, (see guest list of about 100 attendees) the energy was high. Len Devanna of EMC volunteered to be the sponsor and did a fantastic job of hosting and organizing the event. A company whose brand is built on information recognizes the importance of how this ‘unstructured web data’ impacts storage, networking, brands, management, and knowledge can change traditional information. I have a long history of watching EMC from the sidelines, it was great to meet folks face to face.
The room was buzzing with bloggers, podcasters, videobloggers, marketers, inventors, entrepreneurs, students from MIT, and even internet uncle Doc Searls came forward to meet and greet.
I had so many fantastic conversations, and finally met some of the EMC bloggers (or employees who work at EMC and happen to blog, as one business card states) and had a quick conversation with social media practitioner and thought leader Beth Kanter. My new friend, and future co-speaker Chris Brogan was present, he’s one of the kindest souls in the industry. Who came the farthest? Mark, also known as Storagezilla, flew in from Ireland for this event.
What really helped Boston come alive? Local team Red Sox wins 7-1.
I found a quiet corner and video interviewed at least half a dozen folks, you’ll see these appear over the coming weeks. Below you’ll get a sense for the event, see all photos tagged bloggerdinnerbostonoct07, feel free to tag the photos of people you know.
The Hong Kong web community came together in the central district (an area known for great bars and restaurants) at Prive’, on scenic Wyndham street. Of the 70 who showed up, there was a wide range of internet professionals. Outblaze, a white label communications company was the host, and we really appreciate them giving to the community, great job Ibrahim and Yusaf. See the full roster on the sign up page.
I took the time to speak to as many people as I could, collecting business cards and asking them about what they did and how’s the HK’s web community. After talking to dozens, most would agree that the web community is still nasenct, only a few companies have emerged as HK’s largest focus is on Finance, Investment and Real Estate. The morning newspaper delivered to my door, as well as TV channels show an emphasis on Finance, and there’s not even a tech section in the newspaper. I believe that Singapore’s web community is just a little bit farther on.
I encouraged everyone to try to continue to meet on a regular basis, and asked all the bloggers to raise their hands, look around at others and try to synch, same with Marketers (who I suggested should start a Social Media Club) and corporate folks (who should consider hosting a Lunch 2.0). These are ongoing community events that are designed to bolster the industry from networking, sharing, and collaboration.
I did a handful of 2 minute video interviews, you’ll start to see a few of those published over the coming weeks, so I hope you subscribe.
What I learned talking to HK’s web community:
I met Victor Isaac Cheung of CNETS asia blog team.
Aaron Farr of Jadetower says the open source movement slowly grows in China, there’s an event tonight at 4pm
Warren Wong of Typhoon Games tells me that the largest area of the gaming industry is in Shanghai.
JiJiJa provides network based recommendations, I’ve added them to my industry index.
Rita at A8 offers a variety of internet marketing services.
Vivien Chan of PCCW is pushing Video on Demand, they’ve a new feature called “Move”.
Marcel of SynergySynq is a project management company for the web community.
I met Theo who broadcasts the only Technology Radio Show in HK, on channel 94.8 and 96.4
I met the founder of Recruit.net Asia’s version of SimplyHired.
I met Ian Fong who’s an internet marketing professional at TTAsia
Napoleon is helping to organize a local BarCamp, and he’s the founder of Web Wednesday, a first-of-the-month get together.
Edmund Wong has an interesting blog in Chinese called Lifesterblog
Eddie Wong at Sanrio Digital has a thriving community around their brand, see Sanrio Town
Kay Bayliss who is a digital marketing association Director.
PK Chan launched EditGrid, an Office 2.0 spreadsheet application
Leon Ho has some great productivity tips, he runs Lifehack
Leonard is a college lecturer at the HK University
I saw my Singaporean friend Melvin Yuan, he just happened to be in town, how very serendipitous.
Craig Jackson of the Priory is a wonderful host, he gave me directions to the right place, thanks.
To my surprise, Sidekick is not a guy, but a very charming lady, who introduced me to many
In HK, instead of business card, they call it “name cards”.
The tag for this event is HKBloggerSept07. (copy that Technorati code to you blog, and tag photos please.
I take great joy in seeing the web industry grow outside of Silicon Valley, thank you HK for coming out!
Update: There’s a few posts coming out, they are:
Yusaf of Outblaze
HongKong Phooey (CNET)
Jacky’s Flickr photos
You’ve never had spicy until you’ve had authentic Szechuan
Think you’ve had spicy food? Guess again! After the event, a few of us went out to dinner to enjoy authentic Szechuan cuisine (learn more).
Yes, that’s a bowl full of peppers, somewhere in there is some chicken bits. It was unlike any type of spice I’ve had before, it was aromatic and made my mouth feel numb, almost like an anesthetic. Normal beer tasted sweet like sugar after eating just one small piece of chicken.
Rebbecca MacKinnon, a Professor at HK University, citizen journalist, former CNN reporter has spent much of ther time in China, and speaks fluently, she put me to shame as she gulped down the spicy peppers and food.
I could barely handle it, it was tough, thankfully, I’m not paying for it the next day, what an experience!
Oh, and if you’re on business in China, here’s a cultural tip I learned on previous times here in HK, if you want to pay for the dinner, then you have to be sneaky, and slip out to the bathroom and pay when no one is looking. Chinese culture mandates a fight (can get violent) for hosts to pay for dinner, I’ve been cornered by one team while trying to wrestle the bill away from others, it’s a funny and entertaining experience in Chinese culture.
Pics below: More chili peppers were served than meat! (expand the first two photos)
Above: Click on image to see notes. I suggested that the community write on this wall, so we could keep track of who’s there, I guess it’s like a real world wiki, “riki”? Click on the image, and leave a ‘note’ so your site will be hyperlinked
The blogger dinner that I suggested would be a great community event turned out to be way past my expectations. I was expecting just 10 or so folks to want to go out to a restaurant and shoot the crap, but instead there were two corporate sponsors (who were about community) and over 50 people at a party with food, booze, cameras, videos, and live streaming. It was like a short conference.
Why do I organize blogger and community events? I’m not sure, but I think it’s part of my heritage as a community person.
The event was at Jive Software, who make a collaboration platform, and Intel, who Josh Bancroft headed up from the developer network. The food was fantastic, and there were a few very strong beers on hand and a Nintendo Wii.
The Jive folks have a great office, I’m jealous. Even Eric Rice from the bay area was watching us on Justin TV’s new Alpha Geek Channel. Stevie Nova has a write up, as well as Thomas the technical blogger (keep an eye on him, he’s doing interesting things) who interviewed me.
True or False: Portlanders don’t huddle?
In my previous visits to Portland, multiple people have told me that there’s very few tech events, despite the fact there’s a significant tech and web industry present in the area.
In the bay area, there’s 4 or more events every night. Here in Portland they don’t get together regularly. Why? The culture of Portland is very open source, organic and natural. One guest told me that it would be sort of frowned upon if one person tried to ‘force events’ in a subvert way.
I talked to four or more other P-Landers, and they suggested that notion was incorrect. That the general vibe in Portland is decentralized, and event planning can be ‘fragile’ as if a organizer can’t make it, then the whole event may not happen.
I’ve still not gotten to the bottom of this mystery, but it’s clear to me, there’s a thriving tech community, although decentralized, and they don’t all come together like in the bay area.
I find that pictures do the best job of telling community events, so here’s a few pictures I took. Want to see other events and conferences? Use the category tags to the right nav.
The TDM group is Singapore’s young, vibrant, Social and Digital media user group, they’re on the move, watch them.
Walter Lim has done an excellent job capturing my presentation this week at the IX 2007 conference Academic Forum. I was really excited to meet a group called The Digital Movement, which is a group of young social media and digital media professionals that have ties back to Singapore University. They are the next generation of media and web workers, and I even declared that they are an untapped resource that could really help established business and government groups understand how to use these tools to connect humans and build community.
As you may remember, a few months ago, I suggested a blogger dinner be organized, so I could meet all the young minds, they made an extravaganza out of it, and we all met at a local brewery, thanks to James Seng and Ming Yeow for sponsoring the dinner, it was fantastic.
The Digital Movement (TDM) group is much like groups I’m seeing forming in Silicon Valley. I’m part of Third Thursday’s, Social Media club, Lunch 2.0 and other somewhat informal groups that are meetings of peers and people of similar interests. I attend many conferences and events in Silicon Valley, and can clearly see a trend and pattern.
The TDM group appears to be an organize, young group of new/social media and digital media like-minded folks that put together events (such as Nexus with over 600 attendees), learn from each other, and network. They self describe themselves as:
“We are a young movement seeking to grow and inject vibrancy into the budding communities of Web 2.0 technologists/entrepreneurs and new media advocates in Singapore (and of course, the world very soon).”
I’ve seen a lot of groups form in the Silicon Valley, some more successful than others, and I wanted to suggest a few recommendations for anyone that wants to formalize and grow the organization to be something great, these apply to many types of groups:
1) Define the goals of the group, please note that they will change, evolve over time. Somewhere in this goal the word “people” and or “Community” be used.
2) Whatever the focus is, become a master at that area. If you’re going to focus on Social Media, or Interactive Media, make sure that you can demonstrate that you know your arena. Practice what you preach
3) Add value: Start to document what your group is doing, add value and learnings to others, which will attract new members. Consider a blog, video blog, or way to chronicle key events and happenings in your area.
4) Formalize: I’ve seen groups like the Brainjams and Social media club form from user groups to revenue generating workshops. They’re providing real value to businesses and are making a living from traveling about sharing their knowledge with those that need it. There are tons of other opportunities to build a strong network, support startups and grow collectively
5) Become the first stop resource for your area of focus. I suggested to the TDM group to start documenting, cataloging the web and media industry in their area. Much like how I did that wiki for Hitachi. It will keep you self-aware, build community, and be the first source of information for people to understand what’s happening in your market.
6) Hold regular events: events for the members, events to attract others, events to help other businesses and organizations. If the TDM group wants to understand how to do Lunch 2.0s they can contact me. Different businesses can host these very informal lunches and get to know the social media community, and vice versa. I’m one of the primary promoters of this in Silicon Valley.
7) Have fun! When there’s no passion, there’s no innovation. I’m sure you’ll figure this out, but don’t get hung up on politics, some of the best groups are bottom up and member controlled, that’s the future.
In my presentation to the main congress yesterday, I talked about the TDM group as an untapped resource, as I noticed how businesses in Silicon Valley lean on these self-forming groups for mutual benefit. I asked the TDM members to stand up, this way the attendees could easily identify a contact point.
Here’s some pictures of some of the members, (I often take people’s pictures with their business card, as I meet so many people, it helps to keep track) including the Chill Out dinner we had last night. It was Kevin Lim’s 30th birthday, I had a chuckle when they gave me a blog birthday celebration too, too funny.
Below are pictures from the event at the Academic Forum, as well as the dinner last night. If you know the folks in the photos, feel free to leave a tag(s).
Stepped off the plane and went right to the Blogger Dinner. Felt like an idiot as I stumbled through the busy restaurant with my luggage. Found Scoble and the bloggers. We had a variety of conversations around Yahoo, Microsoft, Wireless, MySpace, Vox, Blogs, Edelman, Hitachi, pretty much anything and everything geek.
This was my first time in Chi town and having a REAL pizza pie at Girodano’s.
Present were David Dalka, Jeff Treem, Robert Scoble, Joseph Thornley (Who blogged about the dinner), Kevin Dugan, Chris Thilk, David Armano, and Mike Miller
one other (didn’t get his card sorry). I knew this was a good group, as there was an excess of money for the tab.