October 05, 2012
A Visual Journey of DEMOFall 2012
I missed DEMOFall last year if I recall and hate to miss a DEMO since I'm a huge fan of their events, having gone for years (and years). I'm also a media partner every year. As always, they had a great line-up of companies, many start-ups making the trek over from Asia and Europe to unveil their latest and greatest on the DEMO stage.
Some of the highlights included a kick-off Beer reception in the Oktoberfest theme. The great thing about such a theme is fabulous dark German beer and fashionistas like Jolie O'Dell showing up looking like Heidi. (it doesn't seem to matter what outfit she puts on or color her hair is, she always looks smashing).
The downside? The food of course. It was great to reconnect with old friends, some of whom I only see at Demo every year. Not everyone was as stylish as Jolie of course, but the pressure of women pulling out in the stops in Silicon Valley has Dylan Tweney rethinking what he puts on before he goes out of the house...yup, even the socks! (see my geek fashion hurts my senses piece).
Dean Takahashi decided to support the theme in one way he knew how: put on an Irish hat to support the Germans of course. :-)
In all seriousness, the beauty about Demo is that after hours (and before hours), people still know how to have fun. Below - is it easy to recognize a Brit among us? After all, the Brits know how to let loose despite myths that they don't. (Trust me, I lived there...ask me for stories sometime).
The every so "fun" Redg Snodgrass and Andrew Scott announced Taploid, a gossip tabloid for the digital age, so hey, they were just celebrating their unveiling after all...
Speaking of celebrating and having fun, Dave Mathews and co-founder of InTooch Julian Salanon demonstrated to the audience that they can START to have fun if they only freed their lives from business cards with their new mobile app. Hear hear.
Given that this event was Matt Marshall's last DEMO event, Neal Silverman bid farewell to Matt on stage while the audience cheered him on (and yes, we even stood up and whistled). Erick Schonfeld takes over in 2013 and am looking forward to seeing what direction he takes things.
There were also the traditional DEMO God awards that DEMO is notorious for. This year's winners included: bandu from Neumitra, Birdeez, ElectNext, Flinja, RentLingo, and VPC from Neurotrack (Alzheimers development).
One conference - multiple personalities. Up on day one was Ray Kurzweil, who talked about everything from singularity and speech recongition to nano bots and our brains. Up on day two was Twitter co-founder Ev Williams.
In between each category, a group of "sage" panelists came out and gave their opinion on every app that presented - what they liked and didn't...and why!
Journalist Rob Pegararo made the trek from DC...
There was, as always, loads of schmooze time as well and on the last night, a farewell celebration party thrown by Citrix.
August 03, 2012
Drew Carey Seems to be Getting Hotter & Younger
August 02, 2012
Happy Birthday Steve Wozniak: Woz Celebrates His Big 62 in San Francisco
While the world at large knows his name as co-founder of Apple, today he sits as Chief Scientist at a company called Fusion-io, whose chief focus is to deliver data faster.
Their pitch of their ioMemory platform is that it accelerates databases, virtualization, cloud computing, big data, and the applications that drive our economy and our daily lives.
The team decided to throw Woz a surprise birthday party this week at Yuerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco.
The marketing folks were seen texting with his wife Janet to get ensure they had the timing right and that everyone was behind a closed door with not one party hat in sight prior to him entering the main building.
As invited guests showed up early to ensure Woz wouldn't find out, they were given noise makers, pink boas, party hats and bags of glitter to throw at him when he walked through the door.
Even after a shower, I'm still finding those damn glitter flecks on my body and my living room floor nearly 24 hours later.
Invitees included old friends, industry illuminaries, geeks, former Apple folks he worked with and a handful of press.
I ran into some people I hadn't seen in years and met new ones I didn't know existed in the "biz."
One of the first people I ran into was Fusion-io's CEO David Flynn (left) who gave kudos to Woz on stage for his dedication to the company and of course to wish him a Happy Big 62.
Old time industry pals showed up like Tim Bajarin, DEMO's Neal Silverman, Harry McCracken, Therese Poletti, and Janet Rae Dupree and other media who have been covering this industry for years such as Don Clark, Dean Takahashi, Chris Taylor, Mike Isaac, Ina Fried and a host of others.
People seemed to keep the pink boas on for most of the night -- men and women -- and people queued up to have a photo taken with Woz and his wife Janet, pink feathers and all.
The guys decided it might be fun to give Woz "the what and who" he always wanted (?) to pop out of a cake: a geek with zero social skills and less than zero protocol.
It wasn't until he started stripping in front of Woz and the crowd that we began to uhh, wonder, what next?
Woz seemed to go with the flow, which is one of the things we all love about him so much. Sure, he's brilliant and has a lot of charisma, but its his warm engaging smile and authentic way of being with pretty much anyone who approaches him that people fall in love with. In other words, he's about as real as it gets and this "real" comes through when you're around him almost immediately, whether its your first encounter with him or your twentieth.
Below is a shot of Woz with his brother Mark
Below are the two Fusion-io founders. Can you tell which one is the token geek and which one isn't?
Well renowned and charming TV personality Drew Carey showed up and while he was there because he knew Woz personally, he dealt with the fan love extremely well by posing with people all night long, including yours truly. I couldn't resist. He looks damn good, does he not? (remember, the man was born in the 1950s).
Large Woz posters filled the lobby.
And, after the burgers, stirfry chicken with noodles, potstickers and wine, they served Happy 62nd Birthday Woz cupcakes with the works so to speak.
Even though there was a DJ and drums, and the music brought back a boat load of memories from the 1970s, no one danced because frankly people at technology events never dance regardless of how much they drink. (Note: I did dance with Bill Gates once and was even interviewed by a Washington Post reporter about whether I "thought he could dance" after the fact, but I'm not sure that really counts. I think it was in Vegas although it could have been NYC - it was a LONG time ago).
Instead, we did what geeks do - talk about technology projects and analyze photos AND the cake, both of which were oozing with Steve Wozniak DNA. No, I'm not kidding. Below, Woz lifts up a "birthday present" photo for the crowd so we could all get a visual of his "framed DNA."
They replicated his DNA on a cake, not to be mistaken with the three-tiered one that the 'scary geek' popped out of earlier in the night.
A large vibrant digital screen displayed icons of people wishing Woz a Happy Birthday in whatever way they cared to express it.
Everyone who attended received 'goodie bags' which included a Woz Birthday t-shirt and a game though somehow more of those glittered sprinkles landed in my bad and I imagine I'll find them under my rugs and behind my curtains for months to come, just like the Christmas tree pine needles do after I take the thing down every January.
Happy Birthday Woz. It was a pleasure to be there to help you celebrate, together with pink feathers, glitter, cupcakes and dozens inspiring geeks. Thanks for all the things you do!
September 15, 2011
August Capital Food Porn: Bring it On
August Capital held their annual bash this week at their Silicon Valley's Sandhill Road headquarters. They did a fabulous job curating the best of the best in the industry, which equated to a wealth of interesting conversations.
Of course, they are notorious for making sure the food and wine is top notch and as always, they didn't disappoint. Below is a visual journey of what was on the menu, thanks to Taste, based on Third Street in San Francisco.
While I typically have spent my time capturing photos of attendees and fun, social group shots, this year, I only focused on food porn, likely due to the increased time I've been spending covering food, wine and culture over on We Blog the World. (besides, food is a whole lot more fun to cover than gadgets even if I am a part-time geek).
Starting with the fresh peach prosecco spritzer, we then moved onto white wine (chard and sauvignon blanc) to go with some of the lighter appetizers.
They also had an oyster bar with two different kinds to choose from - both from northern California's coastline.
Passed plates included tamarind glazed marin sun farms pork belly, sauteed okra with pimento peppers and sweet corn, roasted local sea bass with compressed melon and cucumber salsa cruda and fried green beefstaeak tomatoes. (yes, time to move onto the Merlot and the Cabernet from Napa).
I loved the hand cut (homemade baby) pasta with summer chanterelles (very fresh), the sungold tomatoes, peas & marjoram and my two favorites of the savory dishes all night: the chilled corn soup in demitasse with chive and la tourangelle avocado oil on the top and the smoked spanish paprika flank steak with arugula and salsa rossa.
June 22, 2011
New York's 140 Conference: Photos, Webdocs, Interviews & More - #140Conf
Jeff Pulver’s 140 Conferences are growing. He has held these conferences in all the popular American spots such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco but he’s also had them in the Midwest, is working on one in Canada and has gathered people in London, Israel and other interesting pockets of the world.
Where there’s passion, an interest in a conversation about social media and people doing remarkable things, Jeff will find them.
One of the things he is exceptionally good at, is curating an incredible mix of people who have a lot to say and operate from the heart, but may not necessarily have anything else in common.
Where else can you go to a technology or social media event or any event for that matter and hear an ex-convict, a Graffiti artist, Craig Newmark, a cop, a school teacher, a dating coach, a major Fortune 500 brand strategist, AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong, The Today Show’s Ann Curry and Sesame Street’s chief social media guru all on the same stage within the same day?
Tear Down Those Walls:
On the first day, betaworks CEO John Borthwick (@Borthwick) talked about fragmentation, which he says is not just happening across the web but also at the network level as well. “This is the area that is concerning me most,” he said. “Facebook feels like the old early days of AOL – they’re a citizen of the Internet and yet they own and control too much. They need to integrate more with the web.”
He thinks we need to see companies and creators embrace the Internet much more than what we’re seeing today. “The network is important,” he says and ends his talk with a few words for Mr. Zuckerberg: “Tear down that wall.”
Curation continues to be a strong topic of discussion and its relevance and need is only growing more critical as the amount of data coming our way continues to explode.
Curation is so important because we’re trying to combine and recombine things to make sense of things. We need to be able to move and transition data seamlessly across devices. Refer to Steve Rosenbaum's talk on the need for clarity above and beyond more information and data. Human curators are a big part of the upcoming revolution. Video clip here.
Do You Have a Revolution?
She shared a handful of amazing stories which have come out of Detroit and Dallas among other places. As the founder of Wild Women Entrepreneurs, she is passionate about accelerating women’s growth and personal revolutions.
Jeff Jarvis' talk: Tweeties have attacked the sanctity of the article. See webdoc here.
Below is a smattering of photos I shot during the speaker talks, the networking breaks and the after parties:
Dan Gillmor on life and ethics in "new media..." Refer to a webdoc that includes links, tweets and information about his book.
Foursquare's Dennis Crowley
AOL's Tim Armstrong talks about community and the importance of connection, social media input and regional/local content (Hatch.com).
Jeffrey Hayzlett in his normal charismatic self.
NPR's Andy Carvin
The Today Show's Ann Curry gets "very inspirational" during her 10 minute turned 20 minute talk. Love htat sixties style flower-child dress: she just makes it work.
Mashable's Adam Ostrow interviews Foursquare's Dennis Crowley
There's a singalong in honor of Jeff Pulver at the end of day two at the funky venue 92nd Y on the upper East Side.
New York Times Jennifer Preston interviews NPR's Carvin
Paintings created on-site, proceeds of which go to breast cancer -- announced by Jeffrey Hayzlett on-site. For more information, check out Gaby (aka @Gaby407) and be sure not to miss Toronto cop Scott Mill's story (aka @GraffitiBMXCop). See webdoc for more information which includes links, videos, photos and more. His story includes work with graffiti artists Kedre Browne (@BubzArt) and Jessey Pacho (@ArtOfPhade). Their message will inspire the lives of many young people around the world and provide proof that graffiti can paint a positive message, not a negative one. Nicholas Maharaj aka @Twittnick is also a “student” of Mills.
Ann Curry in a moment of blissful expression as she gets authentic with the audience.
Bombshell coach Gigi Belmonico on the Bombshell factor and not letting Twitter become a "popularity contest." See webdoc on her work here.
Disclosure: I have provided some consulting to Webdoc who was one of the 140Conf sponsors.
June 22, 2011 in America The Free, Client Announcements, Client Media Kudos, Conference Highlights, Events, On Technology, Social Gigs & Parties, Social Media, Videos, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
April 19, 2011
Viral Media Experiment #Swagapalooza Hits San Francisco Again
For the second year in a row, I attended the quirky consumer and technology blogger event called Swagapalooza, which they call an experiment in viral media.
In a dark club in San Francisco (DNA Lounge), some of the top bloggers, tweeters, and digital influencers in the areas of mobile, tech, food and lifestyle gathered to watch and judge five-minute auditions from the creators of cool new products, largely targeted at mainstream consumers.
The key here is that the products are actual physical products rather than services and websites, which you so often find at similar events. Some of the products I had a chance to see and play with are listed below:
- Waboba Balls - They bounce off water, so that you can play catch in the pool or ocean. Video of product in action: http://bit.ly/gNw7kQ
- Mimi IQ - Like go fish, but with silly facial expressions. Will be available on Amazon in a few days.
- Crumpled City Maps - Lightweight, waterproof, 12 cities. More info here: http://bit.ly/f0dh2Q
- woDegrees - For every nutrition bar you buy, they give a nutrition pack to a hungry child.
- Sabøteur - The world's first tailored waterproof blazer.
- Transcendent Man - A documentary film about the life and ideas of Ray Kurzweil
- Boom Boom! Revolution - A card game you play by performing 'underground acts of guerilla goodness'.
- Grubwith.us - Eat with interesting people!
- FlingsBins - Pop-up recycling and trash bins.
- Stunner of the Month - A subscription sun glasses service that sends you a new pair of 'stunners' every month.
- Fizzies - Instant soda in a tablet, relaunching after 40 years.
- SwipeGood - Round up your purchases. Donate the change to charity.
- SourFlour - Building community through bread. (I just finished my loaf and I have to say, it went fabulously well with my homemade chicken soup I had waiting for me at home).
April 18, 2011
Silicon Valley Women of Influence 2011: #SVWOI
I attended the Silicon Valley Business Journal 2011 Women of Influence event in Santa Clara last week. Each year, they choose 100 women of influence and celebrate them at an annual dinner and awards gala in Santa Clara, CA. (this year, it was held at the convention center).
Speaking to a number of them over the course of several hours, the range is diverse, from engineers, high-profile lawyers, venture capitalists, space scientists, to healthcare leaders, technology pros and nonprofit executives.
One honoree, when not in the valley, lives in a rural village in Belize; another leads trips to the back country of the Sierra Norte and Sierra Madre. One honoree formed a nonprofit organization for the Muslim community to help give them a voice after 9/11 backlash.
I met another woman who is helping Muslim seniors find resources when they don't know where else to turn. Below is Moina Shaiq who founded the Muslim Support Network based in the East Bay. (She also runs a restaurant specializing in food from Pakistan).
Below is founder of Mylawsuit.com Michele Colucci accepting her award on the main stage.
Mary Furlong, who has been instrumental in helping the aging population and empowering the 'age boom' was also on the list. For the full list of women, check out the SV/SJ Biz Journal piece: Meet the 2011 Women of Influence | Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal.
Each woman had to deliver a 'thanks' and what/who inspired them in 10 words or less. (not even sure if that's quite 140 characters.....certainly a challenge to do). One Thai woman had the audience in stitches when she said, "I'd like to give myself a pat on the back for selecting my parents wisely."
To hear some of the fabulous other thanks and kudos, check out the video below for a myriad of female voices doing remarkable things.
February 26, 2011
Snapshots From #LAUNCH11 in San Francisco
Below are some random shots from the LAUNCH Conference held at the Design Center in San Francisco this past week.
Jolie O'Dell, Marshall Kirkpatrick and Heather Meeker
Above photo credits: Kris Krug
Below Tim O'Reilly, Renee Blodgett, Francois Nadal (myERP.com)
Below Robert Scoble and the Domo guys geek out over fun mobile apps and new Motorola Tablet
Meeting Max Swisher for the first time, a 7th grader who is running / writing the Good Morning Geek blog and website. What were you doing when you were in the 7th grade?
Some of the judges below. Full listing can be found here.
While most people were in T-shirts, some folks were a stylin' such as the sneakers Addreoid's Head up from LA. When someone dresses well in the Valley, you know they're either over from Europe, in from New York or Miami or up from Los Angeles. Not a priority here but writing k-a code sure is. :-)
February 12, 2011
C'mon, Go to TEDxBerkeley if in the Bay Area or Can Be: Feb 19
TEDx VALENTINE'S DAY SPECIAL: Give your sweetheart the gift of a creative mind. Take them to TEDxBerkeley next Saturday, February 19, 2011 at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, CA. Experience the romance of new ideas and deep connection. If you don't have a Valentines Day sweetheart, then bring a friend. Buy 2 tickets and get 25% off.
Photo credit: Heather Garland
November 11, 2010
Tunepresto's Video Music Maker
I met with Tunepresto's marketing guru Owen Cooney in Dublin and our briefing was a bit scattered, but in a good way: partly over food and partly under an umbrella on a walk through Dublin. The guy knows more about the history and myths of Ireland than the last country tour guide I encountered. And, more importantly, is passionate about it. (graffiti, art, legends, and murals too).
Currently, Tunepresto, a video 'music maker,' is a Mac download only, although it is slated to be a web-based solution later this month. Essentially, Tunepresto uses the colors in your video to create royalty free music, perfectly timed to your video or slideshow. I can think of tons of places where you could use a solution like this, so the value-add for me was immediate.While I haven't tried it yet (waiting for the web version), it's so damn easy to understand the benefits. Additionally, their website walks you through every possible scenario where adding music via Tunepresto would give you a 'win' to a creation you're working on. Refreshing.
How many times do you go to a website and know immediately what the company is about and how to use their product? Tunepresto's site makes it incredibly easy to figure out: left is a download, right is a learn more video. Also, they have this fabulous screenshot which walks you through different ways to use their product.
November 11, 2010 in America The Free, Entertainment/Media, Europe, Music, On Australia, On Blogging, On Education, On Technology, On Video, Social Gigs & Parties, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack