I did my first Wikipedia entry last night. I am constantly giddy about the usefulness and convenience of Wikipedia; it’s just genius that it works so well. But actually adding my own contribution really made me think about the nature of authority. At first you think who the hell am I to be an authority? The entry I wrote was about my neighbor and Clemmie’s “second dad” Mathis Wackernagel, the co-creator of the ecological footprint. I’m certainly not an expert in sustainability, I just know Mathis and thought he should have an entry. And then you think, well who are the other bozos doing this anyway? I guess it’s really about community. Seems like a lot of the authority on Wikipedia comes from having been there a while, demonstrating a willingness to contribute and to engage in civilized debate. Fair enough. Just knowing the markup enough to be able to format your entry properly is a small barrier, but it’s easy enough to just copy it from another entry. You get over that initial hump, and hope your stuff sticks.
Not that it really matters if it does. Because it is a community, having your edits changed or deleted can feel like a rejection from the community, a message that your thoughts are not welcome here. Then you realize a) if you think you really have a point you may have to defend yourself and b) it’s just the way it works. You can’t take it personally. The last time I made a few minor edits they were reversed almost immediately. It seemed actually magical, and happily I was more amazed at the level of quality control than I was dismayed at being reversed. This time, I tried be very accurate and get all the formatting right, and so far no one’s made any changes to my entry so far. Of course, it’s only been 12 hours.
Having spent the entire day on the phone with United and Capital One, I was inspired to look up this link I ran across recently: GetHuman
The state of customer service is truly abomidable. As soon as I can get the records I need out of Capital One I will be cancelling my account. Not worth it.
Still on hold with United. I’ve been transferred three times, still don’t have an answer on a credit I’m supposed to have from a flight I previously canceled. Just passed the one hour mark. Loving this hold music.
I got a mention by Tim O’Reilly on the O’Reilly Radar today. Granted, it was for forwarding an email, which is not exactly rocket science, but I felt special just the same. Also special that it was about links to wikipedia, because I am somehow just giddy about how great wikipedia is lately. It’s not like I just discovered wikipedia, but I just started seeing it with love-struck eyes recently, like you’d look at a particularly amazing sunset, or the Grand Canyon… a silly kind of wow. It started after we went to see The Queen (the movie, not the person) and I came home and read everything about royalty I never knew before. It’s like suddenly my lack of education is irrelevant. I’ll just learn it when I need to know it. More about my lack of education soon.
Can I also just say that — and I am not sucking up because I know that my audience for this blog numbers in the twos or threes, or maybe it’s just me by now — that Tim O’Reilly is so da bomb? Yes, I know what you are thinking. I’m publicity starved and he threw me a bone so I’m all agog. Whatever, judge if you like. But seriously, I’ve had the opportunity to work with him a little, and the man just radiates integrity, and furthermore, kindness. Not super common in geniuses. Again, not news to the larger world.
Things I never thought I’d say: I’m in Orlando for the second time in 6 weeks. A 24 hour trip in early December to a Knowledge Management conference, and now here for Lotusphere. Also never thought I’d go to a show like Lotusphere, but I’m kinda looking forward to it, despite knowing hardly anyone here and the fact that it’s in Disneyworld. The Swan and Dolphin, where the conference is, was full, so I got a room at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, which sounds nicer than it is. There are no real streets here, just freeways and access roads with names like Celebration Avenue and Victory Way, which may be why there was no address for the resort on the website, just directions that said “exit 3 off the freeway.” Of course, once you take exit 3, there are signs for every conceivable Disney permutation except the Disney Caribbean Beach Resort. I make it all the way to the Disney Animal Kingdom and things kind of dead end, so I turn around and call 411. I get the resort and the directions, and then the helpful woman on the line thanks me and wishes me a “magical evening.” I know, I know, that’s what people do here; it’s to be expected. But it still takes me surprise and I feel confused, disgusted, and a little embarrassed. I’m away from my family for a conference about an email program, okay, and I’m driving around in a crappy rental car with a layer of grease on my face from the travel and the muggy air, and your directions suck, and, despite what you say, there will not in fact be any room service other than pizza available when I check in, so it’s actually pretty unlikely that I will have a magical evening. Not horrible, as travel evenings go (I had an empty seat next to me on the flight here, and the window seat was taken by a very attractive Australian man who looked exactly like Rob Passey, a guy I met traveling in Asia in 1994 and on whom I had a terrible crush – Rob, if you google yourself and find this, hi there, I’m married and have a kid now but you were gorgeous) but magical? Not so much. I just can’t help but feel that it’s demeaning to both me and the hotel woman that she has to say “have a magical evening.” Would it kill them to make it optional? Trust the staff to know when it was appropriate? Ugh.
And now Steve Jobs may get to run this whole joint. I really can’t imagine that. The guys is probably a serious putz, but you gotta give it to him that at least he has some style, and I think he would crawl out of his skin at a place like this. To be honest, I’m a pretty big Pixar fan, at least Monsters Inc and the Toy Storys. And now that I have my iPod Nano, a big Apple fan as well. Maybe Steve would fix this place. It’s downright creepy.
I took a trip to 2 day trip to New York this week. The first time I’ve been away from Clementine for more than one night. It was hard to leave her, but she and her Daddy seemed to have a good time without me. Using the breast pump in public toilets (at the airport, at the Microsoft Briefing Center at 58th and 6th Aves) was less than fun. You can’t help but wonder what the people in the other stalls think you’re doing in there. It’s not a quiet device.
I was there to attend a conference on collaboration in financial services. I’m going to be working on developing a confernence on real-time collaboration technologies for my old friends at MediaLive, formerly Key3 Media. It’s a little weird to be doing something outside the game industry, and it first it seemed like such a niche. But the more I learn about this stuff, the cooler and more broad-reaching it is. There’s some smart people thinking about how this stuff is supposed to work and I’m looking forward to doing something that’s very idea-driven. Game Tech has been a fantastic project, but since it’s so technical, the content side is really in Jon and Jeff’s hands, and it’s been more of a management and coordination thing. BTW, the Game Tech brochure seems to be hitting people’s desks right now. Reg should be open very soon.
I’ve been working on this seminar Jon and Jeff and I are doing for a couple of months now, but until the past two weeks it’s been mostly back and forth with the guys and venue selection and stuff. But this week I started doing actual sales calls, hitting people up for sponsorship and marketing partnerships, and now I finally feel like I’m truly working again. Why does this feel legitimate whereas the other stuff didn’t? I must need the outside validation. Or because there’s money involved. Either way, I’m really enjoying it. I love being a mom, but it’s great fun to work too. I’m so lucky to have the balance I have now. In an hour I’ll go pick up Clementine and we’ll walk over to Piedmont Ave and get tea with Helen. It’s totally doable. I’m so damn lucky.