Last night, my husband and I attended a really fun event held by the DC New Media Tech (Web / Video), which is run by its dedicated leader, Paul Worsham . Kady (I did not catch her last name!) organized this particular event. She did a great job and I plan to find out more about her work as a social media contractor for Booz.
Just some quick highlights from the presentations:
Justin Thorpe who is the Developer Community manager at Clearspring. He described his job: "as a Community Manager I get paid to make friends"
Jared Goralnick of Awayfind offered some pragmatic advice: be nice to people and make friends *before* you need them!
But the most memorable presentation was from Chris Melissinos, Chief Gaming Officer, at Sun Microsystems. His presentation was like a study of the cultural anthropology of gaming. I'll never forget some points he made, like: "for the first time in history, we have gamers raising gamers" and how today's youth are very "thumb oriented" (I can't do his presentation justice here, you have to hear him tell the tale!) Chris is a dynamic, engaging presenter -- If you ever see him on the agenda at an event, you have to go! He is a MUST SEE!
I heard a word on TV last night that I don't think I have ever heard on TV before. "LAYAWAY." It's certainly not a new concept -- I've just never heard it on a TV ad. K-Mart is advertising to "start your holiday shopping early, put it on layaway and you'll have it in time for Christmas."
My husband's parents amassed a small fortune despite having a modest income and raising 9 children. Whenever I asked Dave how they did it, he said "they grew up during the Great Depression." For the first time in my life I actually understand this mentality. I am very fortunate I don't have to make any tough choices (yet) but I chat with the security guard at our office who had to stop taking his law school night classes because the cost of gas.
Younger Americans are going to be affected by the economy. The cost of college is skyrocketing, and recent Business School grads will find that there are no jobs available.
I was planning to vote for McCain until about a month ago. The choice of Sarah Palin as running mate was disappointing, but I am strongly opposed to big government because I have had experience working with unmotivated, uninspired Federal workers. They are not rewarded for taking risks, only punished when things go wrong. I worked for a Federal contractor and I saw how they stretch out a project -- the longer it takes, the more money they get. This is why I want my tax dollars to stay local; I am suspicious of "big government."
But I was swayed by the passion and enthusiasm I see in the user-generated content on YouTube -- GenY LOVES Obama. I also saw the fanatical support on my Facebook network (Gen X), and through the people I follow on Twitter. Several of my good friends (Fay Mark, Karen Henke and Mary-Dixie Carter) were rabid Obama supporters from the start. The social network "My.BarackObama.com" helped them reach out to people like me.
Times are tough, and we're probably only seeing the beginning. When people are losing their homes, their savings, and the promise of a prosperous future, the only thing that is going to keep them going is hope. This is why I voted for Obama. But I might not have really seen the passion people have for Obama if it weren't for my online social networks.