So I will be spending 4 days at CES in Las Vegas, showing off what Live QnA can do, hoping my shoes are worthy (I might just go hiking boots at this rate), and making folks an offer they can't refuse. I'll be with Alexandra and Richard, two noble marketers who are also part of the Live Search booth.
It's a little ironic in that I lobbied for someone from QnA to go to CES, mostly because I knew my boss Nils and search dev lead Ed Harris love that place. (I covered for them and others one time when a few of the QnA team...fled to Vegas...) I had never stayed there, and Nils spent some time in our last 1:1 meeting showing me the Live Local views of the fake Eiffel tower and New York skyline and promised me I'd love it or hate it. Which I suppose narrows it down. ;-)
If all goes well in the conference warehouse world, I'll be able to offer free QnA t-shirts to the folks who ask a question or give an answer. Right now I'm leaning heavy on having folks give great answers, since we can always use a few of those and spontaneous question action without burning need sometimes leads to lame questions. "Is the sky blue" has been exceedingly overdone... :)
I also hope to meet up with some Windows Live fans and bloggers from the Blog Business Summit. After the summit I've been heads-down on QnA, and then there was that actual vacation messing up the work flow...so it will be good to see how the blog tribe is faring.
Oh and last week I went to Ignite Seattle, organized by Live Search expatriate and now O'Reilly-ite, Brady Forrest. First, there were about 200+ people there, and they really did test out bridges made of popsicle sticks with loud crunching sounds. (Essentially the more sticks in a stack you had, the stronger the bridge). Then there were 3 rounds of fascinating talks on everything under the sun, plus technology. Tech in underdeveloped countries. Starting your own credit union. Starting your own online activist foundation. Using your tech skills for one of the political parties. Creating art with fancy tech (Seattle Dorkbot) What innovation really is (not just one guy being brilliant and discovering lightbulbs without noticing how candles work). Having another life in Second Life (woohoo Beth Goza!). A crazy site where people double dog dare you to do stuff and people vote on whether you did it with style or not (realityStarz). How to really do a startup (Ontela). Local guy takes on LinkedIn (BizNik).
I am forgetting a bunch of people I know and I apologize in advance. What was great for me was what it sparked: sometimes I get so into the technology I forget how it ripples along the other axis: culture and art, social betterment and emotional valence. All that vividness. All that real-world impact.
There were so many popsicle sticks left over....shoulda made my own bridge!