So, anyway, this past weekend I was primarily at TechWeek down at the Merchandise Mart. While the "almost job" that I had for the first six months of the year (which was supposed to have blossomed into a full-time gig right around now) evaporated a month back (still owing me over $9k in unpaid wages!), an affiliated part of it (which was handling production of in-house programming) spun off, and they're now buying about 1/4 of my time. One of the projects they have is HyperLocalLIVE which currently has just a "Chicago Edition" (although other cities are being lined up). We managed to get press passes for TechWeek under that umbrella, and were initially going to be doing two 1-hour live broadcasts a day, at 10am and 4pm, but from the get-go we were having a lot of folks who were open to being interviewed, and we quickly turned around to a series of interviews (pretty much at the top of each hour) all day. That pic's one of the hosts, Justin, doing an interview, as seen from my seat at the control desk (where I was Tweeting, Facebook posting, and G+'ing about it all day).
The reason I said "primarily" above is that I wasn't there on Saturday, instead being on a long roadtrip down to Urbana and back. Daughter #1 had been in a week-long G.A.M.E.S. (Girls' Adventures in Math, Engineering, and Science) camp hosted by the Engineering department down at University of Illinois. We'd dropped her off there a week ago Sunday, and they were having their "closing ceremonies" on Saturday. #1 was in the group doing Robotics, but they also had "Structures" (architectural engineering), GLEE (Girls Leaning Electrical Engineering), GLAM (Girls Learning About Materials), and Bio/Chem Engineering modules. She'd done a robotics day camp a couple of summers back at Northwestern, so she was very excited to have the "stay away" college experience this time (and she wants to go back next year and the year after!).
One thing that I regret about TechWeek is that I didn't get to hear any of the presentations. Once we moved from doing two broadcasts to pretty much all day interviewing, I was stuck at the desk scheduling upcoming speakers, keeping up a spreadsheet of what we had going, and Social Media-ing my brains out updating what was coming up and what was live. The HyperLocalLIVE model is pretty cool, as we have a "studio" that breaks down into two bags, a remote control camera that the hosts can run, and the signal streams straight to Facebook, with a widget that allows other sites to plug it in as "content". The worst day, though, was Monday, where we had 20 interviews scheduled between 9am and 5pm, almost one every half hour ... quite the buzzsaw!
For having, essentially, imposed ourselves initially, we were progressively better liked by the conference organizers, and were working with their PR group to make sure that key sponsors were getting face time on the stream. There's even talk of us being an "official" part of the next one of these! Needless to say, The Bosses made a lot of contacts with folks who want to partner with us, advertise with us, and even invest in us ... pretty sweet for a project that was fairly "last minute".
One nice perk has been getting some "VIP" invitations, one of which was to a presentation by Alexander Rose of The Long Now Foundation, a group that's creating a "10,000 year clock". What good's a "10,000 year clock" (and especially one that just "ticks" once a year), you ask? Well ... it's a "cultural artifact" thing. Rose presented some interesting stuff about time, like the scope of "now" being sort of a 3-day spread, "nowadays" being sort of a 3-decade span, and "the long now" (a phrase created by Brian Eno, who's one of the heads of the project) being a 20,000 year stretch of time (see the chart). This was over at the Museum of Contemporary Art (which, at 8 blocks away, is sort of "in the neighborhood") last night.
I'm off for other semi-TechWeek-related things tonight and tomorrow morning, so I'm busy (and not happy that I've had to take time to re-write this post)! The only other thing to report is that I had some lottery winnings ... not the type I keep hoping for, but out of my MegaMillions and PowerBall tickets from the past 9 months, I had three $7 wins, two $3 wins, and three $2 wins, for a whopping $33 ... which at least covers 8 weeks of play, so it's better than the proverbial kick in the teeth (I'm still waiting for the REAL win, of course).
O.K. ... good thing I saved this to a text file this time, as once again this went "POOF!" when I first tried to post it ... I went off to tonight's networking event, and came back and was able to post ... so here you are reading it!