Yesterday was sufficiently busy that it was something of a "two-fer", keeping me away from my desk all day, so I had massive amounts of catching up to do today. Yesterday started off with a "Big Frontier" presentation, featuring Mark W. Schaefer, author of the new book Return On Influence. This was down in the south Loop, officially running from 9am till Noon ... what they didn't indicate was that this wasn't a 3-hour program, but a 3-hour slot in which the presentation just occupied the middle hour, with the extra two hours "for networking". Needless to say, it would have been nice to have known that up front. I had a 1pm appointment on the far north side of the city, and was worried about getting there, assuming not being able to peel out until noon, so had done a lot of churning through bus schedules, etc., to find the most expeditious way to get between the two places. As it turned out, the 1pm appointment had mis-informed me of the time, which was actually 1:30, so I had all sorts of time to kill when I got up north.
Schaefer's presentation was interesting, and I'm looking forward to getting his book (I'd contacted his publisher last week for a review copy). The event was very well attended, but it was somewhat ironic that a talk about connecting and social communication was in a room not only without wifi (in a new university building!) but in a total AT&T signal hole, so I couldn't even check in with FourSquare, upload an Instagram pic, or tweet anything with the supplied hashtag! At least, with the extra time, I was able to get in some quality schmoozing, which is always a bonus.
The afternoon meeting was about a web site/school that we're doing under the aegis of P2PMicroversity, although the majority of this project is based on the Ning platform and only the add-on "paid" courses are going to be on the P2PM servers. Once again, I'm not working for any money up front, but we're in a revenue-sharing deal with the client, so if this takes off (the way everybody involved anticipates it will), it should produce a decent retroactive hourly rate. I'm doing most of the "heavy lifting" on this initally, converting, organizing, "curating", editing, and structuring nearly a hundred hours of video, plus a ton of audio files. Unfortunately, all that video was shot in "for TV" DVD format which needs to get converted over to web/mobile-friendly .mp4 files, and the program I'm working with only does this in a 1:1 timeframe, so the computer's chugging along for hours and hours, essentially "playing" the files into the new format.
This was the first meeting of the bulk of "the team" on the client's side, and for some reason I thought it was going to be just an hour or so, but it ran quite long, with 5 of us in the room and 2 skyped in (and 2 "missing"). I had hoped to have been able to pop home before going out to a further networking event, but by the time the meeting broke up I figured I should just head to the event.
I just missed the bus I needed up at Devon & Clark, and really should (especially in retrospect) have just grabbed either the 22 or 36 back down, but since I was headed to a place right across the street from the North & Clyborn El stop, I was sort of fixated on getting the Red Line back downtown. It unfortunately took nearly a half hour for the next Devon bus to show up, so I was already running pretty tight for getting to the Tweet-up by 5pm, and then they started talking about train problems. It tuns out that there had been a big fire in a building right by the El tracks north of the Fullerton stop, and they were doing shuttle buses from Belmont to N&C ... but what they weren't telling us was that they were slowing down service, and the train I was on stopped for several minutes in between stations most of the way. I was already late for the event when I got to Belmont, and there was a sea of people trying to figure out which buses were going where. I saw that they'd "re-purposed" some regular buses coming to the station, and one (already loaded) was just about to take off, when I made the "executive decision" to use "growing up in the city" skills and opened the back door of the bus from the outside and slipped in. As it was, I got to the Tweet-up (a party for Schaefer) when it was 3/4 over, having taken me nearly 3 hours to get there, but at least I got there and had a chance to hang with some folks. On the plus side, I was able to finish the book that I'd brought with me for transit reading!
On a less positive note, I had to extract myself from the other project that I was working on. This was helping to develop a site to support non-profits, and I'd been pulled in to crank out the text. Unfortunately, the guy whose project is was never liked anything I wrote, and kept doing total re-writes, which then got handed back to me to "tidy up". If he were cutting me checks for my efforts, I would have probably put up with this, but, again, I was working "for stock" in a venture that I had less and less confidence in by the week. The last straw was a press release I'd written that was initially "fine", but then he rejected, describing instead a blatant promo piece (somewhere between an ad and a brochure!) that he wanted me to develop to send as a press release, while telling me how I wasn't "meeting his standards". I've been doing professional marketing communications for too many decades to be treated like a 19-year-old English major intern, and what he was wanting developed I couldn't conscientiously send out under my name; so I pulled out of the project. This had clearly been a "bad fit" from the get-go, but, given the financial stress we're under, it was a straw I was grasping at ... of course, I'll be kicking myself if it really takes off!