New EyesReading Time: 4 minutes
No…not literally. I sort of like the ones I have.
However, after having spent three days of the past week at tech-related events, I am seeing the world and my role in it with a whole new perspective.
One of the definitions of collision is “A brief dynamic event consisting of the close approach of two or more particles, such as atoms, resulting in an abrupt change of momentum or exchange of energy.”
That about sums it up. At this year’s Collision Conference I experienced an abrupt change of momentum and exchanged incredible amounts of energy with random people. I now regret leaving a little early and plan to stay for the entire event in 2017. I will even go to the after party (aka the Night Summit) — my momentum has changed so radically.
Although I have always been aware that technology is changing every aspect of our lives, seeing so many companies — all in one place and in so many different industries — really made that clear. From how we stay healthy…to how we choose our food…to how we get our news, entertainment, and information…to how we plan our financial futures…to how we connect and celebrate and help others…technology has given us more choices, more convenience, and more access. I was even able to rent a tiny little phone charger for a couple of hours at an ATM-like machine (see the photos, below.)
As with Tech Day, I know I will be leaving out hundreds of people and companies in my “tribute” post, but if you happen upon me here, send me a note and I’ll find a place to acknowledge you. (One company did that last week and I’ll be including them in a summer Travel Tips post.)
Women Who Code (and Create)
The number of women in technology is gradually growing and I met quite a few of them. Sarah of Nerdery.com (who also heads up her local chapter of Women Who Code) handed me a business card that looked like a punch card. (And you know I love clever business cards!)
I have Goze (a woman-owned company) to thank for a free pair of striped socks. They used the old “capture contact information” trick to get visitors to return to their display. An oldie, but goodie. Their app is a little bit scrapbook…a little bit home video. But it’s all crowdsourced content. Their tagline is “Your Life…Your Journey…Your Memories.” I will think of Goze whenever I wear my new socks.
Jaimee Newberry of MartianCraft may be the coolest woman in tech I’ve ever met. She’s now a coach and professional speaker and writer. I am courting her to guest blog for the new Happy Tech section of sheBOOM. We took each other’s pix for social media and planned to meet-up when I’m in Las Vegas again this spring. Women can be smart AND sociable (and sometimes silly).
- Brainly is a “place” where kids can help other kids with school work. (I love concepts that use online communities for education rather than narcissism! Although I saw plenty of that too…I just learned to avert my eyes.)
- I couldn’t miss the Biome display because it contained living things — plants! The company invented an organic air purifier. Although it’s way too big to fit into my apartment, a mini version is supposedly in development.
- Non-profits are finding that technology opens up new avenues for sponsorship and fundraising. “At the Heart of Change” illustrated how KultureCity was able to build momentum without the rubber chicken dinner. But the viral reach of sports celebrities with big online followings was the “silver bullet.”
- Let Um Eat is a yummy new website for the farm-to-table movement. I also sat on a panel called “Sharing the Food Experience,” during which Rocco DiSpirito and Alejandro Velez talked about their passion for making healthy food available to all.
- Speaking of health, the new website (Verywell) from About.com is awesome. It differs from other health sites in that it’s reassuring and not alarmist. The launch also illustrates the boom in…
Carefully Curated Content and Communities
Yes, that’s a whole lotta C words. What I mean is that conventional media companies are figuring out ways to stay alive and educate and entertain specific groups of people with the type, frequency, and delivery channel of media that appeals to them.
Every major media brand — from long-tenured companies like Paramount and ABC Sports to digital players like Mashable and Contently — shared insights into how they had shifted or created strategies to stay relevant in the digital world; a place in which readers can not only consumer content, but can contribute it as well. The movie theater, the sports field, the music arena, and the library are now in consumers’ pockets. Capturing their hearts, minds, and wallets is more challenging than ever.
But one thing will never change…people want to connect with others who have similar passions and interests. By the end of the conference, I felt part of this wild new eclectic ecosystem of inventors, publishers, funders, and futurists.
Whether we’re colliding or consuming content in the privacy of our homes or offices, I hope the spirit of community lives on forever!
P.S. I have to give a special shout-out to a company that doesn’t quite “fit” anywhere. But James Minor boldly came to the show anyway all with way from the UK to display his well-priced super-cool eyewear collection. ToyShades. All that reading and coding is going to strain our eyes, so why shouldn’t we look fab in the future? James and I talked about the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and he gifted me with two awesome pairs of shades (for me and my associate Bridget…watch our Instagram this week! ToyShades are now the official sunglasses of theONswitch.) It proves another principle of marketing that is timeless…have a high quality and memorable product and a blogger will talk/write/post about you. Well done!
Not only do my eyes see the world a bit differently this week, they will be shaded from the sun!