Shameless self-promotional assistance requested!

As you know (possibly), this past spring I attended SXSW and was fortunate enough to be included on a panel about aggregation of content online.

This year I’ve proposed one of my own: Evolving Customer Service Online: We’re All In This Together. My potential co-panelists are Amy Muller from Get Satisfaction, Denise Tanton from BlogHer, and Alex Dao from (There’s also the possibility of adding one more panelist and me moving over to just do moderating duties — anything’s possible!)

These folks have oodles of experience and tales from the trenches, and I think our panel could be really valuable to a lot of people, especially me — so help us get to SXSW!

All you gotta go is vote for our panel. Getcherself an account, login, go here, and click that sexy thumbs up button. You know you wanna… and I’d be much obliged, of course. (And I promise it won’t be anywhere near the hardest thing you do today.)

Thanks, and fingers crossed! 🙂

The Woz plus 15 seconds of fame

On Monday morning, Communitech hosted a TechWorking breakfast where the special guest speaker was Steve Wozniak. Unsurprisingly, this generated more interest than most such events, and the forecasted intimate gathering turned into a cozy get-together for 700 people, one of Communitech’s largest events ever.

Having read iWoz, the content and cadence of his presentation was about what I expected. A little disjointed, a little irreverent, some great stories, and good fun.

Following Steve was David Flynn, the CTO of Fusion-io, where they both now work. It was certainly above the heads of all but the techies in the room, but they seemed pretty interested in the technology. From my level: it has to do with storage, and it’s very fast.

Plenty of coverage of the event, which, I admit, I’m blogging about in part because I got to be part of it.

  • Audio of the presentation.
  • Communitech’s blog post. (I was amused to see one of my tweets got quoted there. Also, at the bottom there is a link to a number of other places the visit was covered.)
  • Some photos.
  • The ladies of Sprouter got a brief interview with the Woz in the afternoon, and were kind enough to let me tag along and meet him. I earned my keep by taking photos. (It was fun seeing The Globe interviewer and photographer’s setup, and then see us come in with a Canon P&S camera and a Flip HD video camera, but the Woz was fairly engaged by the Flip, as we established he has the same one.) 🙂

We got to chat with the gent a bit before and after (as well as see him striking some dance poses for the Globe photographers), and he was delightfully friendly and articulate. The Sprouter ladies got a picture with him once we were all finished, as did I.

My apartment personal ad

I promise you that this post won’t get all The Secret-y. However, I do believe there is much to be said for knowing, clearly, what you want, and asking for it (either specifically to someone or to the world in general).

My dear friend Havi introduced me to the idea of writing personal ads, not for dates, but for things one needs. She wrote one last year when looking for a new house for herself and her gentleman friend. And it worked out very well. (Hurray for Hoppy House!)

I do not need a house. I don’t even have to urgently move from this apartment (i.e. have not been evicted and there are no health hazards I’m aware of). However, it’s been an intermittent itch in my head this year, and, without putting too fine a point on it, I am not a fan of the new landlord.

Certainly, I could go on the offensive to try and get some things done, but honestly, that requires a lot of time, energy, and annoyance, and is, essentially, a declaration of war, which obviously wouldn’t cause him to want to be BFF with me. Plus, I am fairly certain he’d already love for me to move out, since he could rent my apartment for considerably more than I’m paying. (Which means he has only the bare legal minimum of motivation to keep things fixed and running around here…)

And honestly? Life’s too short for that shit. Plus, since I was already pondering a move before this stuff started, it feels like the ebbs and flows of the universe are gently pushing me towards the door. Which leads me to… my personal ad.

I’ve started doing some research, and have put out the word with my network online and offline that I’ve started looking for an apartment, however, I do like the personal ad idea, and it will help me fix What I Want in my head, and help me keep that image fixed so I don’t start to mentally settle on a place I might see that has too many concessions from What I Want so I end up not happy there.

And so…

I haven’t danced in a while. Help me want to?

One introverted nerdy girl and her pets (one large, orange tomcat; several tropical fish; and 113 rubber ducks) seek bright, spacious apartment with functioning electricity (don’t ask…) for possible long-term relationship. But no strings longer than 60 days’ notice are preferred, since who knows what direction life will turn?

I don’t smoke, do drugs, or drink all that much, and there won’t be any wild parties here. Vinegar has become my main cleaning agent, so while the place might smell like a pickle from time to time, it will be much healthier than lots of chemicals. I’m terrible at hanging pictures, but have learned some tricks, so I promise not to poke accidentally holes all over the walls.

I’m clean but cluttered, love plants and animals, and need big windows and wide sills for said plants and animals to sit on to enjoy the world. I enjoy my media at medium volume, sing from time to time (but am pretty good at it), listen to TED videos while I do dishes, and love a good documentary, so we can learn together regularly.

While I like to entertain, I’ve never really had the right space to want to do it at home. I’d love to change that. I’ve hosted my family’s holiday dinners a few times now, so you’ll get to enjoy having little girls exploring you sometimes.

I need one bedroom, but would be okay with two if the price is still alright. I need a kitchen with decent counter space, a bathroom with a shower and tub (over six years without a tub is much too long), and a living room big enough for two couches and an easy chair (unless I have that aforementioned second bedroom). A space big enough to comfortably do yoga and whatnot is greatly desired.

What girl wouldn’t love a dishwasher and in-suite washer and dryer? But they’re not essentials, and I know that apartments with those amenities tend to be out of my price range. (I choose not to max out my available income on housing.) The less carpet, the better. I’d love to have a porch, patio, or balcony to myself, and even better if I can use a bbq on it. I’m kinda tired of living semi-subterraneanly. The more places I can curl up with a book, the better. I don’t care if the apartment is in a house or a multi-unit building.

A balanced indoor climate is important. I’m not interested in freezing in winter or boiling in summer. Or water that leaks where it’s not supposed to, come to that. I also want decent water pressure, a reliable hot water heater, the aforementioned functional electricity, and mold is NOT welcome. Neither are neighbours who frequently scream, cry, argue, set off the smoke alarm, listen to terrible and loud music, have cartoonishly boisterous sex, play instruments, or have unhappy pets who are constantly vocal.

I promise to clean up cat barf promptly, do dishes regularly, dust occasionally, and bake things that smell wonderful. I also use good coffee beans, so you will have a fine aroma to wake up to each morning.

I like living within walking distance of uptown Waterloo, and would prefer to remain in this area. I love to walk around, take pictures, and explore, and would be a friendly member of my neighbourhood. Are you the apartment for me? Let’s chat. I’m not shallow, but preference will be given to those with photos. You can email me at melledotca at gmail dot com, or ping me on Twitter.

Can’t wait to meet you. 🙂

Veni, vidi, BlogHer

Lordy, has it actually been over three weeks already since we got back?

Right, well, several weeks ago, Carol (our PostRank CEO) and I hopped a plane for Chicago and our first BlogHer conferences. We attended both the half-day Business track and the two-day main conference. Whew.

It was the conference’s fifth year, and it is clearly well-organized and well-established. It’s also gotten very big (around 1500 people for the main conference, mostly women, but yes, some guys, too, and an assortment of babies of both sexes).

I admit I went into the whole thing feeling distinctly anthropological, and that feeling never entirely faded. Not in a bad way, though. While I am female and have a blog, I’m not exactly of the demographic or community a lot of the attendees were. Which is fine. I was really curious and excited to get into that world, see what they knew, what they wanted to know, what they are interested in, how they work, etc.

Last time I had much exposure to mom bloggers and the like was a couple of summers ago when I was unemployed. With more time on my hands than usual, my blogroll expanded considerably, including mom bloggers, and I had a much better grasp of the community, the members, etc. then.

There is more that could be said on the subject of the conference and all its aspects than I could cover in a dozen blog posts. And honestly? I doubt anyone cares. So I’ll comment on a few things, and it’ll all be loosely connected by the fact that it was the same event and it was me experiencing it.

Continue reading “Veni, vidi, BlogHer”