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Marty Weintraub

Totally Plugged In @ SES New York:  13 Undeniable Symptoms

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4:00AM morning outside the New York Hilton: the city wakeup-crowd stirs pre-dawn Manhattan lights. From the 53rd St. lobby the regal doorman guides me to Kennedy International-bound taxi and deli coffee black...impeccable New York service in hand. The cab ride provides the necessary 30 minute Internet-access window to post aimClear Blog conference coverage waiting in WordPress.  Then it occurs to me: “Dude, I must be pretty screwed up to be blogging in a TAXI.”

Search marketing conference attendees seem to be the most plugged-in-public group of techno-comrades on earth. We rove in packs of iPhone and laptop-totting pied-pipers evangelizing link love, holistic patterns, authentic participation, conversion tracking, and good will. These SEMS, SEOs, PPCs, Mr., Mrs. & Ms are such beautiful people. I love the search marketing industry because ya’ll are SO plugged into the grid, running remote marketing machine empires from Blackberries.

We’re a curious and over-stimulated group, resulting in behavior that will have future anthropologists mumbling to themselves. It’s a great time to be alive and so many incredible ways to connect for business and pleasure. Here’s 13 Undeniable symptoms of total communications-grid immersion.  These are not listed in any particular order of severity.

  • Blogging in a taxi, blogging in the Mens Room, blogging on the bus to the Microsoft Party, in the Thai restaurant, answering comments on my Blackberry, editing POSTS on my Blackberry, blogging instead of sleeping, forgetting to eat, blogging, blogging, Blogging, BLOGGING!
  • Talking on a cell phone (using an earpiece) in the elevator with other people. I’ve noted that these days such behavior is becoming condoned common place in New York and Chicago. In Duluth, Minnesota it totally creeps out fellow elevator passengers and makes one  feel ostracized, as if it’s bad manners to behave as such a way.
  • The whole world has become one giant laptop lounge. At SES conferences there actually are places labeled as such. Moving from one seminar hall to another, many don’t even bother to put notebooks away while walking from room to room. The world is always at our fingertips.
  • Watching Lee Odden and Kevin Heisler’s frenetic inside-Twitter Buzz tick down over shoulder on laptop screen.  Is there any channel these guys can’t leverage?
  • Having the honor of speaking on the Social Media Track @ SES New York, and afterwards dealing with my 12 year old’s flipping guinea litter pig crises by BlackBerry Facebook.
  • Transferring YouTube video files for upload from 4 gig thumb drive (worn around the neck) over Shrimp Scampi, raw oysters on the half shell (with Tabasco mmm), perfectly chilled Fume Blanc, and crab puffs.
  • When “essential travel gear” includes an extension cord, power strip, duct-tape, ground-lift 2-prong adapter, and a Euro AC kit. Backing up my notebook offsite each evening while sleeping.
  • Sitting in the conference audience snagging a little work time during Q&A, I’ve got simultaneous IMs going with staffers back at the home office (GoogleTalk)in Duluth, coveted London WordPress vendor (MSN Messenger),  design/build firm in Minneapolis (AIM), client in Connecticut,  ISP in Texas, dialog with 2 Stumble-friends, Facebook alerts, and my mom (Voice mail).
  • Facebook on my phone, StumbleUpon on my phone, Sphinning on my phone, “friending” on my phone, turn by turn navigation to the E-train on my phone…for goodness sake how is there ever time to talk on my phone?
  • Start recording audio and/or video (you guessed it, on the phone) when your friends speak, for possible editing, transcription and posting to one of 5 blogs. Ask them to turn it off when sharing techniques learned in private from Neil Patel.
  • You decide that neither the Blackberry OR iPhone feel as “intimate” as the Treo 650 nor Moto Q did. Even thinking that it’s important to have an “intimate” relationship with your phone is pretty messed up.
  • Twittering Naked in the Bath
  • Approaching someone I don’t know and saying “are YOU SpostareDuro, my sweet and enigmatic SEM friend from StumbleUpon?” …and being wrong.

  • Search marketers are modern communications channel gatekeepers, technicians, and salespersons, obsessively plugged into the grid. Millennial behavior chatter permeates our culture as SEMs have steadily become the 900 LB mainstream gorilla.

    My sense of is that we wouldn’t have it any other way than total grid immersion. Farewell SearchEngineStrategies NYC 2008.   You’re still the beautiful New York lady, shining city-scene of light and global opportunity. The culture of marketing king-makers, search marketing students and communications-grid pundits rocks my world.

    Footnote: Add the measured insanity of "blogging in the airplane isle whilst waiting for the aft cabin bathroom to free up."


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