The NEC Daylight has a screen that works in bright sunlight and has a battery that lasts eight hours. Pretty wicked. We have a new model coming out in June.
Now I have the luxury of not needing to swing for the fences. Before I was pitching conferences that should draw 750 to 2000 people. Now I'm thinking way smaller.
My greatest joys in life are when I'm around a table at Jing Jings listening to Dave or Doc or my other friends throw around ideas while having a great time.
Now that Weblogging has made it possible to spread your ideas to thousands of people I'm starting to rethink the idea of conferences and what I want to do with my life.
I'm noticing that more and more people have laptops and 802.11b wireless. Or PocketPCs. Hey, did I mention I work at NEC in the Mobile Solutions division? If you're buying an NEC PocketPC I handle the order. Guess what, orders are going up.
NEC predicts that we'll see portable device sales grow about 14% a year while PC sales will remain flat in sales.
Back to conferences.
I gotta admit, I go to conferences less and less for who's on stage, but rather what is going on in the audience.
Last year at Pop!Tech the speakers were extraordinary. The kinds of folks you usually don't get to have dinner with at Jing Jings. The Maine Governor. The guy who invented Ethernet. The president of the ACLU. You know, THOSE kind of people.
But, the audience was even better. I met a school teacher who'd been to both the North and South Pole. WTF? Can you imagine having a teacher like that? Her eyes were alive. She was 80 something.
I met people who've invested in products I love -- the main investor in ICQ was there, among others. I had dinner with journalists from the Christian Science Monitor, the San Jose Mercury News, and CBS's News*Bytes, among other notable news organizations.
My friend Buzz was there and we started a friendship that I'm sure will last the rest of our lives. (Buzz is CEO of ActiveWords and a lawyer -- ActiveWords has changed my life because now I can make the keyboard do even more stuff like open apps, or answer emails).
But, how do we share that "conference outside the conference" experience? I can't weblog that kind of stuff effectively (I don't eat dinner with my laptop).
That'd be like me trying to explain the experience of drinking this glass of Merlot that's right next to me waiting to be consumed.
At Pop!Tech this year we'll have a wireless network. That's a given. We'll have power strips. That's a given. We'll have streaming video and audio of all the sessions. That's a given.
But, how do I involve the Webloggers in the whole experience of the conference? Of eating Lobster with folks like Dan Gillmor or John Perry Barlow? Of going to a party in an expensive house that looks like it's out of Sunset magazine and meeting the guy who owns the sailing record for going around the world the fastest?
I can't. The conference changed my life. It redirected me. It put me in touch with people who continue to change my life.
Anyway, I'm rambling. Time to go to dinner. More later.