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"Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all. How do we define this lively darting about with words, of hitting them back and forth, this sort of brief smile of ideas which should be conversation?" Guy de Maupassant

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Bay Area Diary - Dinner at Buca's
  • Denise: It's a blog blog world
  • Danah: understanding an audience 
  • Stuart: F2F Blogs and More 
  • Phil : Dinner with Dina and friends
  • These are the reports on dinner at Buca di Beppo ...

    I discovered Denise when she picked up a piece i had done on clients attending focus groups - via John Porcaro's blog.  Since then we've had a few conversations through our blogs and via email.  We share more interests than blogging ... in the areas of research and marketing and consultancy.  Never got around to talking much about those things - but we've exchanged IM ids and hopefully she'll get Skype too soon so we can continue talking.  

    I've had a few exchanges with Clynton on Ryze - an ethnographer and qualitative researcher - with whom i felt a natural affinity. And he's a fun guy too.  He's recently set up the Gestalt group - Stuart and i met him at his office before dinner and had some neat discussions. We've got to get him blogging - he has so much to share! And i hope we can work together in some way - his vision for Gestalt is exciting ! 

    Phil's been a blogger forever (esp.when compared to some of us 'newbies') - a demoblographer - with a fantastic sense of humour.  Sitting next to him at dinner ensured that my plate was full - as some of these pictures reveal :)  I've always loved his posts - and think he's a great visionary - his Skypememes, his understanding of the potential for social software in knowledge-management  and corporate blogging models are of particular interest to me !  And he sent me this my mail the next day -

    "Things I never got to discuss with you:
    - Movies you like that I'm unlikely to have seen
    - Who inspires you in your research practices
    - How what you're doing is different today than three years' ago
    - Mobile phone culture in the big cities
    - Are pets and pet owners like blogs and bloggers?
    - Family: can't live with them, can't bury the bodies
    - How might I measure decentralization of power within organizations?
    - What metrics might you use for consumer product health that could be derived from the use of phone, IM, multiplayer games, and other digital activity?
    - If you were to invent a new national holiday, what might it be?
    And I was hoping to take you bowling. Have you ever been?"

    Dinner was like a family reunion Phil .... more conversations once my life gets back to normal .... !

    Danah - you go girl !  Am so happy we met and that you could make it.  Danah's an amazing person - and i'm certain everyone at the table that night will vouch for it.  Swept in late ... and instantly injected and infected us with her special brand of fun, laughter and smarts.  She's one smart lady, a maven and maverick, with a huge heart - world watch out for her - here's one lady who can really make a difference!

    We met two of Danah's friends too - Michele and Liz -  though i didn't get to spend much time with them.

    Thanks Stuart for bringing this group together ... my blog mentor, buddy and friend !

    .... friends - through social networks and blogs 
    .....friends -  many of us connecting face-to-face for the first time   
    .....friends - shared interests and values bringing us together
    .....friends - exchanging stories ... having fun .... discovering more affinities
    .....friends - naturally and loosely forming a community i'm proud to belong to

    We put human faces to blogs, had a lot of fun .... and i think we've built bridges .... lets now work together more and more in building this new world.  I'm only now beginning to truly believe that distance does not seem to matter ! 

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    Thats Denise, me, Stuart and Clynton : l-r


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    Thats Danah and me looking at Clynton's little daughter's picture


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    Phil entertaining us ...

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    Digging in ...

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    and more .........

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    happy ....

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