The smutters aren't out yet. Neither is most anyone else, but the little snap-crackle-pop hand jive, albeit somewhat rhythmic, is not missed in the least. But I take solace in that rainforests are destroyed every day just so that consumers can quickly peruse their wares before tossing them on the sidewalk. Who needs recycling? And the t-shirts are a nice touch. I haven't seen them for sale in the gift shop of the Flamingo Hotel & Casino.
Gameworks is still here. I figured it was gone. I remember a visit here years ago where I was in some kind of flight simulator game, where I was pretty much upside-down the whole time because I could never get my bearings. Vomiting did not take place, but it definitel was an option.
Carrot Top is even scarier on a huge Jumbotron than on a 27' television. Mathematically speaking, as his image doubles in size, his creepiness grows tenfold. Scary enough to cure the childhood fear of that clown from Poltergeist. Can you imagine if present day Carrot Top got the role of that fucked-up clown that attacked that kid. Bedwetting would start to be considered a hobby, and Freddy Krueger would have his own nightmares.
I'm not sure what fuels Carrot Top's perfect storm of steroid use, combined with a dual addiction for cosmetic products and cosmetic surgery. Maybe that's what it takes to be called “Comedian of the Year” by the casino that employs you.
There's a some sort of sculpture near the Mandarin Oriental that looks like the Squidoo logo, unless it's a statue of one of those Sentinels from The Matrix.
The yellow shirt and white shirt security teams are out on bike at 6:30 am. The red shirts must have already gotten killed by then.
Next run I need to go over that mini Brooklyn Bridge in front of New York New York for the Vegas artificial version of running the New York marathon.
That was all my observations, at least all the ones I can remember.
I'm looking at my notes for the “My Blog is a Business?” session, the one hosted by Rob McNealy, Chris Brogan, Jeremy Wright, and Nina Yablok. In the past, I've gone to many a seminar, and upon returning to the real world completely abandon whatever materials made the return trip, yet knowing that there was good information there.
So this time I figure if I read and actually create content based on these notes, then I'll be able to put some of this advice into action. Or someone else will, and as far as I'm concerned, that's just as good. Somehow that provides a good segway to one of the points I've highlighted.
You have to be willing to give the advice for free.
I guess I'm willing, and clearly able, as I'm sharing my notes right now. Blogs build community. Do I charge my neighbor to borrow my spreader to throw some seed down on his lawn? No. If my other neighbor tells me how great the azaleas I put in the front yard look, and later asks me what I'm feeding them, do I put an invoice in his mailbox that afternoon? No.
The same goes for blogging. The blogging community, (I'm trying really hard not to use the term blogosphere, because I hate it) is built upon helping one another. The comments we willfully post on other blogs add to the conversation. When someone asks how we got that survey widget to work, we e-mail a repsonse. No ones getting paid for these actions. Yet the interaction may lead to new readers of your blog, or the finding of likeminded individuals worthy of collaborating on paid projects at a future date. You never know. Someone who is stingy with money, you usually write off as that just being them. But someone who won't share knowledge that can help for the better, well you may write them off completely.
You have to be able to ask for money.
Is this point in direct opposition with the previous point? No, of course not, or else would they have really said it during a panel session. Well, maybe, but not this panel session.
You've already shown what value you can provide with your skills or recommendations. You've been sharing this knowledge for awhile, but there could come a time where you move answering a question here and there, to becoming more of a regular consultant.
During this panel session, one strategy for handling requests for payment, and setting of pricing was to ask the client what they think is an appropriate rate of pay. The panel was at a general concensus that there's a good chance you'll get a rate higher than you would have asked for. Sure, no one wants to look cheap or look like an ingrate, but even more so if it means you won't return for a future project with that payer.
There were a few other gems during this session, I'm not going to expand, because right now the only thing I'd like to expand is myself across my mattress and catch some sleep. But I will list them below, so some may have lightbulbs flash over their heads upon reading, while others will scratch their heads at the cryptic notes I jotted down.
Be a thought leader.
If you give good value, it doesn't have to be alot.
Ask the audience.
Ok…that's it for now, don't feel like falling asleep at the keyboard.
The recurring theme throughout everything from the Citizen Journalism sessions on Thursday through the Sunday morning keynotes was PASSION. Passion is key to any form of success, but is especially vital in industries or movements that are somewhere between their infant and toddler stages. The speakers at this event were full of passion. You could hear the passion in the questions raised by the audience members.
I'd been to the Comdex trade shows for the computer industry previously, and there was a lot of loitering, a lot of lemme outta heres, a lot of “where we going tonight?” Sure there was passion. Occasionally. I don't exclude myself from this mix. I was just happy to be there. An East Coast marketing guy who wasn't sure what he was doing at the time, but knew sure enough that he was going to Vegas and it wasn't on his credit card. I worked my tail off, but the passion wasn't there.
It's different when you go to Las Vegas over ten years later, knowing full well next month's MasterCard statement will be a good deal higher than the last, attend every session, hit every event, party into the wee hours with folks who spent their day the same exact way, and wake up again at 7:00 to start the whole thing again. And not use an alarm clock for the entirety of the trip. It means you felt the passion as well. I think nearly all the people I met at the event felt the same way.