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last week i was at a team meeting in a town called bodega bay (near the area where scenes from the birds were filmed).  it is about an hour or so north of san francisco.  a nice little town, but my most enjoyable moment were the louisiana hot oysters i had on the last night...mmm...tasty.  ok, back on track.

i had not thought ahead and accidentally (well at the time purposefully) made my return flight reservations for 06:00 AM from SFO international.  yeah, do the math.  that means i would have had to leave bodega bay, oh at 03:30-ish in the morning to drive to SFO and make it there in plenty of TSA approved time.  yeah, wasn't looking forward to that.  so my comrade anand offered for me to crash at his place the night before in the city.  sweet, i'm in.

about half way through the last day of our meeting, anand emails me an invite with the note "want to geek out tonight in the city" which intrigued me of course.  the invite was for a 'spontaneous drinking event' at a bar in the city.  those that know me, know that i don't drink, but i was still wanting to go see what this event was all about...after all it was the city!  oh yeah, and the event was organized via facebook completely.

House of shields

we rolled in and headed to the house of shields bar in the city (roughly 2nd and market).  it was a nice little bar, but one of those places that you wish could hold a lot more people.  it was a bit narrow, but had that really cool old bar vibe to it.  took me a while to get the bartender over to my side and i'm sure he was extra pissed that i only asked for a glass of water...hey, i still tipped him!  i strolled around a bit and was introduced to a few people.  one of them was terry chay, of lunch 2.0 and cindyb.  terry is a very nice guy with an obvious interest in other people as well as photography.  terry was walking around with a digital camera from leica.  it was unique looking in that it was  digital SLR that was so thin it was amazing.  i got a lesson on who leica was as a company and how this camera operated making use of different mirrors rather than more elements and straight-on lens reflections.  terry was very kind to let me take some shots and mess around with it.

i talked with some more people about a few things and had some great mini-conversations (wasn't there long).  someone came up and asked me about operating system things, etc. and we discussed what we did/didn't like about vista, osx, etc.  it was one of the rare tech conversations going on in that detail.  even the bar owner was walking around and mingling.  he wasn't behind the bar, he was in front of it...getting to talk with his customers, being a part of the action...and pitching some of his own ideas to these young entrepreneurs.

and that is just it.  between every other word being 'facebook' it dawned on me the buzz that is the 'bay area' and the encompassing energy in the tech world that exists.  the bar (occupancy limit 49, attendance 75+) was filled with 20-somethings and lower 30-somethings, all with incredibly high energy, filled with ideas, and stinking of entrepreneurial aromas.  it wasn't about bits and bytes, but rather ideas and connections.  the collision of thoughts and intersects of partnerships.  in the hour or so i was there, i desperately wanted to be a part of that.  sure, there are user groups, but after that user group meeting is over, do the conversations continue with such passion?  the bay area has that passion...everywhere.  c'mon arizona, where is this passion?  where are the new and innovative ideas?

i was thankful to have felt that energy for a while that night...oh and if you live in the bay area...did i mention we are hiring? :-)

thanks also to anand who has a bitchin' pad in the city...ahh to be young and single...

 

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i've suddenly (well okay, not suddenly, but now i've had the time) realized that twitter is pretty good at keeping in touch, especially at conferences, etc.  i wish that some partnership with facebook and twitter would occur.  i'm using both of them and wish there was only one place i could update my status that nobody cares about.

one thing is annoying me about twitter (and thankfully hasn't happened over at facebook yet ... at least with my circle of friends).  that is the one-sided conversation.  you know what i'm talking about.  the one where someone you are stalking following on twitter sends out a message in reply to a person you aren't following and you have no idea what it means.  here's an example from the last people who replied to me (names altered to protect the innocent -- note, i'm not innocent either...i'm just as guilty but am going to try to stop):

billygoat: @timheuer add more people heh

fuzzybunng: @timheuer: ever get to see them live?  the best show i ever saw was live

blippity: @timheuer business or pleasure?

as you can see, unless you were following the same people i was there is no context here, yet the messages were sent to anyone following you.  so what gives?  why do we feel the need to instant message the world of our followers with replies that aren't relevant or in context to them?  i plead with you, start using the "d" command...

now on to facebook... you see i never got into myspace.  i don't know why, perhaps it was the UI that just turned me away...i just never did.  but facebook i've been sorta diggin' -- probably because they have an API and the geek in me can't resist the code crack. 

but i did an expirement based on my research of myspace.  you see, in myspace i've learned (through my research with tweens in my family and neighborhood) that the 'currency' is friends.  even if people didn't know each other, there was something to be said about having 8 zillion friends on your profile.  so my curiosity got the best of me with facebook.  does this same currency exist in facebook?  would people accept me not ever have even crossed any relevant path in life and more than at least six degrees of separation even if there is any connection?  let the expirement begin.

i went about a quest trolling through friends of friends of friends.  i started to find a list of models (female) in los angeles.  perfect.  i picked about 5 of them (all with profile pictures that would make my wife question what i was doing on facebook -- note: she did.) and requested friend status.  within the day all accepted.  unbelievable.  i had never ever had any of this association with these people.  not even remotely.  i've since removed them all (sorry anastasia, it was fun while it lasted...was it good for you?) but am still astounded.

will social networks every be really valid and not just a breeding ground for trolls like myself?  how will we rid ourselves of this currency?  are friends the euros of social networks?