MHTA 2010 Spring Conference

Minnesota High Tech Association As things happen every now and again, I recently got the opportunity to join a panel at the MHTA (Minnesota High Tech Association) Spring Conference “A New Way Forward” on April 22nd.  Of course I jumped at the chance to talk with so many great geeks technical professionals from some of the top companies here in the Twin Cities!

Here’s an overview of the spring conference:

As we enter the second decade of the 21st Century it is time to examine the assumptions and approaches that are fundamental to our success. The New Deal of the last century was about getting the basics right – productivity and efficiency, providing people with meaningful work, getting the economy on its feet – using production lines and automation tools.

Today, the New Way Forward is about achieving these same goals while using distinctly different tools and approaches, retractable banner stands have served us well but the future holds much more for the savvy marketer. As Minnesota business leaders look at a greatly changed global economy, they know their companies not only measure up – they frequently outperform global competitors.

Join us April 22, 2010 at the Minneapolis Convention Center for another outstanding program filled with immediately applicable strategies and practices to help you do the same. Collectively, these ideas will do more than just get us back on track – they will propel us forward faster than ever before!

The agenda and list of speakers is here and here.  In case you’re interested, I believe there are still tickets available, which you can register for here.

Cross Country

Southern Wisconsin It’s amazing, sometimes, how easily we forget how big, how expansive our country is. The time it takes to drive across one state or another is not inconsequential and each time the scenery is worth paying attention to. The diversity of the landscapes always impresses me.

From the sweeping agricultural plains to the industrial and commercial centers of urban life, to the majestic mountains or coastline it never ceases to teach. Every trip I take, I learn something new. Either about the area I’m visiting, or the region I’m traveling through, the history and culture of the area presents a new opportunity to learn more about my fellow countrymen. It gives me a better idea of how the things I do fit into the world, and how we all relate to each other.

View from The County Line BBQ - Austin, TX The other thing is the opportunity to travel across rather than over. While flying is faster, it’s certainly not rewarding. The hassles of security stops and checks is inconvenient, especially with the false sense of security it provides. Traveling on the road can be much more rewarding if you have the time. You get to see the country, meet the people, and experience the contours of the land, something that’s lost at 40,000 feet.

Another perspective is the people. You learn so much from the characters you meet and where they’re from. It can help look at things from another angle and learn what kinds of perceptions exist and why. These help us build better products and provide better services. Not just because they’re cool, but because they are useful. Because people need or want them.

The Donut Whole - Wichita, KS I write this on the return leg of a road trip to South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX. Over a week on the road getting a full dose of fresh perspective has reset my direction and attitude. The results are the only thing left to focus on, and I need to thank this experience and the trip itself for the bulk of that new thinking.

Have you done a long distance road trip lately? What have you learned that can help others?

Bloggers Lounge at SXSW

Ok, it’s my first day at SXSW, and I’ve already run into about 10 online friends in the first hour here at the Austin Convention Center.

I decided to start the day in the Bloggers Lounge, which most of the folks I’ve connected with online over the last many years.  The lounge is set up with wired Internet and power for everyone who comes in, and there’s a bookable space for podcasting and videocasting or recording shows.

Altogether, it’s a great resource for bloggers as they create content and network with each other.

SXSW 2010 Bloggers Lounge

SXSW 2010 Bloggers Lounge

Social Media Breakfast – Twin Cities 4

SMB-TwinCities The fourth SMB in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul, Minnesota is scheduled for Wednesday, June 11th.  Sure, that’s tomorrow and I coulda/shoulda/woulda posted about it a week ago, but decided to let the posts here, here & here do their work.

We’re hosting the event at Concordia University in St. Paul for the second time, as the facilities work well for our group.  Though I do believe there’ll be some suggestions to shake it up again in July.

I can’t wait to see what directions the conversation will go in this meetup tomorrow.  There are always such great ideas that the group never has enough time to really cover them all.  We’re lucky to have a bunch of outgoing people, ready to bring their opinions & perspectives to help others.  It makes the meetups more valuable that way.

Agenda? Oh yeah, we’re trying to have a little more structure – at least for starting points of conversations.

  • 8am to 15am: Meet & find seat
  • 8:15am to 8:30am: @Desaraev from Twitter will be presenting “Social Media Roll Call”
  • 8:30am to 10am: Conversation Topics
    • Co-Working (shared office/work space for web/home workers)
    • What are you reading? Social Media book recommendations (i.e. Here Comes Everybody, etc…)
    • Have you been Plurked yet? Are there too many Twitter wannabe’s?
    • Social Media Club (Minneapolis) – Connie Bensen
  • So, we’ll have another great breakfast – hope to see you there!

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