Or how not to survive Dec. 9th and 10th while Silicon Valley's a ghost town.
1/ Dream for 8 consecutive hours that you're on a plane to Paris. You land, walk down the red carpet into Paris' 104, and discover Billy Ray Cyrus giving an opening concert before Loïc and Jack Dorsey walk on stage.
2/ Get ready to drop anything and everything to fly to Paris, even if your bank account and workload disagree. Miss your student days - you used to simply accept a .5 drop in GPA to check out of finals early!
3/ Start getting nostalgic. Re-read every single blog post you ever wrote about the conference. Reminisce about the days Granddaddy bought you a brand new MacBook Pro and a Nicole Miller cocktail dress in preparation.
4/ Realize, that for you, LeWeb conference ranks right up there with graduation, Christmas, 16th birthdays, new cars, job promotions, a first kiss, or winning the lottery.
5/ Stay up all night. Torture yourself with live UStream video and thousands of tweets. Ask yourself if the Real Time Web, rather than a significant evolution in communication, isn't more of an evil torture device designed to drive you absolutely insane.
6/ Instead of counting sheep, count the number of friends on LeWeb participant list who are having fun in Paris without you.
Have it hit you, for the thousandth time, that there's a beauty to your suffering. That you have been incredibly blessed to have a conference, its founders and attendees, profoundly impact your life and bring you such happiness. Place a piggy bank next to your bed, break out the calander. Block out next December no matter what. Reserve your plane tickets, reserve your hotel, buy your wardrobe, dream of what new possibilities you can create from everything you've learned thus far. Plan everything to a T, and begin the 365 day countdown...
The circumstance gods may not have been with me this time. But I'll see you next year, promis. :)
Am I the only one who's beginning to have more respect for Comedy Central, than any other mainstream news organization in our country? Died laughing over this... and would certainly not want to be the intern fielding phone calls at the Swiss Embassy this week.
Over the past few months, I've attended dozens of cocktail parties, networking events, soirées... inevitably, when I mention my online presence (outside of San Francisco), that age-old reaction comes into play.
Let me give you a little piece of advice... this is the point where that kind older gentleman or overbearing motherly figure takes a deep breath in, preparing themselves to give you advice that will change your life. Don't leave traces of yourself online. You'll never get a job.
I've given up replying, preferring to nod, smile, and grab another glass of champagne. Because talking about the risks of online life gets old, and I would rather pique their brains on something they DO master much better than I.
Because, somehow, thanks to that pesky thing we call an online footprint, I've managed to make it to Paris for independent research, meetups, and conferences multiple times. For writing on a thesis topic my professors were only beginning to approach, I graduated from Georgetown "with distinction." I landed the internship of my dreams at Seesmic, and then another gig of my dreams working for D.C.'s #1 KANE show. I won a car with free gas for 6 months, and traveled across the country 3 times. And when it came to find the "real world" job of my dreams, I had developed enough confidence and passion to pursue it.
Perhaps it would have been safer to hide away from 9-5, behind the desk of a firm who would barely let me open a LinkedIN account. I'd probably become a frequent anonymous contributor to fmylife.com, though, and somehow get myself fired once my identity was revealed. Forutunately, thanks to the inspiration of people like Loïc, I gracefully avoided that fate.
The truth is, technology is changing society, genuinely forcing people to lead more open, honest, passionate lives as they drop Goffman's sociological and live life the way it should have been lived all along. Millions more twenty-somethings are doing the same each day... it's where we're headed. And have you heard? El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido. We're no longer buying the products that can't market themselves transparently and creatively. We're no longer taking the jobs that crush our spirit. We're learning the power of forgiveness and learning to laugh at collective shortcomings, allowing us to focus on things that really matter.
So! Live it up, make a toast, follow your dreams. Don't post that drunken picture up on Facebook, but do go ahead and smile for the world to see what genuinely makes you shine. If there's anything that still rings true from what our elders tell us, it's that honesty's been the best policy all along. So please, quit whining about the risks and embrace the opportunities!
I was going to translate some of this video for you, but now I've typed too much and my fingers are tired. Basically, Loïc says in so many words to jump in, make a name for yourself, be passionate, have goals, and never do anything that can't be punctuated by an exclamation mark. Words to live by. :)
Phew. Done venting about that pet-peeve. Tomorrow we will return to our normally scheduled programming.