Tagged: Random Quirkiness

The bright side of errors (just for fun)

Sometimes errors can really help put things in perspective….. or simply give you a chuckle. Todays highlight were two errors that made my day. Rest assured, neither were real problems but both gave me a great big laugh. So to brighten your day, here they are!

This one made me almost feel proud of the achievement!

And this one from Microsoft online help…. well irony :)

The Virtual Super bowl party – game time the social way!

Yesterday (or should I say last night) was an absolute first. Attending my first ever real American Super Bowl party and watching the game with a group of Americans and Australians. So did I fly over for a quick weekend break?!? Nop, I attended right from my own couch in my own living room.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when my twitter stream exploded on NFL tweets by @CuriousMitch  and me reacting to that

Before I knew it I was involved in a whole conversation stretching out over multiple days about the merits of American Football and culminating in getting myself invited for a Super Bowl party to be hosted by Mitch. He was having some guests over to his house and invited a bunch of others to join in through a Google hangout so that we could all enjoy it together from our respective living room (and time zone!).

Now I did have to think about it for a minute as I realized I would have to take a day off (game started at midnight Sunday night and was going to last at least 3 hours according to those who knew). But I was more then willing to do that, seeing it as a great social & cultural experiment to see if Social Media really could make this possible. Plus anyone that knows me knows I’m always in for something crazy and this one certainly fell into that category!
There was only one problem, I had absolutely no clue about American Football!….And so I was drilled and grilled over the last two weeks through Twitter and Skype by several people about everything NFL and American Football. Waking up to tweets like this

And even getting a visual demonstration with diagrams and lots of arrows through a LotusLive meeting & Skype.

All leading up to the big event: The game.

 A multi layered play in 4 acts played out on the field, in a Google Hangout, on Twitter and on Facebook.

I loved it! 

Not just because I like being part of big parties (which the Super Bowl certainly is) but also because it shows the power of Social Media and the cultural shift it is bringing about.Who would have thought 10 years ago that something like this would even be possible and that I would be able to enjoy a ‘cold one and a game’ from my living room in The Netherlands with people in Australia and the USA? Allowing me a very personal and up close glimpse into their worlds, living rooms and passion for American Football.

So what have I learned from all this? 

  • Taco’s & Chili in at least 5 variations seems to be the favorite US Super Bowl party food 
  • American Football can be fun and exciting once you get a basic grip of the game rules. Even if they drag out a one hour game to 4 hours easily 
  • Australia really is sunny this time of year (Yes, I know mentally that it’s summer over there right now but seeing it just makes it real) 
  • Getting a social crash course on game rules through Twitter, Skype and LotusLive works and is much more fun then learning the old fashioned way!
  • Google Hangouts actually lives up to what it says it does (really impressed after 5 hours of continuous and error-less ‘Hanging out’ with 6-8 others) 
  • I have friends here in NL that were watching the game as well (found out through Facebook halfway through the game). Setting up a date to do next year’s Super Bowl together 
  • I should never drink Redbull at 3:30AM if I want to have any chance of sleeping anytime soon (couldn’t fall asleep until 6:30)

So…. having a ‘virtual’ party like this doesn’t necessarily trump the real live experience and might, by some, be considered really geeky. But getting this group from 3 continents together otherwise would have simply been impossible. It just added a whole new layer to being social, showing how Social Media and online collaboration tools really do stimulate cultural learning and exchange. And in doing so making the world a smaller place.

Thanks guys for making this an experience to remember! 

Burning the midnight Soc’oil

To be Socially engaged on online Social Networks into the wee hours of the night.

The incessant staying up not to miss out on all the social fun. Often caused by having a very lively online Social Network that is mostly located on the other side of the pond and the abundant availability of devices that make accessing ones social tools (Skype, Twitter, Facebook, etc) possible everywhere and anytime (eg. in bed). Doing it long enough could have detrimental consequences for sleep patterns and cause the subject to dream in ‘tweets’. (Though that could be seen as a good pre-Lotusphere training where sleep is hard to come by anyway).

Derived from a combination of the word ‘Social‘ and the phrase “burning the Midnight Oil“: To work late into the night. Originally this was by the light of an oil lamp or candle but is nowadays replaced by the blueish shine of electronics and iShinies, hence the figurative terminology.

Related terms:
Insomniac, hermit, Twitter-critter

This Week in Lotus 81 – yep I can’t spell my own name

Ok, so there’s a first time for everything and this week it was being a guest on the This Week In Lotus podcast discussing the Redbook Residency, abstracts and NerdGirl activities at Lotusphere 2012. It was nervewracking…. Lets say that some great editing by @StuartMcIntyre and @DarrenDuke eventually saved the day.  

Still, had lot’s of fun doing it and it accounted for some great bloopers (included in the last 3 minutes of the podcast).

and for those who wonder… Yes, in normal live I’m perfectly able to spell my own name:-)

Social seating

KLM yesterday (unofficially) announced that they are looking into ways to make the seating process more social by allowing people to upload their Social Media profile information on check-in. The idea is to have people pick a seat based on the profiles of people sitting next to them so that people can check beforehand with whom they will be spending their precious hours in flight.

An innovative idea and certainly something that got them some attention but I must say I wonder whether it would be a success. Especially among the business travelers they are aiming this for.

As a business traveler myself the one thing I do when on a flight is trying not to have to socially engage to much with people next to me. You’re in each others space already and for the next 8hrs of so you can’t get away. So the last thing I want is to start a conversation that I can’t politely get out off if it turns out to be not what you expected…

it’s not as if you’re making friends for life. So apart from a polite ‘Hello‘ and ‘could I pass you for a moment‘ I generally don’t engage at all. I read my e-book, watch a film, prepare some work or sleep. That’s it. The last thing I want is people rambling on for hours about how they love tulips and windmills because they read on my profile I’m from The Netherlands.

So what would I use it for…. Well frankly (and I really don’t want to offend anyone with this, simply stating the obvious) to check if the person next to me is big. Yes, you heard it. I’ll admit that is my worst nightmare on any flight and the first thing that came to mind when reading about KLM’s initiative. Because space is already very limited it gets really frustrating if you have someone encroaching on that. Even though they can’t help it and go out of their way not to, as they find it just as embarrassing. Because let’s face it, most airplanes (especially short haul carriers)  have an absolute minimum of space alloted to each passenger and do not cater to the current situation in which at least 1/3 of people in the Western world is overweight. 

So from a personal viewpoint I think making the flight experience more ‘social’  would be accomplished much better if they gave each passenger a bit more space, not by sharing our profiles… Still, I love and commend KLM for trying to think about ways to make the flying experience more social and will certainly give it a try if it gets activated.