Yesterday was the big day, the much anticipated 140cuse conference. With forty-five speakers, over 600 in attendance, not to mention thousands following online, the event was a huge success, and I was glad to be a part of it. You may remember David Rosen, who I met with for Counter Talk a short while ago; the guy deserves a million beers right now. The hard work put in by David and his team paid off big time, and more than a few speakers (some of which were frequent conference-goers) were sure to mention how well-put together it was.
David and the Tech Crew backstage getting things prepped to start.
The crowd starting to fill in. Not long after, it was standing room only.
As I mentioned previously, I was a student speaker in the 140challenge, which saw me giving my talk about this very project, pitted against my fellow students and friends Isaac Budmen, Sam Morrison, and Alyssa Henry. Sadly, Alyssa opted out yesterday, being fairly busy with speaker interviews, so it was just the guys presenting. I went first, switching up my talk a bit from the previous format (video to come soon), followed by Sam - backflip included - and then Isaac. The crowd turnout was pretty good despite being during the lunch hour, and all three of us were on our game, delivering solid presentations (the other two certainly did, I would hesitate to include myself). After we presented, the show returned to the main stage in the Schine Underground, and after a quick post-lunch talk by Eric Stoller, Anthony Rotolo asked us to join him and Jeff Pulver on the stage to announce the winner. I’m happy to announce that Isaac Budmen won the prize, with his stellar talk on using digital and social technologies to enhance your world and your learning, outside of more traditional educational means. His message resonates clearly with a wide audience, myself included; after all, I just got my summer job on the internet, never having met my employer face to face. The world is changing, it’s far more connected online, and Isaac is quick to point out the merits of that trend.
Tim Pool showing off his front flip skills after the 140challenge talks.
Jeff Pulver, however, really outdid himself, by not only providing Isaac with a speaking spot at 140NYC this summer, but also by offering to take the other 140challengers to the conference as well. He is an incredibly generous man, and I am humbled. There really weren’t any losers in this challenge, thanks to him.
Counter Talk “Speed Dating”
What kind of barista would I be if I weren’t finding a way to brew coffee at this event? I was turned down by food services at the school, so I wasn’t able to set up a table anywhere, but I brought my suitcase anyway, and held miniature Counter Talk sessions with friends and speakers. It was a phenomenal time, especially since I made sure everybody exchanged something of value for their brew. Well, I intended to anyway - I forgot to ask a few people along the way. I brewed a home-roasted Ethiopia Pulp Natural Guji, via both Kalita Wave dripper, and Aeropress with Able Brewing’s DISK Fine filter (more on that in an upcoming post). I wasn’t completely happy with this roast, but I didn’t get any complaints from others, so I think they were satisfied. Here’s who I got to brew for:
Carol is a fellow iSchool grad student, who is enrolled in my social media class. She shared a comical story from her days as a pipe fitter and welder, when a piece of slag fell down behind her protective apron and into her bra. As she struggled to pat it out, she noted that all the male fitters around were awfully eager to lend a hand. Anything to “help,” right?
Another social media student from my class, Jessica spoke with me about her volunteerism with The Future Fund of CNY. They are a local organization, part of a non-profit, which she described as a “giving circle,” meaning they pool funding into a grant, and the membership votes on where to distribute it each year. I always like to hear about projects like this, giving back to and supporting the local communities.
Jen paid me a rather nice compliment, saying she thought I should have won the 140challenge. Much appreciated Jen!
Jeff needed no exchange in my mind, he’s given me plenty of stories, a trip to New York, lots of hugs, and more, in the short time I’ve known him.
Poor Julia, I was rather dopey and didn’t realize at first she was patiently waiting her turn in line while talking with me. Still, she exchanged her musings on riding a motorcycle, and we chatted about the stark difference between riding in a car, and being more exposed on something like a motorcycle or, in my case, a jet ski that one time. She noted that the smells were most intriguing, as they come on quite vividly and suddenly when on a bike. A forest smells far different on a motorcycle than it does as a hiker.
Once again, another social media student (#Rotoloclass repped #140cuse quite well!), Chelsea got off without an exchange, but we did chat for a bit.
Isaac won the #140challenge, so I congratulated him with a cup of coffee! Poor guy looked like he needed it by late afternoon too.
Isaac, Chelsea, Julia hanging out, enjoying coffee and conversation. As it should be.
Tim Pool, known for his citizen journalist style coverage of Occupy Wall Street, came over with Jeff Pulver for a quick cup. He told us about his family’s cafe in Chicago, which sadly fell prey to prolonged construction on the sidewalks, killing foot traffic. Tim knows a bit about coffee himself, as a result, and explained how to properly taste coffee - slurping! Doing so sprays your whole palate with coffee at once, and introduces air, allowing more complete tasting. I got a good deal of practice in slurping back at Coffee Fest during the cupping class I took. It’s hard not to suck too hard and inhale, choke and cough when you’re just starting out…
Also cool about Tim’s family cafe: apparently they got some tips and pointers on coffee from another Chi-town institution - Intelligentsia. Very cool!
Tim and Jeff waiting while I boil more water. Friendly guys!
Ariel is another student, inhabitant of the #NEXIS, and founder of the up-and-coming dating site YouShouldDate.Me. She offered the story of how she grew up loving architecture, cutting out furniture and things from magazines to put in her sketchbook of drawings. Her grandmother once spotted her cutting out some furniture, and commented that it was nice she was making suggestions for the interior. Ariel corrected her and said they’re not suggestions, that’s what the room will look like. Her grandmother disagreed, and said you can’t tell them what furniture they have to use. Over the years, her grandmother’s insights pushed her away from architecture, and the single people of the world will likely be better for it!
Ariel speaking with Jeff Pulver.
Eric was a blast to talk to, however briefly. He left me with his awesome, slightly dizzying business cards. These ones are keepers for sure!
I know nothing about Andy, but I offered him a cup during my final rounds in the room before it got closed up. Thanks for indulging me, Andy!
Yesterday was a seriously great time, I can’t wait to do it again this summer, and next year!