Note: I generally don’t talk about my job much on this blog. Now that I am back home, I have had the opportunity to meet more of my readers (omg, that’s you!) and have received the feedback that people want to hear more about my professional life. Okay dokey, put on your black socks, it’s business time.
This week I was in New York City for the Search Marketing Expo. One marketer who hadn’t seen me since before I left, told me they thought I had died. Far from it, I smirked. I just stopped using Twitter everyday.
This was my first week back in the busy world of online marketing conferences. It was full of sessions, expensive dinners, rooftop bars, Irish Car Bombs and business deals. It was a far cry from the week I spent in the desert a week prior. This was business.
Walking around the expo hall I met another guy named Daniel. Reading his name badge, I learned he also worked as an SEO for my employer. (There are 300,000 people that work at my company.) We swapped stories and figured out who we knew in common. This is the world of working for a global telecom, just when you think you understand where you fit in at the company, you find another person with your name and job title. Redundancy at its finest.
The conference was broken up into different sessions about various areas of online marketing. I stuck to the ones about SEO (which I know a lot about) and PPC (which I know very little about). A few new technologies had come out since the last time I spoke at a conference and it was interesting to hear how other people were using them. As Eleanor Roosevelt always liked to say, “There ain’t no party like a mircodata party!”
Between sessions I went on a quick subway adventure. It was time to finally see the Statue of Liberty. Talking to my brother, I learned that she tended to hang out on the south side of the island. I hopped on the subway and headed her way. Having grown up in Seattle, subways are still new to me. I checked the sign, stepped over some puke and squeezed in between a fat guy and a model dressed up for fashion week. (Hint: I didn’t make small talk with the fat guy) I was certain I was heading the right way. Proud of myself, I enjoyed the music of the crazy guy playing the drums and told myself that this city was’t so hard. Five stops later, I realized I was heading north.
After retracing my route, (I somehow managed to go under Times Square three times) I arrived at Battery Park to go hang out with the old green lady. I stepped out of the subway station and asked the first person I saw where the park was. They smiled and said I was standing in it.
I walked ten feet in the direction of the water and saw a glimpse of Lady Liberty. In true Pokemon master style, I did a fist jump in the air. Achievement unlocked!
I ventured over to the dock and took my customary pictures. She was smaller than I had imagined and quite frankly much less green. (I had imagined more Kermit the Frog and less color blind Oscar) I looked into taking the tour but decided against it. The Statue of Liberty was worth seeing from afar but it was very evident that this was my the most lackluster item I had completed on my list to-date. Regardless, I was happy I had made it there.
After the three day long whirlwind, my boss and I sat down to review the conference. We had each made more than a few important contacts, made substantial progress on one and possibly two partnerships and learned a few tactics that we would start implementing and testing once we got back to the office. All-in-all, very successful conference.
Next stop, Niagara Falls.
It turns out that Niagara Falls is really freaking far away from New York City. It is a two hour flight, seven hour drive or nine and a half hour train ride. In my infinite wisdom, I chose the latter. The Falls themselves are in a magnificent park on the border of Canada and Niagara Falls, NY. The United States side hosts most of the Falls and Canadian side hosts most of the views.
I really enjoyed this life list item. Waterfalls are something special. They really are much more than just falling water. They are beautiful, resonate with an incredibly powerful sound and give off an illusion of moving in slow motion. Niagara Falls shows all of these traits off at their best. They are free to visit either day or night and offer plenty to those lucky enough to view them. At one point right around dusk, I spent about fifteen minutes gazing into the mist they produced. It was mesmerizing.
I had the great opportunity to experience the Falls with my good friend John. It was really nice to spend time with him and learn more about his past experiences. I have found that my list list is infinitely more enjoyable if I get to share the items with my friends. This was no exception, after seeing the Falls, we both agreed that we would be back.
Right now, I am doing a great job of balancing work, life and time spent with people who inspire me. It seems as if I have found the perfect trifecta. Plus to top it off, for dinner tonight I had hummus and mango flavored frozen yogurt.