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Welcome to the Ben Metcalfe State-Side Experience

Don’t worry folks, I haven’t done a Dave Winer and given up blogging.

But I am sorry there haven’t been any updates to this blog of a week, and arguably little meaningful or insightful updates for sometime.

I’ve just been really busy. I mean really busy. Conferences, meetings, geeky trips, geeky hang outs and all the travel in between are all mounting up.

And I’m only half-way through.

And I still have my day job too.

By the time I finish my travels I will have flown the equivalent of a round the world trip (on the equator, no less) in less than 28 days.

It sounds glamorous, but it ain’t. I’m doing this in economy, aka cattle class, baby.

Attending conferences sounds like a bit of a jolly, but quite frankly it’s anything but. The ETech schedule is always one of the hardest going on the conference circuit.

Because everyone wants to speak and there is so much to pack in the days usually start and 8:30am in the morning and finish after 6pm. If you want a decent seat or a cup of coffee before the morning presentations, you’d better be there closer to 8am. Most evenings there are evening events and other activities which mean you’re lucky to leave before 9:30pm.

Conferences are just about networking as they are learning and so ‘extra curricular activities’ (no, I don’t mean sex) will often push you into the early hours of the morning. Then it’s back to the hotel, sleep for 3 hours (whilst semi jet lagged) and then get up for the following day’s session. Repeat three times and you’ve had the ETech experience.

Oh, and they did the key-notes on the night before the first main day of the conference. They didn’t finish until close to 10pm!

Sure it sounds like “poor me, poor me”. And yes, I am bloody lucky to have been able to go. But as I sit here riding home on the Central Line train on Thursday evening, with my body still feeling totally fucked, I can’t help but think I’ve written a check cheque (bloody Americanisms) somewhere along the way that my body is finally cashing in on. And that’s almost a week after the event finished.

This weekend sees me flying back out State-side, this time to Las Vegas for Mix06.

Unfortunately a lack of direct flights within budget to Las Vegas requires me to take a detour via San Francisco (hmmm, well at least I’m getting to know the airport layout well).

Yes, it doesn’t take a genius to release that maybe it would have been better to have stayed in the US for 6 days rather than fly home and back again in under a week.

Unfortunately my little pre-conference trip to San Francisco and Las Angeles the week before ETech kind of precluded that – and the mass of email, voicemail messages and outstanding issues that greeted me when I returned to the office on Monday somewhat back that up.

Like I said, I still have a day job. It’s just not viable to be out of the office for more than two weeks.

So, there you have it. Act I of the “Ben Metcalfe State-Side Experience” has drawn to a close and this blog post is brought to you as part of the interlude’s entertainment. But stay tuned, as Act II is fastly approaching, and Acts III and IV seem inevitable for reasons I won’t go into now.

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