It is hard to say which is more frightening to a writer, the blank page, or the empty wallet. There are times that both have been particularly frightening to me. Yet there are other concerns that the writer always struggles with. Is the writing any good? Is anyone reading it? Doesn’t make a difference?
It was late when I got home. I had a bunch of pictures to upload for my blog post and a couple hundred new unread emails. When I did get a chance to check some of my other social media, I saw this message on Twitter
jcnork - @ahynes1 can u go? -New Haven Mayor Destefano joins business & community leaders in promoting #GoogleHaven 100 Campaign http://bit.ly/crRR6o
Twitter can be terse and cryptic if you don’t have the context, but in this case, I know what my friend Jack was talking about. He, and a bunch of other friends have been working on a project to get Google to select New Haven as a location to roll out their gigabit Internet. I knew it would be a busy day, but that it would also be an event that I would want to be at.
The press conference was taking place at Fair Haven Furniture, 72 Blatchley Avenue. Fairhaven, with its lovely views of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge, more commonly known as the Q bridge crossing the mouth of the Quinnipiac river, and the looming oil tanks of the Port of New Haven, has never been high on my list of New Haven tourist attractions. As I passed companies like Independent Pipe and Supply, Lynn Ladder and Scaffolding, and New Haven Awning, I wondered what sort of place Fair Haven Furniture would be like. Would it be a struggling furniture manufacturer, trying to hold on to the glories of yesterday when there were many more manufacturing companies in New Haven? Would it be one of those ‘to the trade’ type stores selling credenzas and other office furniture? Maybe it would be a new citizen to our country, trying to make a go of it here in America selling painted cribs imported from China at a really low price.
Since the mayor was there, as well as several news outlets, it was hard to find a good parking place, so I parked in front of a closed gate next to an abandoned building and hoped I wouldn’t get towed. I walked around the corner and found the door leading to Fair Haven Furniture. I was totally unprepared for what I found inside. (If I had of had time to look at the website ahead of time, I probably wouldn’t have been surprised). Fair Haven Furniture is a hidden gem. Since I was there for the press conference, I only had time to look at part of one of the three floors the company has.
The press conference itself wasn’t anything all that special. Mayor DeStefano talked a little bit about the history of New Haven with its port and railroads which fueled the growth of the city. He noted that high speed internet is our generation’s version of ports and railroads and he hoped that Google would choose New Haven as a test bed and that the infrastructure would help lift New Haven out of recession. He noted the importance of the initiative being led by people from the community and embraced by businesses, instead of being a project led primarily by the city.
Andre Yap, Founder and CEO of Ripple 100 also spoke about his hopes that Google would choose New Haven and bring considerable collateral growth. Kerry Triffin, owner of Fair Haven Furniture expressed similar thoughts and spoke with many of the guests who were discovering his business for the first time.
Giulia Gambale Gouge brought cupcakes from Claire’s Corner Copia. The GoogleHaven cupcakes were from suggestions that had been made online for cupcake frostings. Giulia had been working with Claire to help her make better use of social media, and the cupcakes illustrated the value that companies can gain by entering into conversations with their customers on social media.
While I’ve been concerned about what happens to all the energy around GoogleHaven if Google doesn’t select New Haven, I was pleased to see some concrete benefits to New Haven from the Google Haven effort. Businesses and other organizations are working together to increase public involvement in all aspects of New Haven’s social fiber. If that social fiber can ride on top of a high speed fiber network from Google, so much the better.
The Google Haven effort began by citizens stepping forward to help make New Haven better. The city joined the effort and gave it a great boost. Now, we are starting to see some of the benefits of this effort, and are eagerly hoping that Google will join with the effort to give it an even greater boost.
Yesterday, I wrote a blog post, Why Have A Website? where I said that the answer to that question determines many things about the website. One of those things is what the right analytics are. I’ve spoken about aspects of this in other blog posts and I want to pull together those thoughts in the context of Why Have A Website.
It may seem like a strange question to come from someone who creates websites, but I believe the question, “Why have a website?” is perhaps the most important are least frequently asked question by people setting up websites. The answer to that question is crucial in understanding what software should be used to support a website, what the website should look like, how it should be promoted, whether or not a website is really needed, and a host of other decisions.
@AmyDesmarais @shesosocial @Malafronte @suzicraig @EnzaDandeneau @sbc111 @cdschein @cellularchloe @theMattCrouch @yougottacall
It has been a while since I did a Follow Friday post, but yesterday was a busy social media day, so I thought I would highlight some of the meetings and who I ran into.
The first meeting was Social Media Club, New Haven. @AmyDesmarais of Ripple100 was there, as was Giulia Gambale Gouge of SheSoSocial. We talked a little bit about how the Social Media Club of New Haven could interact with groups like the Connecticut Tweetcrawl and the planning of the Connecticut Podcamp. However, much of the discussion focused on Best Buddies of Connecticut and what the Social Media club could do for them.
I also met Paul Malafronte. Paul does a lot of Joomla work and I do a lot of Drupal work. I’ve been looking for a Joomla expert to handle requests that I sometimes get and cannot handle, and I ended up referring a request I receive to him today.
The second stop of the day was the CT Tweet Crawl. I’ve been to various Tweet Crawls in the past, so it was great to see some old friends. I had a good talk with @SuziCraig about Drupal and Google Maps. @sbc111 also joined in on the discussion. I also spoke a bit with @EnzaDandeneau. Enza is a realtor from Marlborough, where the Tweetup was. She brought in people from the Marlborough Business Association to help them understand how social media could help their businesses. I don’t know how much additional business the Tweet Crawlers brought to the Marlborough Tavern, but there were a bunch of us there for drinks.
I had a few other good discussions, and wanted to particularly shout out to @cdschein @cellularchloe @theMattCrouch @yougottacall. It was a good day for social media networking and I look forward to upcoming Social Media Club of New Haven meetings and CT Tweet Crawls.