Friday, May 23, 2008

Unchained and dog tired

I pulled back the covers an hour ago and finally shook off an intermittent 36 hour slumber. Squinting through sandy eyes at my iPhone, I sat up and quickly took note; Friday, May 23, 11am Central time. Chicago. Temperature 61 F. Battery Low. I'm not quite sure what happened to Thursday, the 22nd or half of Wednesday, the 21st but it's all in the record books now, as they say. I pinched myself, still happy to be among the living--in Chicago with a steady stomach; still in the real estate business, to be sure; and 'in the loop' technically from what I (and others) had just gathered from a 3 day seminar in the desert.

Upon returning from the BloodhoundBlog Unchained Conference in Phoenix (average temperature for the stay BTW---108 F) late Wednesday evening, I finally touched down in Chicago at 9pm, retrieved my checked baggage by 9:45, and managed to remember where I parked my car in Remote Parking by 10:30. An hour later I was laid out prostrate on top of my own bed in Forest Glen, still fully dressed with a fat dog on one side, an unpleasant smelling cat on the other, and an iPhone on my chest instantly pinging like a hail storm the second I finally made the decision to switch the device from Airplane Mode to ON and face the real estate music that awaited me. Everyone/where/thing was requiring more attention than I had the energy to give at that queasy moment. I felt like I might perish in short order from some obscure Southwestern Revenge (one too many chimichangas and local water, the last one being an apparent doozy). I'm pretty sure my wife, nowhere to be found, had staked her own claim in the guest room upstairs for the duration.

I was both shivering and sweaty at the same time, recovering from a cocktail combo of heat stroke, Poblano pepper overdose, and not wanting to leave the red desert, as I scrolled through, and listened to, my 50+ emails and messages for the day. My head was swimming in a queue of incoming and outgoing data from three solid days of brilliant presentations on the future of the real estate business as we are about to know it. Hosts Greg Swann, (and his lovely muse Cathleen Collins) with his elucidating Unchained Epiphany, and the crew-cutted (sans braces) Brian Brady, unchained and East Coast in his own right, set the tone (and the bar) for the multi-day event. Those who followed; Mary McKnight (RSS Pieces), Laurie Manny (Long Beach Real Estate Home), David Gibbons (Zillow), Glenn Kelman (Redfin), were all quite propitious in their own respects, as well. Okay...super-propitious. And the list goes on...

There were other Bald Guys listening, as well as Bawldguys talking, and great new friends to be made (with Don Reedy at the very top of the list). There were really, really smart people everywhere. There were SEOs and CEOs and REOs (or the discussion of) at every turn. There were impromptu brain storms and break-out groups in the side halls, the courtyards and restaurants. In the hotel lobbies. In the asphalt melting parking lots. In the desert. The after hours camaraderie was equally enlightening and only served to tighten the Web that connects us all in this cyber-twisted moving target of real estate marketing.

The Bloodhound Unchanined content was raw, organic, and hot to the touch. The cameras were handheld and grainy, like all great documentary platforms, recording history; and the participation, unstructured and at the same time, direct. The floating script allowed for equal time to any and all who chose to raise their hands and the energy in the room was kinetic at all times with a constant buzz of interaction. No one glanced at their watches. We dove into Page Rank and algorithms, with long tails and short heads; we waded through backlinks and whispered keywords in each others ears. We Twittered in the dry Arizona heat and looked up toward the clear blue skies and saw not only future of Web 2.0, but beyond...

I slept until an hour ago. Time to recharge. Time to get up. Time to go. I can't afford to miss another day of the rest of my real estate life....

photo by me (against the wishes of at least one shaded blogger to the left)

Geno Petro

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