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#140conf – Day 1 Recap from 140Conf LA

by Steve Fisher on November 4, 2009

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I arrived on Monday in Los Angeles to attend the “Very Important Characters (VIC)” event and got to see some old friends and meet some new ones. After a great evening I got a great night’s sleep and got to the Kodak Theatre early to see everything kick off.

I have been to LA more times than I can count but I had never been to the Kodak Theatre which is where they hold the Oscars every year. What was really suprising was that it was connected to a kind of outdoor California mall but the place has so much history and our event co-host Jeffrey Hazlett along with the Kodak social media team, was a very involved participant.

Kicking Things Off

Jeff Pulver, creator and co-host of the 140Conf LA, kicked things off and had this to say in his recap of the event “Two words: Serendipity and Humanity”. I couldn’t agree more. The event started with this funny opening video from Mashcast and the opening video is below (courtesy of Blip.TV):

Jeff explained the extremely packed agenda and small presentation windows (usually 10 minutes) – 140 characters over two days just like the length of a Tweet (140 character post on Twitter) – very clever. What was great about it was that people had to get to the point and in true Oscar fashion, they played the Oscar “get off the stage your time is up music” (Ben Hur soundtrack) which a few people did on purpose just so they can say they were kicked off the stage at the Kodak.

Being in Hollywood you would expect that many of the topics and speakers would revolve around the impact of Twitter and real-time communications on the entertainment industry.

Highlight #1 – Virgin America and Twitter

First half of the morning had Porter Gale (@porterVA), VP Marketing at Virgin America. If you haven’t flown this airline, it is truly amazing – power in every seat and fleet wide wi-fi. She talked about some amazing experiences of people using Twitter to share experiences, reach out for customer service and even order a drink for someone on the same flight because they were listening on Twitter. She also made one of my favorite analogies “Flying on VA is like flying inside an iPod”. Below is the video of her talk (via Blip.TV):

Highlight #3 – Mark Horvath, Lizard Man of Hollywood Blvd

Around 4pm, Mark Horvath (@hardlynormal) gave a presentation on how the homeless are using Twitter to communicate. He was homeless on Hollywood Blvd for about 5 years in the 1990′s. I first met him at the Gnomedex conference and it was a truly amazing thing he is doing getting awareness for a topic most of us ignore everyday, homelessness. You would be blown away with the real faces of who is homeless. Twitter is a free real-time tool that they can use and he got a truly deserved standing ovation. You really need to watch this presentation. Below is the video of his talk (via Blip.TV):

Highlight #4 – Marc Salsberry: Passion + Cancer= Perfect Wingman

Many of you in the tech industry might know Marc (@wmmarc) and for those of you that don’t, he makes us in the tech industry look like rock stars and has a saying that sums it all: “A life without passion is mere existence, and merely existing isn’t living”. He is an entrepreneur but takes amazing pictures and it was a gateway to really network and meet new people. He says “before Rolling Stone, they were musicians with greasy hair that didn’t bathe, but after Rolling Stone, they were rock stars”. He wants to do the same for and show people those in the tech community for the rock stars they are.

He spoke emotionally about his brother’s recent fight and loss to cancer. It was truly inspiring and how he used Twitter to share his life and his brother’s fight. He talked about how people have been introduced to their wife or their next business partner and how his being a photographer has connected his to so many amazing people and to become the perfect wingman.

Below is the video of his talk (via Blip.TV):

Highlight #5 – Kevin Pollack

Around 5pm Kevin Pollack (@kevinpollack) was interviewed by Jeff Pulver and went right after Marc Salsberry. Kevin is a total class act and asked Marc if it was “ok to be a smart ass”. He talked about how “the meek shall inherit the earth 140 characters at a time”.  “Using Twitter for Pursuing Your Passion”. He talked about his show, the Kevin Pollack Show, Below is the video of their talk (via Blip.TV):

End of Day 1 – All I can say is “WOW”

As you can see above, these talks were just a sample of the amazing talks which you can watch all on the 140Conf Blip.TV channel. Truly a stellar first day and I can’t wait until day 2.

NEXT TIME: Day 2 Recap

Photo Credits: Ken Yeung

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