Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hung Up On Hang Outs

I spent the entire day at the CIO Summit of America at the Harvard Club in Manhattan yesterday. Throughout this most interesting and informative day, I ran into a lot of old friends and even made a couple of new ones. A lot could be learned a lot from the presentations and panel discussions and the handful of sponsors who had booths set up on site. I enjoyed three square meals for a change, winding up at dinner with a good friend and business colleague.

Today I participated in a webinar. These are web-based meetings that combine a set of prepared slides shared through a web service like GoToMeeting with a teleconference call.. For one hour I sat at my computer staring at the screen displaying one of the slides and listening to the presenter share his research findings while interacting via phone with some of the participants. I even chimed in at one point with some comments about how I had addressed this particular function.

Tomorrow I will head into Connecticut to spend some quality time at Starbucks, no doubt, and to attend another regular bi-weekly meeting of the Westport Group, a networking organization with a decidedly different cross-section of business community.

While I always enjoy these physical and virtual meetings, I came to a painful realization. I have become addicted to Google Plus Hangouts. I am a hangout junkie.

As I sat in the audience yesterday during panel discussions I was imagining little boxes around the head and shoulders of the panelists. When the people two rows back were being distracting I wanted to "mute" them. Wanting to share some advice with just one of the panelists I was craving the chat window. When the sessions were over  I wanted to press exit and instantly be in my home office so I could check email and then find another hangout to join.

Throughout the day I kept thinking about all the hangouts I was missing. What were the big stories on U_News today and who would be the surprise guests at Fox LA? What was happening in the BBC, KRNV or KOMO studios? Which new TV news anchor would start hanging out today.

Even today, as I battle to stay ahead of the work piling up on my desk and knowing how much time I will be on the road for the balance of the week, I am tempted to put aside all else and jump into a hangout. So many interesting and timely topics being discussed. Obama's staged hangout, the future of Google TV and countless other topics are being bantered about right now.

Perhaps in a few weeks or months the novelty will wear off or circumstances (like a full time job) will prevent me from participating during the day. Until then I guess I will have to fight this addiction with reason and logic. I am an intelligent, rational being. I can handle this.

Does anyone have any advice for how I could get over my addiction? Let's set up a hangout and discuss it.

Captain Joe

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