Friday, June 29, 2007

iPhone, Web 2.0 and the wetwear interface
When I describe the line of people waiting for the iPhone outside of the Palo Alto Apple Store, the usual reaction is along the lines of "Why?" Many of the enthusiasts were in line to be the first to have the coolest new technology toy. Some probably thought they could make some money on eBay or Craigslist.

But I think most of the people got in line for the social interaction. I asked technology pundit Robert Scoble why he was number one in line with his son. Surely he could easily get one with the connections he has within the technology industry. He told me he came to meet and greet the creative geniuses of Silicon Valley, and he purposely came to the Palo Alto Apple store because he figured most of us would be there rather than San Francisco or San Jose.

I also joined the line specifically to meet people I knew I would like. The guy in the red shirt is Ken Conley. He lives on the San Francisco Peninsula somewhere, he blogs about bikes and he takes gorgeous cycling photos. We've left comments on each blogs at times and communicated by email, but I enjoyed a serendipitous personal encounter with Ken -- not online, but in the Apple line in Palo Alto.

There's Bruce, who owns a small Palo Alto software company. He had fun handing out free snowcones and Segway rides to anybody who wanted one. Bruce is a guy with a lot of fun energy; the guy is a real kick.

Another high-energy fun guy is Kris Tate, founder of Zooomr, a photo sharing service. Kris and his team provided a live video stream for 30 hours from the queue.

And check out "Shooby". He's a 15-year-old guy who walks around every day with a web cam strapped to his head. His daily life is streamed constantly his website. The kid has an amazing number of friends, both online and in the meatworld. Amazingly enough, somebody even found this blog because I mentioned Cyclelicious to Shooby while I was on camera! And then this Canadian even added me to his blogroll as a result of my appearance on Shooby's video feed.

Another technology VIP in line was technology VIP Kentaro Ejima. If you're not Japanese you probably don't know him, but he's very well known in Japan. Think of him as the nihonjin Robert Scoble, with an influential blog. He's also the creator of the cleverly named Lingr chat service.

Other big names were there, too: Steve Jobs showed up right at 6 p.m. Brian Solis drops some of the other huge names who were in Palo Alto. The point is, Geekfests like the iPhone introduction are a great way to meet people, exchange email addresses and URLs and have a great time with a lot of different people.

See my iPhone photoset @ Flickr.


  1. You must have had so much fun there. Unfortunately way up here in the North, the two closest Apple stores are in Toronto - 2 hours away.
    I find it difficult to find interesting blogs on the Internet, so I thought that watching Shooby's feed for the line-up would at least involve me a little bit in what was going on at the Palo Alto store - woulda been there if I could. Not to mention, I bike every single day - something I enjoy alot! We just got an indoor Velodrome in London here a few years ago, and it's really an awesome experience, have you ever had the chance to use one?

  2. I agree that Ken takes some really incredible cycling photos. It is great to be able to put a face with the blog.

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