I have a great many reasons to be grateful for what blogging has done for me. Not the least of them is that my circle of friends has geographically expanded and sometimes this allows me to get together with people I've met either through blogging or because of it.
[Marco Palombi. Photos by Shel]
Yesterday, I took some time off and walked on the beach with Marco Palombi, founder of Splinder and one of Italy's most successful entrepreneurs. He is planning to move to Silicon Valley and study artificial intelligence and the Semantic Web issues. We talked about the difference in Italian and California cultures and he reminded me of how valuable the tech culture is where I live.
A couple of weeks ago I had dinner with Loic LeMeur and his lovely wife Geraldine. They too are moving to this area. The leMeurs have bought a house in San Francisco and Loic plans to start a technology Joost Channel of online TV. Loic and I healed an old personal wound and remembered how much we enjoy each other. I'm glad he's coming and that we now share a passion for the coming video dominated web.
[Ignacio Escribano, Argentine Citizen Journalist]
Also two weeks ago, I enjoyed a fabulous four-hour lunch with Ignacio Escribano and Eduardo Lomanto, from Buenos Aires, Argentina, both of La Nacion, the national newspaper. They were here to learn more about social media because Ignacio has started a Citizen Journalism site for the paper. It was a first meeting but the relationship is ongoing. I plan to interview Ignacio for the SAP Global Survey. He's a true Renaissance Man, a Boston-educated doctor, former traditional journalist, recorded vocalist who has lived in five countries.
Then there was Allan Martinson, an Estonian VC, who was my host-guide to Estonia last October. It was Allan who introduced me to the Estonian President, the former prime minister, some social networking entrepreneurs and the top guy at Skype headquarters. Allan and I had lunch in July and discussed business in Russia the Baltics and the US, where he pointed out there are far greater opportunities than everywhere else.
[Pat Phelan, roaming freely]
Next month, my good friend Pat Phelan, founder of Roam4Free who will be over here from Cork, Ire. I coached Pat on blogging when he first started and I am excited about the possibilities of his Roam4Free startup which should make it easy and extremely cheap to talk by phone without the carriers sucking money out of our pockets by the minute.
I just love all this. As Marco and I discussed while walking on the beach yesterday. I am from a small industrial city in Massachusetts. I knew the world was bigger than where I lived and I was restless by age 10 to go beyond it.
It is a great pleasure to meet and talk with so many people from so many places who share my passion for technology and bring so many cultural perspectives to my awareness.