Yesterday I went to a talk by three social media Big Guns: Chris Brogan, who writes and blogs about social media as well as runs a consulting company called the human business way; Alexis Ohanian, who embodies Brooklyn DIY in a way I haven’t seen since…well, since I lived in Brooklyn, and who invented a little company called reddit right after he graduated from college, when most of us are still waiting tables and wondering what the hell we’re going to do next. And oh, yeah, the third speaker started this little company, maybe you’ve heard of it–it’s called twitter? Yes, folks, Dom Sagolla, the man who co-invented 140-character crack, was part of the line-up too.
The talk was sponsored by the Sheikha Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nayhan Foundation, which promotes education and the arts in the Emirates, particularly for girls and women. Most of their events (perhaps even all their events) have evening sessions and sessions during the day, which are just for ladies. I went during the ladies-only session and am still digesting its dynamics: the mostly abaya-wearing audience listening to these three digital dudes (none of whom I think was wearing a tie), who were all with the irony and the insider jokes about US culture, as well as advice about the power – both present and future – of social media. Even with all the complex contexts swirling around, the ideas these guys were talking about were fascinating, and it’s worth finding the hashtag #muntada to see what people had to say about the talks.
But. This post is not about how women in the UAE hold the keys to social media power in their well-manicured hands.
This is about the Chinatown bus. One of the Big Guns told a story about a friend who planned to do a lot of work on his laptop while he rode one of the (in)famously cheap busses that leave from New York’s Chinatown and run to Boston or DC. He got on the bus and realized he’d forgotten his flash drive, which made him think that there had to be a better way to share files and documents between computers.
Maybe you’ve heard of Dropbox?
So I tweet this
A little later in the day, I find out that my tweet has been retweeted, which is always flattering, I guess. Or sort of. Or maybe, upon reflection, not at all, at least in this instance:
Yep. I’ve retweeted by Chinatown Busses.
Who knew busses could read, A; and B, when Alexis Ohanian said that the world isn’t as flat as Thomas Friedman said it was, but that the world wide web is, I’m not sure this is the sort of thing he had in mind.
I mean, what’s next? Being favorited by John Deere?