Last night, I was at a publishers reception for the Software and Information Industry Association. I couldn't really figure out why I was at the reception. It was sponsored by Mark Logic and Really Strategies. Most of the people who were at the reception were content management people. At one point I got emails from Mark Logic so I must have been on some kind of invitation list. There was also an IT librarian from St. John's University. Almost everyone was wearing a business suit. I recognized at least one person from Microsoft who had given a keynote speech at the Day of Dialog, a yearly event that brings together publishers and librarians in Manhattan.
It is funny being a reference librarian surrounded by fairly high level people. But free hors d'oevres, beer, and soda isn't bad. It was entertaining talking to people. I kept my name tag so I could add it to my collection of name tags from conferences. The location 66 Park Avenue in the penthouse suite was quite ritzy.
I had gotten to the neighborhood quite early so I took a walk around. I enjoy walking. I looked at the tall buildings, the Scandinavian society and the El Salvador Embassy are not far from the Kitano hotel where the meeting was held. You can look all the way down the block and see the Metlife building. It is four blocks away from Grand Central Terminal. People were out walking their purebred dogs, little terriers and bulldogs mostly. Doormen in suits were standing outside of many of the buildings. A mixed fleet of yellowcabs and black executive taxis rolled through the neighborhood. There was an empty police booth with a cracked window on one corner not far from the hotel.
I sat down in a small cafe, ordered a cup of coffee and a raspberry turnover. I thought that the raspberry turnover was kind of funny. They had wifi listed in the window. I drank my coffee and ate my turnover and read. Nobody bothered me at all. I was reading Muhammad Yunus, Creating A World Without Poverty Social Business and the Future of Capitalism. I spent about an hour sitting and reading.
Then I went to the publishers reception. I checked my coat and bag in as I came in to the penthouse suite. The suite was quite crowded. It was mostly men or ladies in business suits. There were a few mavericks in the casual sweater, slacks, and black leather shoes as well.
The crowd was quite interesting. It seemed to intersect across a wide range of groups, USAToday, Elsevier, Mark Logic, Microsoft, Information Today, MuseGlobal, Hargrove Entertainment, St. John's University, and others were there.
Mostly you walked around and looked at peoples name tags to see who was there. Then you spent a few minutes talking to people just. I took a few business cards. I don't really know what I will do with them, but, I am going to try and recount a few of the conversations I had.
I talked briefly with Information Today about enterprise search, I also met a gentleman from Cuichu Printmedia, he apparently has a new kind of magnetic paper which you print signage on using a laser printer. http://www.cuichu.com/applications.htm . The reception was really a chance to talk to people about just about anything to make contacts.
I spoke briefly to Really Strategies about the digital divide. We talked about how people were coming into libraries and using myspace and facebook during their internet signup time. They were really there to sell a new content management system called RSuite http://www.rsuitecms.com/ . If you really like high end technology, especially content management systems, this might have been a good place for you to be.
Mark Moorehead from Muse Global mentioned that there was a westcoast chapter of the Software and Information Industry Association. They hosted meetings at Museglobal quarterly at their headquarters. I had always thought of the Software and Information Industry Association as a New York institution. At one point the Software and Information Industry Association absorbed the New York New Media Association after the dotcom crash.
Talking to people was quite entertaining. One of the first people that I talked to was from Elsevier-- he was a publisher of some 20 scientific and technical magazines. There are some 350 Elsevier employees in the New York office.
Another person I talked with was Peter M. Hargrove of Hargrove Entertainment. He has an interesting small catalog of films. http://www.hargrovetv.com/ He made some suggestions for doing film programming at my library. We have a projector, a screen, and a dvd player so it is not hard to do. If we set the films up as a lecture series, and do not advertise the films we generally fall under fair use.
It was a nice evening. I only saw one recruiter there for high level positions, Bert Davis from Bert Davis Executive Search, Inc. I am sure that there were a few others in the crowd.
I stayed for my two hours then headed home, reading a bit more on the subway.