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The Well-Grounded Yuppie

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

SMX West 2008 in Santa Clara

So I’ll be going to Santa Clara for SMX West. I’m pretty excited. This is the first major search engine conference. I remember almost going to SES NY a few years ago, but some last minute things prevented me from going.

I worked a half day today, left my job around noonish for the airport. It was a 1:30-3PM flight to Dulles DC for transferring. My coworkers and I sat around for almost four hours to catch the 7PM flight to San Jose, and this flight will take six hours. The waiting time between transfers went by fast. We talked about all kinds of things, from their families to our jobs. It seems like people were more open to discussing new ideas and navigate away from status-quo when we’re out of the office. We talked about what motivates us to do a good job besides the paychecks. I am traveling with the director of MIS. He wants to see the company’s web presence succeed because he’s been there from ground zero, before the company had a website. The developer told me his motivation is that he really enjoys creating things that help people and businesses out, such as computer programs that automate lots of stuff. And me personally, I really haven’t been at my current job long enough to truly care about its profits. I just really enjoy what I do. I love the pages I’ve “touched” showing up and ranking in search engines, I love the idea of for ever dollar I spend in paid search, I make more than a dollar back. If I’m around long enough, I’d like see the company’s web-presence grow into a major competitor for E-commerce. Starting from almost scratch web-marketing wise, I almost feel like I’m taking on a “pet project” that’s a blank slate. The only difference is that I get to work on this pet project while at work, and I get financial backing for this too. It’s pretty fun – well, if you don’t count the corporate politics, waiting forever for stuff to get done, and dealing with random egos such as the head programmer saying stuff like “convince me why we should do a URL rewriting” when it was already decided because I’ve already convinced our COO and director of MIS. But I guess it happens in every company, all you can do in that aspect is to “play nice” and “make people happy” while doing the things that you feel like is important. With enough advertising dollars, I might be working for a company that will be what Amazon is today.

I am sitting on the plane, blogging but can’t publish due to the lack of Internet. I’ve been on the plane for about four hours, and only two more to go. The plane ride so far seemed a lot longer than the four hour wait for the plane. I’m running out of distractions. My mini-video player is almost out of battery, I’ve went through all my throw-away free magazines, and now I’m almost finished with this blog.

Again, I’m pretty excited. Not only is this my first major search engine conference, but it’ll be my first time on the west coast. I’m obviously going to visit San Francisco while I’m here. I’ll be taking lots of pictures. If anyone wants any souvenirs or has any special requests on pictures, you know I’ll do my best.


Blogger Nick Zorn said...

Bring me back some rice-a-roni!!!

2/26/2008 8:58 AM  
Anonymous thomas said...

you should swing up to Redmond and I can give you a tour - you could even buy a copy of Vista. hahah.

2/26/2008 6:25 PM  
Blogger Paul Zhao said...

Sorry Thomas, Redmond's like 12 hrs drive......and I already have a copy of Vista, it came with the laptop I bought. How can I trade it for XP?

2/26/2008 8:45 PM  

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