Dear Google: This is what I’d like for Christmas

Some people believe in Santa Claus. I believe in Google Glass. So, Google, on behalf of me and the rest of the true believers, this is what I want for Christmas.

#1: More interaction with your Explorers

I love being an early adapter. I enjoy talking with the Glass Guides assigned to take care of my customer service needs. I’ve submitted wish lists in the Glass chatrooms alongside fellow Explorers. But I’ve noticed something kinda weird: There’s next to no feedback or input from you. When I beta-test other products, I have frequent discussions with engineers and designers about what’s working, what’s not and where things could go. At the very least, there’s an infrequent newsletter to tell me what’s, well, new. With Glass, I’ll get the occasional social encouragement, but no news bulletins, no release updates or notifications when things I’ve hoped for or suggested have launched. I kinda have to stumble upon new Glassware. The only news I read about you seems to be written by haters. Next year, I’d love to see more communication from you to your Explorers. After all, we’re your biggest fans. We’d love to know what you’re excited about, what you’re working on and where you’re going. Because we want to be part of it and help spread the word.

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# 2: Hardware upgrades

I’m on my third set of #teamcotton frames. There’s an external piece of foil that tends to warp near moisture or when exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations (like my body after a workout, sadly). I love that Google’s sent me new sets to replace the broken ones because I made a big $1,500 investment in the technology. But every time I unbox and see that piece of foil I know that Glass isn’t ready for prime time yet and I really want it to be. So here’s hoping your engineers find a better solution!

Evidently, this little guy is the reason why most people get new sets of Glass. Extreme heat, sweat or a sudden change of temperature all can warp this orbital pod foil.

Evidently, this little guy is the reason why most people get new sets of Glass. Extreme heat, sweat or a sudden change of temperature all can warp this pod foil.

# 3: Software fixes and app upgrades

Listening to news stories on Glass rocks. Having the audio or video freeze sucks eggs. Uploading interviews I do at conferences directly to YouTube is amazing. But Twitter’s defection from the Glassware store leaves a huge hole. I really miss it, even though half the time the voice recognition made my innocent captions NSFW. I can’t say I don’t get frustrated by GPS drops or apps that don’t register my gestures, but I am an optimist. Please, please tell me that people aren’t going to let 1.0 versions languish and that at least a handful of Glassware developers (and your team) plan to keep improving what they do for Glass.

For some reason, I can give myself a concussion nodding up and DuoLingo still might not read my gesture correctly!

For some reason, I can give myself a concussion nodding up and DuoLingo still might not read my gesture correctly!

#4: For you to tell your story better

What, ultimately, is Google Glass for? Do you ever want to offer it commercially? Or do you prefer to share the technology so other people can create the wearables mass market while you keep Glass an upscale option for training, education and corporate use? Unlike other members of the press, I don’t think Glass is dead. But you certainly don’t seem to be trying to communicate, create or even control your own messaging. I’d love to see a mission statement emerge next year that clarifies what your vision is for Glass. Otherwise, I’ll be stuck with nothing but stories written by people who staunchly refuse to understand how it works, and that’s a drag.

So Google, what do you think? I’ve been a very good girl ….

Google Glass streamlines social moderation during presentations or webcasts.

Love your superfan, @PYMLive

Indiego-go-go!

Moms don’t get a lot of “me” time. My friends and I laugh that staying up late watching trashy TV is our new form of rebellion. It’s something we can only do when everyone’s asleep. That’s the sole time we’re not needed and can do whatever we like. But by then, we’re too exhausted to do anything but watch TV. 

We used to be wilder — the ones who forced others to stay up all night to see the sunrise, experimenting with all kinds of things we hope our kids don’t do. We used to live creative lives — in theater, dance, comedy, music, art, film. And though we still create, it’s not in the balls-out way we used to aggressively pursue those careers.

KCS' PRE-BABY SINGLE DAZE.

MY PRE-BABY SINGLE DAZE.

Recently, I had brunch with a friend who’s still very much in the film world. Chad and I have known each other since the summer of 1990, when we both gained admission into Georgia’s Governors Honors Program (GHP) in Theatre. After a rigorous audition process, we were among the top 30 high school actors in the state offered a tuition-free summer of education in our major area of expertise as well as a minor area of study (I chose mathematics so I could spend time with my best friend Phoebe, a Spanish major). It was a paradisiacal eight weeks. I was surrounded by the top scientists, writers, artists, dancers, musicians and other scholars my age.

Unlike many of us, Chad still acts, primarily in projects he writes and produces himself. (Check this out, friends.) As we sipped champagne and noshed on omelets, he mentioned how he preferred Indiegogo to Kickstarter as a method of raising money because Indiegogo lets you keep however much you raise, even if you don’t make your goal, whereas Kickstarter only gives you funds if you raise the full amount.

I had a lightbulb moment. Maybe I could use Indiegogo to raise the money I needed to get Google Glass!

Making it rain (sorta)

Every mom with small kids has a nightly ritual. In some order, there’s dinner, a bath and books to read. It’s pretty predictable. Recently, my daughter had started asking for time alone to play in the bath. All of a sudden, there were five, maybe 10 minutes a night I had to myself before I had to resume mommy duty. 

“Tonight’s the night,” I thought, as I gathered everything I might need to create an ad-hoc Indiegogo campaign during her “me-time.” I put the supplies on my nighstand, sudsed the little one up, rinsed her hair and made sure there was a towel she could reach in case of extreme “water in my eye” emergency and hunkered down to Indiego-go-go on my iPad.

SPOILER ALERT: IT'S NOT A GREAT IDEA TO CREATE AN ONLINE FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN WHILE THE KIDS ARE IN THE HOUSE.

SPOILER ALERT: IT’S NOT A GREAT IDEA TO CREATE AN ONLINE FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN WHILE THE KIDS ARE IN THE HOUSE.

Challenge No. 1: Coming up with a catchy name.

I was about to head to San Francisco for a tech conference. The news was full of headlines of a #glasshole who’d upset patrons in a San Francisco bar. Knowing my bad girl days were behind me, I thought it’d be funny to play off of that trending story. I cheekily named my campaign: “Make me a #glasshole.”

Challenge No. 2: Setting incentive levels.

During GHP, we all had nicknames. My nickname was “The Sex Goddess” — not because I earned it on my back, but because at 16, I was a bit more, ahem, developed than the other girls. (Not that theater boys were into that, but …)

ME AT 16 IN THE GHP THEATRE PROJECT "UNDER MILK WOOD."

ME AT 16 IN THE GHP THEATRE PRODUCTION OF DYLAN THOMAS’ “UNDER MILK WOOD.”

As a nod to Chad, who’d given me the solution to my fundraising woes, I tied incentives for giving to a sexy theme. Here’s the different levels of sponsorship and what people would get for their contributions to my #glasshole campaign.

  Flirts donated $25 in exchange for a handwritten thank you done with quill and ink Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 7.10.09 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 7.10.16 PMScreen Shot 2014-07-22 at 7.10.23 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 7.10.31 PM

Challenge No. 3: Reading (period)

I thought I was pretty clever coming up with all those categories and descriptions in less than 10 minutes, not to mention the plaintive yet tongue-in-cheek “about text.” Unfortunately, just as I reached the pivotal moment of publishing the campaign, my daughter started yelling for me.

I pushed the publish button in a panic. The pop-up warning said: “Are you sure? You can’t edit after you go live.” Heck yeah I was sure! I pushed that puppy and skittered in to rescue the tot from waterlog.

After she was comfortably abed, I snuck a peak at my handiwork and that’s when I realized my campaign was closing in 25 hours. WTF? I thought. Then I did a little backend research and felt like a dolt. I had thought the date-setting area asked, “When do you want to end the campaign?” What it actually asked was, “When do you need to get your payout?” Because I was traveling to San Francisco in a couple of weeks, I chose the Monday before I flew out. So, instead of having a 15-day campaign, I gave myself about a day to raise $2,000. 

Talk about an “Oh schiesser!” moment. I shared and promoted the page as much as I could on my phone, and went to bed feeling like a total moron.

A small phone alert rocketed me awake: I had my first donor! And I had no idea who he was …

It all started with this guy

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DAN PARKS: MY SUPER GEEK HERO < CLICK THE LINK. HE KNOWS HOW TO ANIMATE HIS G+ PROFILE PIC!

When I was a cub reporter first learning the meetings industry, Plan Your Meetings sent me to cover a conference of meeting professionals. It was large. I’m terribly introverted. Everybody else seemed to know each other. And I knew nothing about planning meetings.

I knew a lot about theater, had written some and was fresh from spending a year in Amsterdam as a Boom Chicago Comedy Theater cast member. When they hired me from the UCB Theater in New York, they said I’d “be a rock star.” But most of the time, I sat in hotel rooms with three other improv comedians, waiting to entertain people who’d just finished having a whole day of meetings, were about to start a whole slew of meetings or were trying to ignore us as they ate. The only meeting planners I’d ever met were the ones who’d crack open our hotel room (or closet) door, tell us they were ready and then either look happy or pissed as we shuffled off to catch a train.

So here I was, on my first remote assignment, at a three-day conference. Alone.

Then I met Dan Parks and Gloria Nelson. Glo is the kind of ballsy lady who’ll hijack your session if you don’t know your stuff, and the lady I’d come to see speak didn’t. Curious as to who Glo was, I started a conversation with her. She introduced me to Second Life, a virtual world where you could interact using avatars, headsets and chat windows on your computer. Then she called over Dan and the good Dr. James Hogg. I had a camera on me (remember the ones with USB sticks?) so I filmed them giving me a tour of the Meetings Community Mansion. Then they took care of me for the rest of the conference, making sure I was introduced to the right people, went to the right parties.

But more importantly, they introduced me to a world of connective technology that became my passion. Second Life and the MeCo listserve they moderated became my gateway drug. I learned to love the meetings industry.

SERIOUSLY, NOW I LOVE MEETINGS.

SERIOUSLY, NOW I LOVE MEETINGS. < I PLAN ABOUT 12/YR.

Years passed. In February, I got a message from Dan. “I have an invitation for Google Glass,” he wrote. “Do you want one?”

“YES!!!!!” I wrote back.

Then I thought, “F#ck. How the hell will I pay for them?”

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