Our DC Trip in videos

We shot most of the interviews on our two HD camcorders, but they are a lot harder to work, especially when we had to do five interviews in one day, like we did on Wednesday. We now have a new rule: no more than three interviews on any one day. Five almost killed us, especially since two of them weren’t in the same place so we needed to take taxis across town (and after doing all that work we had a party where 500 people showed up to see me and Gary Vaynerchuk — thanks to Andrew Feinberg and Nick O’Neil and several others for helping to make that a really great event).

We did so many interviews and meetings I am having trouble remembering them all.

Let’s see if I can remember them all, and link to their videos on Qik.

  1. Speaker of the House’s Private Balcony. Great views down the National Mall.
  2. Senator Tom Coburn. We got that on Qik, but it’s hard to hear — we’ll get our HD version up in next couple of weeks.
  3. Representative Tim Ryan. Part I on Qik. Part II. HD version coming soon. Those were shot with Andrew Feinberg’s Nokia. I also shot it, but we had a ton of trouble getting a reliable connection, so I didn’t get the whole thing. But my recordings are here: Part I (before the Interview started). Part II. Part III. I called Tim “the Twittering Congressman).
  4. A tour of the Senate’s Press Room (recording devices and computers are not allowed into the press area on Senate Floor).
  5. Representative John Culberson. I liked him the best, he started out by showing us how he ambushed a reporter with his Qik video camera. Then he sat down with us and we had a fun conversation. Andrew Feinberg also filmed this interview and got a different point of view on the conversation (I liked his view better, and my camera crashed so I missed some of the coolest stuff while we were walking through his office. Luckily Andrew got that).
  6. Kyle McSlarrow, CEO of NCTA. Only filmed on our HD camcorders, we’ll have that up in the next couple of weeks.
  7. Representative Cliff Stearns. Only filmed on our HD camcorders, we’ll have that up in the next couple of weeks.
  8. Representative Ed Markey. Only filmed on our HD camcorders, we’ll have that up in the next couple of weeks.
  9. FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein. Here’s my view of the Interview on my cell phone. It’ll be fun to see this compared with our HD camcorders.
  10. Representative Zoe Lofgren. Only filmed on our HD camcorders, we’ll have that up in the next couple of weeks.
  11. Barack Obama’s Tech Advisor, Alec Ross. Not filmed, since it was just a breakfast meeting.
  12. White House Deputy Press Secretary Scott Stanzel. See below.
  13. Deputy Director of Newseum, Jack Hurley gave us a tour of the Newseum. More on that in a second. See below.

We had two cancellations due to scheduling conflicts. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi and Representative George Miller. We’ll be back in DC in September, so will try again then to setup interviews with them.

The Newseum tour was split up into several parts. The Deputy Director of Newseum showed us around.

  1. Lobby and 2-million-pixel screen. Shows us a news helicopter hanging in lobby and world’s largest hydraulic elevators.
  2. Top of Newseum (great views of the Capitol).
  3. Today’s Front Pages (every day they hang more than 600 front pages from around the world — printed out via PDFs).
  4. The 9/11 Gallery where a piece of the Pentagon, the cameras of the only journalist to die, front pages from around the world on 9/12, and the top of the World Trade Center.
  5. First Amendment walkway and gallery, which explain and demonstrate the freedoms Americans have due to the First Amendment.
  6. Master Control where a wall of computers and screens let a group of technicians to run all the systems in the museum (which is massive).
  7. Internet, TV, and Radio Gallery. Twitterer Jim Long is even featured in one of the videos on one of the walls that explain blogging).
  8. Journalists Memorial, which shows the hundreds of journalists who’ve died. Also shows off an armored pickup truck that protected journalists and is riddled with flak and bullet holes. Later, at about 3 minutes into this video, we see a map of the world which shows whether or not your country has a free press.
  9. Interactive newsroom gallery. Here you can create your own newscast, and play a game to test out your journalistic ethics.

Scott Stanzel, White House Deputy Press Secretary, shows us the Rose Garden, the outside of the Oval Office, the press area, and more. Sorry about the poor quality, I couldn’t get much bandwidth out of the Rose Garden. Later Marine One (a helicopter that holds the President) arrives, and I get told I can’t do live video while the President is outside. Even later Scott takes us into the White House Briefing Room and gives us a tour of that.

Finally, as we were checking out of our hotel we encountered a crowd of press and protesters waiting for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to show up.

Anyway, as we get more of our “pro quality” video up I’ll link those in as well.

Our DC trip in Photos

My son and I shot hundreds of photos, I uploaded the best 30 or so to my Flickr account. But wanted to call a few out here so you could see my favorites.

TEACHING PATRICK ABOUT HISTORY

Patrick visits Washington Press Club

I’m so happy I got to bring my 14-year-old son along for this trip because he got a first-hand look at the history of our world. From seeing the front pages of famous newspapers in the Washington Press Club (above) to seeing what the Berlin Wall looked like at the Newseum to seeing the first machines that took us into space at the Air and Space Museum, not to mention taking him to many of the monuments and memorials that are spread throughout Washington, it all will have a profound effect on him. I still remember when my parents took me to see the Lincoln Memorial when I was a kid.

INSIDE THE HALLS OF POWER

Picture perfect

Here we’re inside the press office of the Speaker of the House. Nancy Pelosi’s office. They have a stunning view down the National Mall to the Washington Monument out their Window.

THE NEW PRESS CONFERENCE

The new press conference

Andrew Feinberg and I interviewed a few elected officials using our cell phones. Here’s a great picture, taken by my son, of this in action. The Congressman, John Culberson, is a social media revolutionary (his words) in that he’s taking his cell phone (a Nokia N95) onto the floor of the House of Representatives and other places (he shot NASA as they landed the Phoenix rover onto the surface of Mars).

Andrew’s video of John Culberson is here, and my video of him is here in two parts (Part I; Part II).

REMEMBERING

Rocky at WWII Memorial

The WWII Memorial is right near the center of the Mall and is one not to be missed. We saw it several times, and I’d recommend seeing this one at night. It’s hard not to tear up and remember what so many gave for our freedom.

Top of World Trade Center in Newseum

Bill Biggart's camera (only journalist killed on 9/11)

Inside the Newseum there’s a sizeable collection of 9/11 things in one huge room of the museum. The museum staff tells me that the “dwell time,” or time that each visitor spends in each collection is 45 minutes for just this one room in the museum (which is huge — the average visitor spends more than four hours there, they told us). One thing that grabbed my eye was Bill Biggart’s camera. He was the only journalist killed in 9/11.

Headline on 9/11

Along one wall next to the TV antenna from the top of the World Trade Center are the front pages from all the newspapers on September 12, 2001. Patrick liked, and captured, this one, from the San Francisco Examiner, which screamed, simply: “Bastards!”

THE WHITE HOUSE

Rocky "holds" a press conference

Thanks to White House Deputy Press Secretary Scott Stanzel (I knew him from when we both worked at Microsoft) we got a great little tour of the press briefing room in the White House. Of course we had our turns at the podium and got to act like we were the President, briefing reporters. Here’s Rocky Barbanica, my producer, holding a fake news conference. Of course, if this were a real news conference Jim Long, NBC camera guy in the White House, would be in the back with his video camera. Instead he was shooting a briefing over at the Pentagon but we got to see him at our party the night before where 500 people showed up (thank you! It was an amazing party for me and Gary Vaynerchuk).

The President says goodbye

I don’t care if you don’t like his politics or not (I don’t) but seeing the President take off in Marine One is, well, simply cool.

FAMILY TREASURE

Patrick and Robert in White House

I will always treasure this photo, taken by Scott Stanzel, of my son and me. To the untrained eye it might not seem to be that remarkable. But this path is walked every morning by the President on his way to the Oval Office. Right next to the path is the famous Rose Garden. So much of history has happened here that it was very special just being here and seeing it. Thanks to Scott for giving us a tour, giving me an interview, and taking this photo.

What an interesting week, next week will be hard to make as interesting, but we’ll try.

Visit NYC & Washington D.C. with us

Tonight my 14-year-old son, Rocky (my producer), and I leave SFO to start what is bound to be one of the most interesting weeks in our lives. One thing we’re going to try to do is bring you along whenever possible. Before I get to that, though, I can’t say thank you enough to Andrew Feinberg of Capitol Valley.net and Washington Internet Daily enough for getting us into see some really interesting people. He, and his team, have been doing all sorts of work with us for months to make this trip happen and he’s been doing it for free without any expectation of anything in return. Unbelieveable guy and team and all of us at FastCompany greatly appreciate his partnership.

Here’s where to follow me:

1. On my Qik channel. I’ll do frequent live Qik videos. I’ll try to Twitter when interesting ones are about to start.
2. On my Twitter feed. I frequently Twitter from the road about what we’re doing and experiencing, plus I can answer your questions there.
3. On my FriendFeed. Even better place to talk with me. My Twitters, photos, and other things, show up on FriendFeed within minutes of me doing them and this is the best place to talk with me. I probably spend 80% of my time there, so watch this to see the best stuff.
4. Another important feed to watch is my “Likes” feed on FriendFeed. This is totally different than #3 and is YOUR stuff that I’ve “Liked.” If you want to see if there’s some value to FriendFeed this is a good place to lurk and it’s where I track the top news items.
5. On my Flickr feed I’ll post photos. My Nokia phones can get photos up within seconds of me taking them.
6. I’ll be participating in the chat room on my Kyte.tv channel — the chat room there is better because it stays up permanently and I can participate in it via text, audio, or video.
7. Rocky Barbanica, my producer, has a Twitter feed too, and so does Andrew Feinberg.

I probably won’t write many blogs here until I get back. We’re just way too busy. Check out our schedule.

TODAY: A BBQ with my dad and brother and our family. We take the red-eye to New York tonight at about 10 p.m.
SUNDAY: A free day in NYC. The Personal Democracy Forum is throwing a dinner in the evening, which we’ll attend.
MONDAY: We’re attending the Personal Democracy Forum and I’m on a panel where we’ll be talking about the Live Web (of which you are getting a great demo of above). The panel is at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. I’m sure we’ll Twitter and Qik and Kyte that a bit. After the panel we’ll take the train to Washington DC.
TUESDAY: Most of these interviews will be 15 minutes and we’ll be literally running from one interview to the next. I am not sure which ones I’ll be able to Qik, but we’ll try to Qik at least some of them:

WEDNESDAY:

THURSDAY:

  • Still being planned out. Possible tour of White House. Also will probably play tourist and see the Newseum and other museums. Jim Long, NBC Camera person at the White house, and famous Twitterer, is working on something, but hasn’t been firmed up yet.

Whew!

Anyway, please come along and we’ll try to get you to participate. If you have any specific questions for any of these people, please leave them here and we’ll read them during our interviews.

A Silicon Valley-Washington DC conversation

Several months ago Andrew Feinberg, founder of the Capitol Valley.net blog, laid down a challenge to me and other tech bloggers: why don’t we ever come to Washington D.C. to get the politicians’ view of the tech industry?

After all, politicians have huge control over our industry.

They can decide things concerning network neutrality, taxation, whether universities get funded so that our industry will have a constant stream of new potential new employees, immigration (one tech-industry CEO recently told me his company is losing its best R&D talent which we educated here, but then are forced to go back home due to immigration laws), wireless bandwidth allocation, and much much more.

These are issues that the “shiny new thing chasers” like me don’t often talk about cause, well, they require doing homework and building partnerships and, well, going to Washington DC. Most of the geeks I hang out with don’t like hanging out with politicians. They would rather watch an hour-long-PowerPoint presentation on some boring enterprise-focused technology than hang out with politicians.

But I saw value in Andrew’s plea. He was right that we need a new conversation about technology and politics, particularly because there will be a regime change in Washington DC in January (even McCain would bring a different approach to the tech industry than Bush had).

So, next week me and the crew from FastCompany.tv is headed to New York for a day to attend the Personal Democracy Forum. Andrew will do some interviews there with me and I’ll be on a panel discussion.

Then on Tuesday we’re headed to Washington DC. Right now we’re tentatively speaking to four congressmen/women including Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the house.

My agenda for the week?

1. Learn about pending or upcoming legislation that will affect the technology industry.
2. Start a dialog between tech journalists and politician’s staffs, so we will have better understanding of what they are thinking and will have a chance to get our audiences feedback on potential legislation.
3. Hear how the regime change (er, Presidential election) will affect what they are thinking and what executives at technology companies should be aware of going into 2009.
4. Listen and bring you into conversations. I hope to do some Qik videos while there, and have some discussions on Twitter and FriendFeed.

Andrew also has us scheduled to interview a few key members of the FCC and we’re still working on our schedules to fit in some other fun stuff.

Plus, on Wednesday night we’re hosting a party which is open to all — wow, 122 are already signed up on the Facebook page for the party. We’re hosting Gary Vaynerchuk, the web superstar behind Wine Library TV and owner of one of the biggest wine stores in the world, along with a few other surprises.

Anyway, I really want to thank Andrew Feinberg. He did all the heavy lifting on this week and it should be an amazing week. He has my deepest respect and can’t wait to see what conversations start.

We’ll publish our calendars as we get them firmed up. Unfortunately in the world of politics even the best planned out calendar can instantly change due to world events, so we probably won’t know for sure we’ll get interviews with specific people until it happens.

Anyway, anything you’d like us to look into while we’re there? Leave suggestions on the comments here.