Tag Archives: president

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.

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.