Wednesday, April 18, 2001

Untethered, Unplugged and Undone

NYNMA packed another house full at the Cooper Union auditorium for its latest evening panel series: "Internet Unplugged: The World Wide Web Goes Wireless" on Wednesday, April 18. Despite the inconvenient placement of many columns within the auditorium, there was sufficient turnout and the panelists were bombarded, as usual, with questions from eager attendees. Many of the questions, however, were simply requests for definitions for all the jargon thrown out over the course of the evening. One panelist even confessed that it would've been better if the conversation was a bit more balanced with more information about business models and less about technology.
After the discussion, heavy hors d'oeuvres filled the empty tummies of many a guest as their minds absorbed all they'd just heard. Waltzing past the aromatic Swedish meatballs (Thank you cocktail-party-sponsor Ericsson!), I chanced upon the beaming Sorceron Howard Greenstein, who proceeded to show me, Managing Editor Pamela Parker and Arbitron Internet Information Services Marketing Consultant Jodie Kahn pictures of his newborn boy. We oohed and ahhed, for he was almost as cute as his papa! The dance of networking was not over for this girl though, and I spun around to bid "bonjour" to consultants Debbie Newman (in a fine suede and sherling vest) and Richard Glosser. JP Morgan eInvestment group-ers Scott McDonald and Piers Connell were coolly investigating the scene from their corner, and nearby I said "hellos" to IXL's Diana Butler, Sorceron's bizdev EVP Catherine Billon. Regina Downey and Tom Boytinck came to hear about the future of wireless. He said that the "unexciting" panelists weren't persuasive and "haven't figured out how consumers will pay for all this." Ah, yes -- consumers. They're the ones that can determine the success of a company, right?

The hard-working team at NYNMA -- Executive Director Alice O'Rourke, Evening Panel Series Director Dawn Barber, Educational Programs Director Ellen Auwarter and the scores of volunteers -- were on hand to ensure that the evening went on without a hitch! AOL's Talent Coordinator Joy Dargent and Marketing Consultant Heidi Cohen were a bit of relief from the dark sea of schmoozers in their purple and orange, respectively, spring garments. Joy also told me that it was my class at The Learning Annex that helped her land her first job in the Internet industry. Pretty nifty, huh? Brand Illumination PR Consultant Ed Gyurko, Bob Goodale, Spamex's Justin Greene and Seth Price were also out and about this night of wireless-wisdom-networking.

NYNMA's wireless panel was incorrectly identified as "Internet Unplugged: The WWW Goes Wireless." The correct title is: "Making Money from Thin Air: Turning the Wireless Internet Into a Business."