So about 80% of the people on the plane to New Hampshire were reading Harry Potter last night. Well, ok, maybe 8 people, but it seemed like a lot. The guy next to me warned me when he sat down. “If you know the ending, I don’t want to hear it.” Between the hour long delay getting out in Philly and the hour long plane ride, he cruised through about 200 pages. Impressive.
When I got out of the terminal here in “Manchestah” to where the hotel shuttle was supposed to be, a woman who had arrived for the user group meeting I’m keynoting tomorrow recognized me (oy…t-shirt, two-day beard…oy) with, you guessed, it Harry Potter in hand. He’s everywhere.
Then today, in the midst of a workshop I was doing, I tweet to the network that we’re looking for the favorite Web 2.0 tools of the group. Within minutes, the tweets start coming in. I’m showing it real time in Twitter Camp. The people of the room are mesmerized. I’m trying to articulate what all of this means, the fact that in the midst of my sobbing at the Philly airport yesterday watching some soldiers come back from Iraq, greeted by their screaming children and affectionate wives, not being able to imagine what it must be like for them, that in the midst of that powerful moment I decided to Tweet the fact that I was sobbing.
I need help.
So anyway, in response to the tool question, Lucy Gray (who’s Twittering her way to Monterey, btw) responds with “How about Scribd?” and I’m like “How ’bout wha?” So I go there and try to take like one minute to make sense of what I’m looking at when I see someone has posted a .pdf of the entire Harry Potter book scanned in a page at a time.
And I’m doing this on screen as everyone is watching, and there are like audible gasps and reactions from the group and I’m getting pretty stunned, mumble something about copyright and intellectual property when all of a sudden I see this link underneath the .pdf that says “mp3,” and I’m going “this can’t be what I think it is” and so I click on the link and sure enough it starts downloading this huge file to iTunes which after a few minutes opens up and this female computer voice starts reading the last Harry Potter book through my computer speakers to the whole room. And there are a couple of women in the front who have their fingers in their ears saying “Ooooooommmmmm. Ooooooommmmmm.” so they can’t hear this voice which, if you really pay attention you can kinda get in the rhythm of things and follow along the story.
Have I mentioned lately, I love this stuff? I really, really do. Every day for me is like a little kid at Christmas, my eyes opened wide by what this interconnected life I’m leading brings my way. Today was, on balance, just too much fun.
I’m not worthy.