Vegas, baby. Vegas

Title is my favorite Vegas quote cliché. Couldn’t resist.

And so it came to pass that the great USAA employer gods would wish to send me out into the wilderness, to survey the landscape and gauge the culture that exists outside the walls of our campus.

What better event to check out than one of the largest social media conferences in the world, the Blogworld Expo? And what better venue than Las Vegas?

I flew from San Antonio to Phoenix then to Vegas. It was interesting seeing the landscape change. While I’ve spent time on the West Coast, I’ve always hopped over the South West. Fort Hood was about as “west” as I’ve ever been, from a tumbleweed, dusty savanna kind of perspective. It was pretty neat seeing mountains again. Green fell away off the color scheme for the most part, though I see how allergies are on the rise in Phoenix—so many pools, trees and forced lush greenery. The trip into Vegas itself was even more interesting. By change, I happened to look out the window as we drew near and saw the Hoover Dam, you know, the place Michael Bay let the cat out of the bag concerning where we’re keeping Megatron. It’s important that you stick with me on these things.

It was pretty gnarly, even from a pretty good clip up in the air. I landed to a setting sun, so the strip hadn’t sparked to life. Las Vegas has a very interesting skyline, as you’d imagine. There are spires, pyramids (well, one big one) and the typical less exotic high rises. What’s funny is everything is Las Vegas-ified. So the McDonalds are sparkly with lights and a huuuuuge sign. The Motel 6 near my hotel has a sign nearly as large as the building itself. Pretty sweet. I’ll have a chance to roam around and take pictures more over the next couple of days.

For now, though, I had to catch up on some work, answer some emails and all that. I’m not here for kicks, there’s work to be done.

I am very interested in learning more about blogging, in particular. Sure, I’ve been a blogger in spats since 2004 and have run this blog since 2005, but I still have a lot to learn about cultivating an audience and approaching community building. And since those are the types of things I am to perform in my new position at USAA, then I better get cracking at learning from the best. I’m pretty stoked to check out the keynote speakers and I’m interested who’s running the “milblogging” tracks. We do have a few military blogger celebrity types. I’ll gush and name drop tomorrow after I meet a few of them.

Amateur goof goes to me for not being obnoxious enough at work. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying to find out what the heck happened to the business cards I was supposed to get. I only re-engaged on the process a few days ago and came to find out some “t” didn’t get crossed on some email somewhere (should have used a Sharpie on the monitor, I suppose). So, I’ll be meeting dozens of people with a handshake and a smile, hoping they don’t mind if I can’t return the gesture of their business cards. Can’t we just use “bump” on our phones, anyway?

I’m told my snazzy new cards will be overnighted to my hotel in a couple of days, but I’ll have to win over friends and influence people a capella until my rectangular credentials arrive at the front desk. It’s how I rolled in the service for a while, so I’m not too worried. Heck, I just broke down and printed my own cards even then. It’s no biggie.

So yes, BlogWorld Expo. Me and 50,000,000 other bloggers. I’m here to scout for allies and infiltrate social media circles. Wish me luck, friends!


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About salemonz

Born in San Diego, Calif. Raised as a Navy Brat, I jumped ship and crossed over to the Army. Served as an enlisted journalist for a bunch of years, then helped the DoD figure out what the hell to do with social media. After the Army, now I drift down the river of life, trying not to be a jerk.

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