9:50 EST - Ok, I give Cal Ripken credit. Expected he'd just roll in, do a 15-minute shtick, collect his substantial fee and beat it. But he spent almost an hour giving a talk by the indoor pool, telling baseball stories with leadership themes, answering questions, posing for photos and signing autographs (the dire warnings apparently didn't come from him). Can't say he said anything particularly memorable but it was a living example of his impressive ironman work ethic. Couldn't bring myself to hand him a dvd, though I had my chance. It just felt too cheesy.
Afterwards, talked to a few bloggers over drinks and chicken wings. They seemed genuinely excited by The Kids, eager to see it. These guys want to shoot an interview tomorrow. Another is pushing a book driven by his popular blog and is clearly knowlegable about how to drive sales online. Collected a handful of business cards, now flavored with medium hot sauce.
I came in with pretty moderate expectations but this could be a very fruitful few days.
6:14pm EST - On the flight down to Atlanta I try to push out of my mind the dozens of outreach emails I need to crank out and try to focus on the task at hand.
The main one, of course, is I have a film about daddyhood that I want every last daddy blogger here to know -- and blog -- about. For that I've lugged the usual assortment of screeners, postcards and business cards, and actually given some thought to what I'll say on my Saturday panel. Hopefully I can muster a dollop of personal charm, as well.
Since I want every last daddy (and mommy and son and daughter) to know about The Kids, too, I'm eager to sharpen my social networking skill set. The M3 website promises that I'll learn all sorts of cutting edge tips and strategies for "harnessing the excitement and electricity of the Internet’s latest buzz" to build my brand.
But beyond all the Self-Promotion 2.0 stuff, I really do have a larger goal. And that's simply to get beyond any preconceptions about what the M3 Summit is and be open to what can happen when a bunch of thoughtful men who share their day-to-day experiences of fatherhood online get together in one place for a few days. I'm not just eager for a social media revitalization. I need to get my manhood mojo rising.
On that note, I'm about to head off to the opening night party featuring baseball great Cal Ripken, Jr. We've been warned ahead of time not to ask Cal for autographs, not to take photos or to record him in any way, shape or form (all cell phones are to be confiscated at the door). Dire consequences are in store for anyone who disobeys.
But nobody said nuthin' about giving him a dvd screener. Hmmm...