When it is midnight and the day has been too long, it is time to do a video dump. Here goes.
Rohit Bhargava and Kaitlyn Wilkins got into the iLounge on daypasses today with their FlipCams and kicked butt with a ton of good interviews with the athlete bloggers. Check out the YouTube channel, LenovoAthleteBlogger. I like South African kayaker Shaun Rubenstein’s observation that the athlete blog movement is gaining steam among his fellow kayakers who want to stay “trendy.”
I had dinner at the Temple of the Five Pagodas, or Wutasi, near the Beijing Zoo. The place is incredibly beautiful and 500 years old. This was with our VIP guests and I sat with Jeff Levick from Google. I liked the music ladies a lot. The calligraphy over the round table — original poem drawn by Mao himself.
On the Olympic Green on Wednesday I saw this hallucination:
I was interviewed at the USA House this morning by Loretta Chao at the Wall Street Journal. When she was interviewing our CMO I decided to film her filming him. The audio is useless. But hey. It’s content. Go complain elsewhere.
Big day for us. CNBC says we’re doing the best job of any of the Olympic sponsors and third in terms of traditional media mentions after McDonalds and Coke. . I remain paranoid, taking nothing for granted, this is not the time for self-congratulations and now we’re about to light up the afterburners with a much bigger online promotional play. Our teams in Bangalore and New York are now sharing in the sleeplessness.
Richard from the comments points to a piece in the Financial Times and this quote:
“David Melançon, a partner at the Ito Partnership, a brand consultancy, says he is impressed with Lenovo’s efforts to connect with potential customers through blogging and social networking during the games.”
Big Olympic cliche is the trading of pins. Little medal/enamel trinkets. I thought it was an athlete thing — “I’ll trade you my Russia for your USA pin” — but it turns out everybody from the sponsors to the teams to cities bidding for future Games are in on the action.
If you are cool (I saw this first on colleague Andrew Barron) you show off your pins on the neck ribbon that holds your security pass. As of today I have contracted pin fever and am as manic as a jackdaw (I think that is the name of the bird that steals shiny objects to decorate its nest). Here is my collection after five days. I am on track to make my flair quota.
This is where I spend a good portion of every day here in Beijing. A board room two floors below the lobby of the Beijing Grand Hyatt next to our VIP guest hospitality center. This is the central nervous system for tickets, transportation to and from the Olympic venues, planning, fire fighting, special requests and your’s truly, Lenovo’s Olympic Blogger-in-Chief.
I don’t do much except clean the empties off the desk so we don’t spill coffee on the spreadsheets and flow charts.
From left to right is Mike Cunningham, he’s our Mister Wolf (Pulp Fiction reference) who can make anything happen. Melissa Herb is the quarterback, she works as a liason with all the different Lenovo leaders and makes sure it all goes according to plan. Julie Gifford is in charge of transportation logistics. She has a walkie talkie in one ear and a cell phone in the other. She makes air traffic control look easy. Jenni Morgan seems to do everything — juggling more balls and details than can be imagined. And finally, Tom Grimes is the man on the scene at the Olympic Hospitality Center. This crew sometimes operates on three hours of sleep per day, never knows what the weather is like outside unless someone tells them, and yet is the source of the funniest repartee I’ve seen since the newsroom of PC Week in the early 80s.
That’s only the tip of the iceberg. Next door is a huge room with about 40 people in it. Stacks of t-shirts, Olympic pins, IT dudes, junk food, weird hotel food, big signs so guests won’t get lost, drivers, printers, tired people, happy people ….
My complaint is the TV in the war room does not get NBC (NBC is camped at the St. Regis so there is NBC there of course) and so we watch China television which only shows Chinese athletes winning Chinese medals and then every so often does 30 minutes of economic news which is usually scenes of farms, dams, livestock, wind farms, coal fired electical generation plants, and every now and then a Lenovo ad.