I was scheduled to meet Sam Flemming from CIC Data, the top China social media consulting and monitoring company at 2 pm today, but spaced out and was on my way to Tien’amen Square to snap some shots and buy a new 50 mm 1.8 portrait lens. I got an email from a colleague telling me I was in serious hot water for blogging about how I was conning Beijing cabbies into taking the special Olympic lanes on the ring roads on the basis of my ordinary yellow IOC/BOCOG security pass placed on the dashboard. Since there was a URL of a site that apparently was linking to me – www.accreditationabuse.com (no such site exists of course, but I am gullible as well as a flaming doofus) – I flew back to my hotel room to do damage control. I got into the room, fired up the PC, and there was a direct Tweet from Sam confirming our 2 pm which we had scheduled a month ago.
Whoops. Right. That meeting. As I sent a direct tweet back to Sam and checked my email it dawned on me that I was the victim of a classic jape at the hands of my colleagues who watched me wrestle all last week with a certain entity which shall not be mentioned. They knew I was paranoid and a perfect sitting duck for a practical joke. Got me. Nice.
I call Sam and Sam is in the hotel already getting ready to have lunch in the mall with Kaiser Kuo – he of my top ten resolutions for Beijing list, founding member of China’s first heavy metal band, the Tang Dynasty, and premier Sino-Social blogger and interactive expert from Ogilvy. So I invited myself to finally meet Kaiser.
We did dim sum, told stories, I learned a pantload about SMM and interactive trends – like more in the course of a lunch than in three years of China watching from the States. Then we got onto one topic of another and that led to my saying I wished I could meet the Imagethief, (blog won’t load for me due to a neverbeforeseen “compression” error) Will Moss, with whom I’ve swapped mutual admiration links in the past. Aha, Will works in the same plaza as the hotel, so Kaiser dialed him up and within the hour we were all sitting in the coffee shop yakking it up some more.
Will Moss, Sam Flemming, and Kaiser Kuo
Will brought along Ben Ross, who has been blogging about his experiences as a shampoo/massage boy in a Chinese barber shop. (The kind with scissors, Will and Kaiser were keen to point out). Pretty wild stuff.
This was a great way to spend my second to last afternoon, and after we broke up I made my way to the Nikon dealership, bought the lens, then walked back through Tien’amen and the back streets to the hotel. Off to the farewell staff party, then I pack. Tomorrow will have to be souvenir day. No rowing at Shunyi – the course is locked down in preparation for the Paralympics which begin this week. Thanks to Sam, Kaiser and Will for the nice reception, makes me want to move to China all the more.