Posted by arnold
on June 11, 2003 at 12:47 PM PDT
... wherein we wonder what marketing folks are thinking ...
I will never understand why marketing people haven't
learned how to talk to geeks after the decades since computer
conferences have been going on. Scripted pseudo-conversations,
for example, really don't work -- they're just inane. The fact
that they're pre-scripted makes them inane. There's just
no way around it. It's not like the two Sun engineers showing off
Rave were making this demo up.
Is a Web Service possibly available on the entire World Wide Web?
Thanks for saying so, I wasn't sure! She wanted three components?
Which ones? Wow, what a surprise! She would like to add a column
to the database, can he do that? Why, yes he can! Would adding
some buttons be good? Why yes, she thinks so!
We've all seen worse, by a long stretch.
href="#kwlFN1"> But it was bad enough to
get me to fire up my laptop and kvetch about it (maybe to avoid
Marketing folks, listen up: This Never Works.
At least it was punctuated by a live demo failure. That
was real, and handled very well. And look how it brought the crowd
back in, so listen up: Reality Works.
(If that was staged to pull folks in ... Nah, couldn't happen.)
Oh, and in case you were still counting: The number of people
brought on the stage from smaller companies doing cool stuff?
 The worst I ever saw
was at a Usenix conference where some company was claiming to
provide "The Marriage Between Unix and Foo". (I've mercifully
forgotten what "Foo" actually was.) So they hired a couple of actors
to dress up as bride and groom and hang around the booth for a
few days of scheduled events like "The Cake", "The Champagne",
and (get ready to cringe) "The Vows". I hung out in a booth across
the aisle and watched, sort of like looking at a car accident.
Attendees started to avoid the entire aisle of because it was so
embarrassing, and the company's booth geeks were trying to make
sure their badges were on backwards so they could possibly get
another job again, hopefully before the end of the show.
I suppose, in some sense, the marketeers succeeded in burning the
event into my brain. Frightening, now that I think of that.