What I have learned from a week in Ohio

So I headed to NYC for meetings (trashed by the storm) and a family visit(that worked) and then came to Ohio to hang with the BF’s family and dear friends. It’s been an interesting week, calm and freezing, with enough online access to keep me from going nuts (and to remind me what a workaholic I am).

Here’s some of what I learned and reflected on this week:
1) Winter is worse in NYC, especially Manhattan, than other places.  The extreme snow I plodded through most of the week was easy to handle when I wasn’t navigating Manhattan streets, subways and public transport. Not really going anywhere made the snow a nice scenic benefit; even when I did travel, using a car made it easier.  Lesson 1: If I ever consider moving back east, locate work and home really close together so travelling is lessened–that’s where the curses are, not the snow itself.

2) Social media–say what?  My NYC family has graduated to Linked-In, but for those over 15, Facebook is uncharted territory and twitter is who knows what. friend feed? nuthin’.  Here is in the Midwest, among people who don’t associate computers with either their personal identity or a means of being cool, everyone knows what Facebook is (and most use it), but LinkedIn seems kinda new-fangled, and twitter is a ghost. Lesson: For many people, computers are still something you use to get work done more efficiently.

3) Despite #2, social media provides insight and knowledge into people that can float all boats.  My old friend Phil Boiarski and his wife Kay and I met up and we had a great time and lots to talk about! Why? We follow one another on twitter and via blogs, flickr, friendfeed, etc. Man, did that narrow the gap! Lesson: Having rapport counts for a lot, but social media can feed it.

4) E-commerce is essential for anyone not living near a big city.  We’re spending the last couple of days with some friends in a college town hours from both Columbus and Cleveland–and the amount of mail order goods that flows through here is impressive. Not that there isn’t a good market, and a Whole Foods 90 minutes away, but the more specific alternative for lots of things is ordering online. Books, organic ingredients, special break flours, you name it…the postman delivers.

5) There’s no place like home.  Getting away is swell, but I can’t wait to get back to California. Not only do I have tons of work to do, but I just want to dig in in my own space, And reconnect with the people I haven’t seen since I was out here. And….