Tag Archives: twitter

How long will Carol and I be able to dine local?

Sunday, May 27

We made the decision last night while having dinner at Babalu, a locally-owned restaurant in the Fondren district of Jackson.  My wife and I will attempt to eat at only locally-owned restaurants when we dine out – which we do quite often.  How long will it last?

As many of you who follow this blog know, my wife Carol and I are involved in economic development.  That means we are interested in local economies.  News stories abound about how local businesses of all types have been affected by everything from globalization to mergers and acquisitions.  We discussed ways to support local businesses.  That’s a lot more difficult than one would imagine because of imports of just about everything.  After much discussion we decided that one thing we could do would be to choose only locally-owned establishments when we dine out. No national franchises.

As we got deeper into the discussion we realized that this will be no easy task.  Just yesterday we grabbed a sandwich and a salad for lunch at a nearby Subway.  Also, one of Carol’s favorite culinary pleasures is a milk shake from Chik-Fil-A.  I often stop at McDonald’s for a cup of coffee when I’m on the road.  We realized that this is not going to be easy, especially given the fact that both of us travel a fair amount.  So we came up with some rules.  They are as follows:

1.  No nationally-franchised eateries unless they are owned by Mississippians (thank you McAlister’s Deli);

2.  Small purchases, such as a cup of coffee, are not allowed;

3.  Takeout is the same as dining at a restaurant; and

4.  This quest only applies in the State of Mississippi.

I’ll do a weekly blog post on our project, but if you want to follow every meal not eaten at home then you can do so on Twitter, where I’ll tweet every time I eat out.  I’m at @philhardwick.

This should be interesting.  And now we are off for jazz brunch with friends at Table 100, a locally-owned restaurant in Flowood.

Using Technology at Conventions and Conferences

This week I attended a conference where tweets were displayed in real-time on a large screen to the right of the front of the room.  The moderator even invited audience members to tweet their questions and comments.  At first I thought it would be distracting, but soon realized that at conferences most people can do several things with their minds during a panel discussion or a speaker presentation.  In contrast, three weeks ago I attended a conferences where less than a third (according to a random sample of the audience) even had a Facebook account.  I think I was the only one tweeting at that conference.

Both conferences are at the extremes of technology use at conferences and conventions.  I suspect such use will grow, although it seems that there are an increasing number of conferences that urge attendees to turn off the technology.  Generally, it seems that the larger the conference the greater the use of technology.

Technology certainly improves productivity for event and conference managers.  On-site laptops and portable printers make name badges instantly and professional-looking.  On-site registration using PayPal and credit card devices is becoming more common. And for all its criticism and misuse, PowerPoint, the ubiquitous technology tool of presenters, is still the staple of conference presenters.

As a regular conference attendee and presenter I find it fascinating to watch technology use at meetings.  And yet, there is nothing like sitting at a roundtable with a few other people and just talking and listening.