Hard News by Russell Brown


Because that's how I roll

I was musing to someone this morning that, for reasons unclear, I appear to have jumped PR lists. I'm getting a different grade of invitation now, and the couriers beating a path to the front door are dropping new goods.

Hence, later today I'll have to get out of my tracksuit pants and into a suit to join "14 other prominent CEOs in a Chatham House rules style discussion" about New Zealand's communications infrastructure, to be hosted by New Zealand Institute CEO David Skilling in the private dining room of a good restaurant.

Ergo, I am a prominent CEO. If only my Dad were around to see it. In his absence, I guess I'll just have to make a grand gesture. Take the whole Dubwise Arrangements Limited staff out to lunch on Friday, perhaps. A table for two a Prego, then.

(Perhaps Ralston will be there, and I'll be able to congratulate him for his moving story of a family's struggle with the trauma of multiple suicides, in this week's Listener. In a world of celebrity columnists, Bill can actually write.)

Further evidence of my vaulting executive status came with the recent arrival of a new Blackberry Curve. Even though there was a "mobile mentor" into the bargain, I'm still traumatised by the bloody thing. There I was, a little dazed, trying to call my pals after the Cale concert last week, and none of their numbers were in the damn phone. When my Blackberry coach called back he determined that we'd neglected to do Address Book > Menu > Contacts on SIM > Copy over Contacts. Oh, right, how could I not have known that?

I've promised Paul Brislen (in the hood, we still call him The BRZA) I'll get back on the horse, and apart from anything else, I'm gaggin' for the Curve launch next week, which will feature a multimedia installation by Mike Hodgson and friends. Mike's talents are criminally under-used in New Zealand, to the extent that I've never actually seen one of his jobs. It's being presented in association with 42 Below, Mercedes, and Scent of Vulcan Lane. No free party pills then, clearly.

But for the moment, the SIM is back in my Motorola RAZR Maxx V6 (mine by virtue of enrolment in the MotoAmbassador programme, which provides a free phone at the cost of allowing myself to be snapped by Norrie Montgomery on a roughly annual basis) -- which I was obliged to configure and use as my internet connection this morning, on account of Wired Country going on one of its occasional mystery walkabouts, and my backup DSL connection working the way DSL connections so often work in Pt Chev: that being, not at all.

In the course of a longish support call with a pleasant Indian woman at Ihug (yes, I'm the kind of prominent CEO who makes his own tech support calls -- because that's just how I roll) we determined that the DSL connection was faulty, and that the Wired Country was working perfectly, apart from it just not working.

Next week's a busy one, what with the Digital Summit. I hope it's better than it looks. As a friend of mine pointed out, most of the people on the stage telling us stuff should really be in the audience being told stuff by the innovators. And does it really have to cost $800 to attend? I mean, as a prominent CEO, I'm gonna drop tha eight-bomb like it's nothin' (or, alternatively, blag my way in as a journalist, as usual), but what about the little people?

I should note that an accompanying part of the Digital Strategy is an open blog, to which anyone may submit a post. You should have a crack.

But for now, I should move along. I'm interviewing Campbell Smith for the radio show soon, on account of the second Big day out announcement being made. It's solid, if not stunning. I'm pleased to see a proper house act (Carl Cox) lined up for the tent, and most encouraged to see Doctor Octagon and Unkle on the bill.

But wait. I think I need something more. Euros. If Jay Z's got 'em, shouldn't I?

PS: Don't muck about getting in your tribute to your favourite New Zealand album(s) to win one of five copies of Grant Smithies' excellent book Soundtrack: 118 Great New Zealand albums. I want to clear that one some time next week so I can run another comp with some rather large, liquid prizes attached. Dude, Marc Ellis will be begging to come to my parties …

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