Sunday, December 02, 2007

Corporate blogs and protocol lectures, dinner at Casa Lucio, a restaurant fit for a king, Federico García Lorca, new friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Hi again

This week I went to 2 lectures organised by Dircom which is the Association of Communications Directors (sounds very fancy but is not really). One was about Corporate blogging by the Spanish internet “guru”, Enrique Dans and the other was on Protocol which is quite the other end of the communication spectrum but equally necessary for my job.

Picture of the Poster announcing the corporate blogging course to prove I went there.
I hadn’t been on any work related course since I left Nokia so it was quite nice to go “back to school”. Enrique Dans' lecture was fascinating and right up my street but I think not all the audience thought the same. The lecture was held at the German Chamber of Commerce and the German Ambassador was present. I remember him because his comment was that Internet was damaging to book reading and books in general. Needless to say my school of thought was quite the opposite to his. The audience was made up of communications professionals but I had the feeling some of what Enrique Dans told them was water off a duck’s back and that some of them are in the stone age when it comes to online communications tools.

The protocol lecture was full of interesting information but the approach a bit old fashioned. I mean, don’t talk to us about letter writing these days as I, at least, do not use that form of communication and haven’t done for some time. Maybe the lecturer should have included a bit on email and internet etiquette, ….

The highlight of the week was dinner at Casa Lucio with the Roaming team. For those of you not in the telecomms industry, roaming is using your phone abroad and involves agreements between operators all over the world. It was their Christmas team building dinner and they invited me as an honorary guest. I hadn’t been to Casa Lucio since I celebrated acquiring my previous car with Julio and that was quite some time ago. How can I describe the place?

Casa Lucio, view from the street

Lucio Blázquez, the owner and soul of the place.
Politicians, famous actors, the King of Spain, and writers can be found eating at this restaurant which is on Madrid's Cava Baja, not far off the Plaza Mayor and which enjoys international renown. Lucio Blázquez first started out in El Chotis, a restaurant located a few doors down the street before opening up on his own. The food is very simple Castillian fare, the most popular dish being broken fried eggs and chips. We had a grand night as you can see from this picture. However we didn’t spot anyone famous. The week before, the King of Spain had taken Bill Clinton there for dinner which has probably made it even more famous than it was before!!

Part of the Roaming team and me around the table at Casa Lucio

Broken eggs and chips (huevos estrellados) at Casa Lucio
This week I have also been location visiting for places I am doing Christmas events at. Whilst downtown in the Plaza Santa Ana I came across a beautiful statue of English hispanists' favourite Spanish author, Federico García Lorca of the 1927 Generation fame. He was certainly my hero too when I did Hispanic studies at Nottingham University. So I couldn’t resist taking a photo of him when I came across the statue. The backdrop is a wonderful hotel, called ME Madrid, more famous for the name of its restaurant, Midnight Rose.

Federico García Lorca in Plaza Santa Ana
And finally this week I made more friends on Facebook – any Facebook member reading this will understand how important it is to make as many friends as possible. It’s a bit of a competition really amongst friends. So, yes, I found old friends I had lost touch with like Kelly Levy from Israel or Didier Bordes from Paris, but I also “made friends” with Mariano Rajoy (Spain’s leader of the opposition and from the PP right wing party) and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Spain’s current socialist Prime Minister. It’s amazing how politicians are cottoning on to internet social networking sites.

Talking about social networking sites, are you familiar with Twitter?
According to Wikipedia, Twitter is: "a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send "updates" (text-based posts, up to 140 characters long) to the Twitter website, via short message service, instant messaging, email, or an application such as Twitterrific"

Well, I tried it out, recommended by Enrique Dans. According to the NYT it is the fastest growing internet phenomena. However it seemed a bit “big brotherish” even for someone like me whose (tellable) life is open to all and sundry on internet. So, I think I will not be using it. But watch out for the name to see if it really catches on.

And that’s all for this week. It’s now Sunday afternoon, we’ve had my marvelous Spanish cocido (chickpea stew, sort of) and after updating my blog, I shall be going with my 2 men to Ikea for Swedish fare for Christmas and a look around the Kitchen ware department where I always buy something.

Next week will be busy but there is a bank holiday and on Wednesday night my best Finnish friend, Anne Nenonen, will be coming over and we will be going to the Parador in Gredos for the weekend, amongst other bank holiday activities.

Till then or later, cheers to you all and, as the Americans say, “have a great week”.


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