It’s 12:12 pm on day 3 and I have high hopes that I can still turn this day around, but so far, it’s been one stupid move after another. As I write this, I’m in our hotel room, legs elevated on a cushy chair with a huge bag of ice on my knees, and housekeeping is here trying to work around Eric and I. We’re both glued to our laptops.

The housekeeping woman knows me because I was in the exact same position when she came to freshen up the room yesterday. I told her about my arthritic knees and every time she spots me passing her in the halls, she asks if my knees are “better”. Very sweet.

My Morning Mess Up

I arrived to the first session with a strong interest in the topic of images and search. Although my laptop was plugged in all night to recharge the battery, apparently it wasn’t fully plugged together. It’s a two part cord thing and one end wasn’t where it should have been. My laptop was dead and I didn’t have the cord with me because I hadn’t needed it. There was no place to plug in anyway, near where I was sitting. Not only did I not get to report on the session for SERoundtable, as was my first assignment this morning, guess who should make a surprise appearance?

I So Totally Do Not Make Danny’s Day

It is Danny Sullivan, himself. He came whizzing down the aisle between our seats and the room erupted into a hushed, gasp kind of moment. I turned to see and yep. It was Mr. Sullivan.

Now, I had joked the night before, while out to dinner with a group of folks, that everytime I go to an SES, I never get to actually talk to Danny Sullivan. I’ve met him, but it was few seconds brief thing two years ago. I would have loved to have had longer. I haven’t the slightest idea what I’d say, but I would thank him for his hard work and devotion to the search engine marketing industry I’m sure.

Rather than having this professional fantasy in which I act graciously and charming at meeting Danny Sullivan, I instead whipped out my camera as he stood at the podium, making preparations for the session. In our little corner, where myself, Matt McGee and Lisa Barone were in our “Blogger Central”, I called out to Danny to get his attention. When he turned to face us, my camera’s flash blinded the poor man.

My camera has been notorious for blinding everybody at this seminar. Danny wasn’t too happy. I don’t even know if he knew it was me who did that to him, but I have to say, I feel terrible about it.

I was able to record the session with my backup tape recorder but I didn’t enjoy failing my mission this morning for Barry,especially when things have been going well so far. I did a very brief, off the top of my head from memory, recap in Images & Search Engines. I hope Danny doesn’t discover the idiot who blinded him but I know you all will tell on me (Rand!), and I’m therefore officially doomed forever.

Mike Grehan, The Pied Piper

There is an odd little tradition that seems to surround Mike Grehan. Whenever he invites “a few friends for a small dinner”, it turns into a gigantic gathering. I’ve been invited to two of these “small” dinners, and witnessed what I call the “Pied Piper Effect” that Mike has.

Without fail, people seem to know where the meeting spot will be for that “small” get together and within minutes you can literally watch the crowd begin to gather. Mike is famously generous. He loves a good gathering in which there is plenty of excellent food, wine and story telling. Mostly by him. He has so many stories of his travels and he tells them with great flair and humor.

And so it was that Christine Churchill asked if Eric and I would like to join she and Mike and a “few” others for dinner. She and I really wanted and needed a chance to spend some time together and that looked like our opportunity. There was a nice free cocktail hour in the Exhibition Area where we could spend time with vendors and have one drink. (I spent most of my time walking around with Joe Dolson and Eric, visiting the guys from Review Me. I have a great shot of me and Review Me Roy to put up. I really love the crew from TLA and Review Me.)

We were to meet up with Christine afterwards. To make a long story short, by the time we left the hotel, heading for a Thai resturant that Chris Sherman recommended, there was about 20 people for the “small” gathering.

Mike was suffering from a painful neck and already low on energy. We could all tell we needed to give the man a break. As we walked into the city, the large group eventually broke up into 4 groups. It was one of those times where nobody could agree on where to eat and who would fit in the large crew. Although Mike and I wanted American food (he has been overseas a lot!), and I’m a wimpy eater (no spicey stuff, no fish, for example), we eventually joined two of our groups together and ended up eating together at the Thai place. We didn’t make Mike pay for it, however. He’s famous for taking care of everybody, but enough is enough. This time, he let us take care of ourselves and we still had a lovely bottle of wine and heard his tales of Hong Kong and China trips. (Really gory food stories too!)

Matt Bailey, of Site Logic, did his best to convince me that sushi isn’t scary. It does look colorful and beautiful, but I’m happy with rice and carrots. I got to see Andy Beal again and many other people. Just being with the people I’m “with” so often on the Web is a real neat thing.

I Met SEOFanGirl

I’m unable to go to the special SEOFangirl sponsored lunch today after all. She had to change the time and it required a cab drive to and from the hotel. I wasn’t going to put my 2:00 pm session report at risk by going. I’m sorry to miss what I’m sure will be a very funny gathering. I believe she was going to ask for our nominations for January SEO Man of the Month. I emailed her my two choices. And, I told them to her in person, yesterday.

Yes, I met her! First of all, she is a she and not a he, as some wondered. Secondly, she is taller than me, which puts her at about 6′ tall (I’m 5’8″). She’s beautiful. Smart. Warm. Professional. She’s working in France. You will soon know all about her, I’m sure. She had her picture taken yesterday and she was walking around the Exhibtion Hall. She outed herself to the women she knew would be coming to the lunch today, but we were all sworn to secrecy.

I also know who Review Me Roy really is. And, I’m not tellin’.

More stories to tell. Please stay tuned…

SES Day Two Begins With Brunch and Friends
SES Chicago Day 3 Ends on a Surprise Note


Kim Krause Berg’s long background in web design, SEO and usability includes software application functional and user interface testing, accessibility, information architecture and persuasive design. She shared her passion for Usability and SEO through her site and private consulting at Cre8pc for 17 years. Kim founded Cre8asiteforums in 1998. In the fall of 2012 she sold her forums to Internet Marketing Ninjas and retired from private consulting to join their Executive Management team where she continues her work in usability testing, customer experience and conversions design.

My Online Course: Web Site Usability 101


American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)

Information Architecture Institute

Usability Professionals Association (UPA)