Sunday, January 25, 2009

Huff Post On The Year Ahead

Pictured here, left to right: Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, Nora Ephron, author and screenwriter, Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post, Erica Jong, author. Not pictured: Paul Rieckhoff, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) executive director, and Trey Ellis, author and screenwriter. Photo credit: Joyce Culver for the 92nd Street Y.

What do bloggers do when we’re not blogging? Besides our main responsibilities at our day jobs, we read other blogs and news stories, and we go to see programs like: “The Year Ahead with Arianna Huffington and Bloggers from The Huffington Post.” That’s exactly what I did Wednesday night Jan. 21 with my BBF (best blogger friend) Francine McKenna, author of the Re: The Auditors blog, and her colleague (via Twitter), Aaron Task of Yahoo Finance Tech Ticker, formerly of Here’s a few of my favorite quotes from the Huff Post program, which took place at the 92nd St. Y in New York City:

On President Barack Obama

  • Erica Jong: He’s the right man for this country at this time… he shows how to be a leader… how to disagree without being disagreeable.
  • Arianna Huffington [to the group]: what are your favorite teachable moments [from the election of Barack Obama].
  • Trey Ellis: The rise of the Black Nerd … [in contrast] with hip hop, kids were afraid to answer questions in class.
  • Paul Rieckhoff: A lifetime of service, a culture of service… [observing Obama] part of integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is looking…. He’s made [Washington] DC cool again, DC used to be Hollywood for ugly people.
  • Craig Newmark: With the President speaking directly to all of us, there is less opportunity for media to be a filter, this will change the way the White House press corps works… [something to consider] how do we as individuals talk back to the President.

On the Economy

  • Arianna Huffington: I find the more people know [understand] about the economy, the more pessimistic they are.
  • Trey Ellis: He’s [Obama’s] the Captain of the Ship – we don’t know yet if it’s going to be the Poseidon or the Mayflower.
  • Erica Jong: We are closer to the Big D [Depression] than the little r [recession]
  • Nora Ephron: The Wall Street culture persists… companies firing people… I want somebody in [the] Commerce [Department] or Treasury [Department] to help them find ways to not [fire people]… I see so much greed persists in spite of all this.
  • Trey Ellis: The silver lining of the economic crisis is we didn’t address poverty [before], but now that the middle class is poor, we’re forced to face this.

Hungry for more highlights? Read my summary: Huffington Post On: The Year Ahead - or - What I would have live-blogged - if I had been live-bloging from The Year Ahead with Arianna Huffington and Bloggers from The Huffington Post. And, if you’re new to our blog, check out some of our other posts at

Bloggers Francine McKenna, Aaron Task and I enjoyed the Huff Post program so much we had to be shushed by others in our row and around us. Even though we kept things to a whisper -in between Francine and Aaron posting observations on Twitter - the packed crowd was really into this panel, with some Huff Post devotees walking up to the mike during the Q&A session telling how they drove from several states away just to attend the program.

Due to popular demand, a follow-on program has been scheduled for Thursday, February 5 at 8:15 pm at the 92nd St. Y. The program, called The Huffington Post Editors, will feature senior editors from The Huffington Post discussing how they choose the stories that make the news, and sharing insights on blogging. Tickets can be ordered online, but if you want to select certain seats (e.g. some of us have already purchased front row seats) then order by phone by calling the 92nd St. Y box office during their office hours at 212.415.5500.

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