AWS Summit 2017 in NYC: The Day I Owned Being A Cloud Celeb

By Jen Maidenberg, VP Editorial, IOD
One of the things I really love about working at IOD is our philosophy of transparency. Everything we do – including our communications with customers about the content we create – is honest and forthcoming. This works especially well for me. Why? Because I don’t have to pretend I know more about cloud or DevOps or cybersecurity than I actually do. In another setting, I might feel self-conscious about that. But at IOD, I don’t.
What I am an expert in is storytelling, editing, and messaging. I’m also really good at identifying and nurturing talent. I’m a bit modest off the page (another truth about me) so I won’t list all my credentials in those areas. But suffice it to say, Ofir, our founder and CEO, hired me because of my background in publishing, content marketing, and branding. Also I love getting to know and talking to new people. This is something I have to do often at IOD, as we’re always recruiting new freelancers to our team.

Along the way, working with IOD tech experts, I’ve learned more and more about specific products, services, and pain points in the industries we serve. (I might even say I’m reaching expert level in editing blogs and white papers about MSPs, AWS Redshift, and HIPAA compliance in the cloud. I even know a little something about Kubernetes and containers.)
But because transparency is an IOD philosophy, I have no problem admitting that heading into the 2017 AWS Summit in NYC, I was a little nervous to be responsible for live tweeting. What if I tweeted something irrelevant or obvious from the keynote? What if I misheard and claimed something was a new trend or an announcement when it was really old news?
When I confided in Ofir my concerns, he shrugged them off immediately. Then he told me, “Do what you’re good at. Tweet. Meet people. Talk about IOD. And just be curious.”
This was a goal I could get into. I am very, very curious. I like listening. I like asking questions.
So, yesterday morning, despite a mild case of impostor syndrome, I slipped into my cloud celeb persona (and t-shirt), headed into the city for AWS Summit 2017 NYC, and practiced being curious.
Over and over and over.
= = =
But first I tweeted like crazy.
Here are some highlights:
A VP of Editorial can definitely tweet about use of language and product naming.

Or about music. (GM of Artificial Intelligence at AWS Matt Wood referenced the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds! And BTW, Ofir doesn’t say “OMG.” That was all me!)

And I have to admit, I felt more confident when @adrianco RT us!

As I walked out of the keynote and headed to The Hub, I realized that I actually know a lot more about AWS and cloud, in general, than I thought I did – especially compared to the last Summit I went to, in Tel Aviv.
I felt good about my tweets, and a little less like a cloud-celeb-in-training, and an actual cloud celeb.

= = =
To warm up “being curious,” I started by saying hi to some our customers with booths in The Hub.

Donna at CloudEndure was even nice enough to let me have a chance at their giveaway. And, guess what? I won!

As I moved onto talking to sales and marketing folks on the exhibitor’s floor, I was upfront  before we even started chatting. I told them I wasn’t a potential customer. I told them I’m the head of editorial at a content creation company. With a few of them, I was even honest about not knowing 100% what they were talking about when they described their products or services. Sometimes, though, I knew exactly what they were talking about. (Especially, the MSPs!)
Bottom line: I was transparent. I owned what I know and I owned what I don’t know.
One of things we tell both potential tech experts when we’re recruiting is that a major perk of working for IOD is that you get to research and get paid for it. This is true for our editors, too. None of the editors I’ve recruited since starting to work for IOD in February had much knowledge about the cloub before coming to work for us. Now, a handful are able to write original, technologically deep blog posts. They’re on their way to becoming cloud celebs, too.

Related posts