I woke up yesterday morning with a knot in my stomach. Anytime spent away from my wife and kids is a wrench. But I love to travel.
My late father was full of good advice and he was a big fan of travel. “It opens your mind” he would say. True enough. So on Day 1, I opened my mind to Cleveland. What a fascinating place. Founded in the 1800′s by Moses Cleveland and settled by wealthy New Englanders the city was once the thriving heart of an economy driven by resources, shipping, steel making and coal. Never mind Moses only spent one month in Cleveland and never returned, the generous Clevelanders were happy to keep the name and build him a statue in the public square. John D Rockefeller gifted much of his fortune to the people and places of Cleveland.
Fast forward to 2011 and while it’s not boom town, it seems to me to be in pretty good shape. The clean, wide boulevards move people around the city. The focus is now on the medical and education industries with the world famous Cleveland Clinic a site to behold. And then there’s content marketing. This is now the home of content marketing. The reality on the streets of Cleveland certainly doesn’t match the gloom on the television. If you listened to the stock jockeys from the NYSE on CNBC, it’s time to turn the lights out. But Americans are a resourceful bunch and I’m sure they’ll find a way through it. There is no question they have trillions of unfunded liabilities and need tax reform, but as I said, you get a sense they will find a way through despite the lack of political collaboration.
The conference got off to an entertaining start at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Put that on your list of places to visit. The Elvis exhibit is a must see. So to the Johnny Cash tour bus in the forecourt. The word among the crowd was that the content marketing Institute had hoped to attract 200 to their first event. They’ve got 600 plus. So we gathered and talked and, funnily enough, we were all talking content. The journos and production people are here trying to work out who wants it, the marketing people are here trying to understand how to use it and the techies are here trying to explain to people how to find and share it. The next few days promises a lot. My mind is open and I’m all ears.
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