AUSTIN – A walk throught the trade show at the Austin Convention Center is a curious experience in that it can somehow make you feel smarter and dumber at the same time. You’re getting an insider’s look at brand new innovations and tools. And when a company rep begins to explain exactly what it is they do, I mostly just stand there and blink like Homer Simpson. I’m certain they can see the cat playing with a ball of yarn inside my head. (This is territory better explored by my Interactive running buddy, Lauren Silverman, anyhow.)
But when I saw an impressive looking booth covered in New York Times logos, I figured I’d found something I can relate to. How far above my head can something nicknamed The Old Grey Lady be?
The main goal, of course, was to get people to subscribe to the paper. I couldn’t tell if the rep I spoke with was glad or disappointed when I told him I’m already signed up.
Still, he let me get my word cloud portrait made anyway. It really is the coolest of the trinkets on the trade show floor this year. Basically, they take your picture with an iPad and then fill in the outlines with words from your favorite section. I, of course, chose the Arts section. And would you look at the word that happened to populate right in my eye. (If you click the image, you can take a closer look.) Maybe The Times is more prescient that I’ve given it credit for?
Of course, my brain seems to be highly focused on “Nintendo,” so maybe we shouldn’t read too much into this.