Dinner Last Night at the NYSE

Thanks to my friends at Corante, I was invited to a dinner put on by Susan Bird for her WF360 Awards, at the NYSE HQ on Wall Street.

I was able to spend a few minutes at the cocktail hour speaking with Jeff Jarvis, Jack Meyers and Cynthia Ginsburg (see photo). (The entire photo set is on Flickr.)

We discussed TV, TIVO/PVRs and a bit about what people are watching, while standing in front of the new Fox Business Channel booth on the floor of the exchange.

Jeff, who among other things is famous for the “Dell Hell” discussion on his blog a few years ago, told me that in last week’s issue of Business Week he got a chance to interview Michael Dell (here on video) about how they’ve learned to listen much more effectively to their customers. Mr. Dell says in a very candid, bloggy way:

“These conversations are going to occur whether you like it or not, O.K.? Well, do you want to be part of that or not? My argument is you absolutely do. You can learn from that. You can improve your reaction time. And you can be a better company by listening and being involved in that conversation.”

Great quote, and an article worth reading whether you’re a competitor to Dell or a small business.

It’s always wonderful to catch up with Isabel Walcott (in black) and Francois Gossieaux (pictured here with me). They seem to be doing some interesting things at MarketHum. I hope to learn more.

I also got a chance to speak with Heath Row for the second time this week, as he had visited Social Media Club on Tuesday.

At dinner I was at the “Storytellers” table,
and met several interesting folks, including Susan Danish of the Association of Junior Leagues International. From their site:

The Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. (AJLI) is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

We had an excellent discussion on how many of the Junior League chapters are using social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace to connect their members. An example is the NY Junior League on Facebook (note, Facebook login required). Susan told me how the members are helping the organization to see the value of Social Networks and that the individuals involved are moving the organization forward and getting their message out in new ways.

I look forward to interviewing Susan in more depth to learn what new things are developing because of these social community connections.

One other unique feature of the evening was that WF360 had put cards from their “Leading Questions” series on the tables. As a group we discussed a few of them, and we received a copy of the set (along with some other nice schwag) in gift bags.

All in all a thought-provoking evening of good conversations.