Wonderful because I haven’t been to San Francisco before and everyone tells me it’s… well… wonderful. Plus there’s a keynote by Bill Clinton and a performance by Stevie Wonder for some reason I don’t know stop asking me questions I didn’t organise this goddam event.
Scary because it’s one of those huge combined convention and trade show deals at the Moscone Center. Last year they had 30,000 attendees. I have been reliably informed that I will truly hate being in a room full of thousands of (mostly) Americans whooping it up because someone announced that some software had a minor-number version upgrade.
This is only my second-ever visit to the US. In May, Microsoft flew me to their Redmond, Washington, headquarters for a 3-day briefing about their security initiatives. That generated an episode of the Patch Monday podcast called Microsoft versus the cybercriminals as well as material for later episodes, the article Letter from Redmond, Washington: inside Microsoft HQ for Crikey, and a look Inside Microsoft’s Security War Room and accompanying photo gallery for iNews.
This time I’ve arranged to spend three days in San Francisco after the event, so I’ll actually get a chance to see something more than the inside of software company’s headquarters and the hotel. I’m sure there’ll be the usual temptation to visit the standard tourist locations, but I’d like to see something a little different. Something that helps me understand the real America.
So, while I’m in San Francisco, where should I go and what should I see?
Since California is going broke, and the US economy is crap generally, I’d like to go somewhere to see how that’s affecting ordinary Californians. But what else?
Dreamforce â€™10 runs from Monday 6 to Thursday 9 December 2010, and I’ll remain in San Francisco until Sunday 12 December 2010.