DVF Offsite

This weekend, I attended an offsite for the Reuters Digital Vision Program at the Asilomar conference grounds in Monterey. I have known about Asilomar for several years now, but I never knew that it was run by the State of California. For some reason, I had always thought of the place as being an expensive coastal resort. Turns out rates for leisure guests can be found for as low as $114/night. With the beach only a few steps away, that’s a price you can’t beat!

I arrived a few hours earlier than Stuart and Amy, with whom I had planned to cycle. When they did arrive, the rain clouds were threatening. It was just our luck that the rain started to fall right as we left the parking lot. We went out on a 17-mile loop that took us through the Pebble Beach golf courses. I didn’t spend much time looking at the golf course, as I was thinking more about how cold and wet I was! It was beyond freezing out there on our ride. I remember riding to Steve’s house (our former cook at the French House) in the rain, but this ride took the cake. By the time that I got back to my room, I was soaked from head to toe.

That said, there’s something about riding in the rain which is strangely invigorating. I think it makes you feel like some sort of a hardcore cycling machine riding in the rain. Small comfort while you’re actually riding, but great to know once you’ve taken a hot shower and have changed into warmer clothes.

Our plans for the evening included dinner followed by a quick workshop. I worked with Rajendra on identifying his target user for his e-immunization project. Afterwards, he took down some notes about my target user (another DV Fellow). The workshop was only for an hour, and we spent the rest of the evening watching hilarious flash movies and television commercials, followed by the documentary Buena Vista Social Club. With the cold that I’ve been battling for the past week and the ride, I was really tired during the movie. It seemed like a good one, but I was too conked out on the sofa to have remembered any of it!

I do remember watching the Flash movie, The Meatrix. If you take anything away from this journal entry, watch The Meatrix. It’s hilarious and informative!

The next day, we gathered together in the Viewpoint meeting room. Armed with masks, “Be The Persona” t-shirts, and our vast acting skills, we presented each other’s target users. Now, the next phase of the Fellowship is to move to technical implementation. I’ve been coding for the past several weeks now, and that process will continue for me for the next few months.

Photos from our offsite.

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