Thoughts on S60

reflections on the most popular mobile operating system worldwide

N97 24/7 Finale Party at The Xchange

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I don’t think any of us knew what was in store for us at the party when we pulled up to the Xchange on Wednesday night. I stood outside waiting with our rockstars and rockstar sponsors alike, nervous and excited what we were about to behold.


While waiting in line, I had the pleasure of finally meeting my long-time forum buddy ArLe and Erick (gwapz), both HoFo veterans.

All of our concerns about delivering the content Smart Fusion and WOM World was looking for, our excitement from the people we had yet to meet, and the upset that it was about to all be over culminated into a ball of tension in my gut that I just couldn’t shake. Then suddenly, as soon as we walked in, that all washed away.


"4 Bloggers, 2 Weeks on the road, 1 Goal, to test the Nokia N97 while creating maximum connection"

The kind folks at Smart Fusion had taken our hundreds of pictures, sifted through all of them, and printed enough to fill an entire wall, showcasing all of the highlights of everything we did over the past 2 weeks.

To the right of the huge wall, Jason from Smart Fusion had put together a compilation video of all the things we recorded on the trip for the small lounge area. Reminiscing over all of our content only days after we had experienced it was very surreal.


On the right wall near the staircase to the roof, two displays were set up to demonstrate Qik and Sports Tracker. One person was hired to run around Manhattan with an N97 connected to Sports Tracker and another person was hired to follow him on a bike, streaming his progress live over Qik. Pretty neat, but it seems kindof redundant after Andrew had spent all that time Qik-ing throughout the trip and I had led a few different teams to draw numbers on each city during our trip, no?

Aside from our content, Smart Fusion had put together a “sea of faces”, using 8×10 images of the people we connected with on the trip and also the people Smart Fusion had talked with about the N97.

A giant N97 was also set up on the left hand side of the room that gradually collected snapshots of people holding up chalk boards with their names and passions written on them. All of the photos were taken with an N97 and printed almost immediately after they were taken.

Also on the left side of the room was several display N97 stations with reps (from Smart Fusion?) showing off various features of the device to those who inquired.

As cool as all of this was, I was kinda confused about it all. I was under the impression that there would be a large number of Nokia staff from all tiers at this party, similar to what I remembered from the LA Mansion party in 2007. All of the specific people we had discussed during the trip weren’t going to make it for one reason or another. No, the people that we were meeting seemed to be community members; average consumers, a few bloggers, and complete strangers as well. In addition to ArLe and gwapz, I also had the pleasure of meeting Mark Guim from the Nokia Blog, another long-time forum buddy Lenny (THETRUTH#34), his buddy Adam (adamz), a “lite” HoFo user (though I do remember reading his posts in the past), and CrazyPhoneGuy, John Chew.

When I took a step back to look at all that was going on, it dawned on me that the party was where Nokia, WOM World, and Smart Fusion were looking to get their return on all of this. The entire trip was used as a way to showcase exactly what the N97 can do and ultimately sell it in one huge package at the finale party. All of the people that were invited were able to take advantage of the open bar, meet new people, and more directly, get to play with the N97, and see the results of us four bloggers struggling to use only the N97 for two weeks. There was even a flier given out to the attendees with a promotional discount for the N97 that could be used at the New York flagship store the next day. Everything that was put together was incredible, but I can’t help but feel the picture that was painted by all the imagery wasn’t the same experience we really went through in regards to the device. Or at least, it certainly wasn’t all roses like you would think from the way the content was put together. I have a review of the N97 in the works to better describe what I specifically went through on the trip that might put things back into perspective.

Regardless, the party was an absolute blast (maybe a bit short?) and gave us all a sense of finality to the trip. Everything we had done, the good times and the uncertain ones, were all coming to an end. It was a very satisfying feeling, albeit a bit depressing.

Towards the end, the four of us were invited to the roof for a “quick” interview that was to be sent directly to Nokia. I had no idea that the party was going to disperse so quickly and I apologize for not being able to say goodbye to any of the people I met that night. I’m really sorry!


Written by Jonathan

July 27, 2009 at 8:26 am

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