So I get this letter. It’s addressed to me at my office. I open it and find this nice-looking vellum invitation.
“John T. Casteen III, President, University of Virginia, invites you to e-summit@virginia. Power, Safety, and Happiness in the Virtual World. An exploration of the role of the Internet in a Jeffersonian democracy. November 11-13, 1999. On the Grounds of the University of Virginia. Cocktail Buffet, 6:30 p.m., Thursday, November 11, Carr’s Hill. R.S.V.P. card enclosed. Please call (800) 264-01XX for more information.”
I’d heard of the e-summit. Speakers will include Allisan Abraham from iVillage, Mark Templeton from Citrix, Halsey Minor from CNet, Jeffery Walker from Chase Manhattan, and Tim Koogle from Yahoo!. Damn.
So what could I do? I called. I had two questions: Would it cost me? and Why was I invited? I was told that not only was it free, but the invitations were sent out as a result of a fair amount of research done to determine who should be invited to this shindig. So what am I doing with an invitation?, I asked. I was told, simply, that it was determined that I would be a suitable guest. They’ve got some sort of a file on me.
This thing is open to the public, but there’s a cocktail buffet the night before everything starts, and that’s the invitation-only part. I’m not sure of what will happen there, or how many people will be there, or what the heck I’ll have to add to the mix. Three dozen millionare CEOs and Waldo. UVa didn’t even accept me, for chrissake.
Anyhow, I’m not quite sure of what to make of all this, but I thought I’d share. Weird, huh?