Macfilos is a hobby, as regular readers know. I gave up gainful employment many years ago, and this blog is now something of a passion: It’s a passion that helps keep me occupied and fleet of mind. But am supposed to be retired. Macfilos is certainly not a money earner because we don’t use advertising; rather, it is more of a money pit, as my bank manager knows. Yet from the moment I landed in Dublin eight days ago, I have experienced one of the busiest and most stressful weeks of my life. I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for.
The Leica Society International (LSI) gathering in Dublin was a delight, and I met many old friends and made many new ones. I particularly enjoyed renewing my acquaintance with the management of Leica, including, of course, Stefan Daniel, who did so well in responding to members’ questions and concerns during his presentation last Friday. As William Fagan pointed out, it is hard to imagine any other company in the photographic world exhibiting such a willingness to meet customers and chat in this way. Members present felt a real connection with the factory, which is vital in fostering relationships and growing sales.
There was so much material that I was kept busy throughout the next few days. Then, on Tuesday, in a link to my article on Stefan Daniel’s talk, another website made an extremely unfortunate typo, substituting SL for CL in the paragraph about the end of the line for the CL. The result was upsetting, as you can imagine.
It all came as a bit of a shock. I spent much of Tuesday pouring oil over the troubled waters and felt quite low about the whole episode because, in a way, we were linked to the mistake and thus involved. I was fortunate to have tremendous support and advice from Jonathan Slack and Jörg-Peter Rau, both of whom know what it’s like to report on events as a working journalist. What we printed was factual and non-sensational, intended primarily to illustrate the unique way in which Leica approaches its customers.
In the end, all this turned out to be something of storm in a teacup and peace reigns once more. Yet I didn’t have time to brood: Thursday brought one of Leica’s biggest flurries of press announcements in many years.
Fortunately, I had been supplied with full details and photographs under press embargo earlier in the week. So I was able to write the five launch articles (M6, Steel-Rim Summilux, SL2-S Reporter, Barnack Awards and Photograph of the Year) in advance and ensure that they went live at the appointed time. That in itself was a leap of faith: Would the auto post function work perfectly, or had I made an unfortunate mistake in the settings? To complicate matters, there were two embargo releases at 2 pm (London time) and three at 7 pm (to coincide with the reception at Wetzlar). All went well, as it happens.
Today my pulse has returned to normal, and I can reflect on a very unusual week. I hope there aren’t many as busy as this in the future. It seems incredible that so much has happened the week since I arrived in Dublin. Back to retirement!