I’ve been “participating” (read “trying to fit in between increasingly segmented days”) in the Collaborative Communities on-line conference. It was not the first on-line conference I’ve considered attending, but it was the first one I actually went to. Normally, of course, I would now blog about all of the coolness that was there.
This should not be read as a criticism of any of the attendees, but most just didn’t do it for me. I’m bad at the informal f2f stuff during “real” conferences–I am classically introverted and have a heck of a time talking to new people–so I would think this would be a perfect environment. But I posted nothing, because I didn’t find much that really piqued my interest.
One of the two closest would have to have been Jon Lebkowski’s presentation on Community, Happenings, and Social Software. He talked a bit about Joi Ito’s emergent democracy happening, and about wikis / weblogs /wireless generally, but it really was a super-broad overview.
Cynthia Typaldos also spoke on social software, with quite a bit on social networks. Again, very broad overview, though on an interesting topic. It would have been fun to hook George up to the talk since it probably represents all that he hates about SNA’s 15 minutes of fame.
I did, strangely, miss the human part in the presentations, as well. Interestingly, the one presentation that included video seemed much more compelling.
Part of the reason I wasn’t so taken by the conference might have been that it was heavily pitched toward the practitioner. But even here, I found myself thinking… on any given day I can gather more insights on the blogs I read, or from full articles. Perhaps some of it had to do with a lack of critical mass–or at least apparent critical mass: as Jon noted “presence is crucial.”
Ah well, because it was online, the advantage was that I didn’t travel many hours to attend. I’ve done that before (no naming names :), and it can be an amazingly frustrating experience.