Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I think this is a conference. It's a far better conference than any I've attended in person. Blogging among us offers more:
- take-away value from the content presented
- quality interactions and connections among us,
- "sanctioned stalking" (thanks Cammie) of professionals I hope to relate to,
- ability to find others available for comments and async conversations
Everything is Miscellaneous predicts that meeting in one place will fade away. When print was transmitted on paper, everything had a place. We knew where to find things by the way they were catalogued and cross referenced by experts. If something was out of place, the system broke down. It had to be kept where it belongs in order to find it.
Now that print is on screen, everything has places. We don't know where to find things and don't need for them to be any place in particular. So long as we can successfully search with our own criteria, hook-up in real time or subscribe to feeds, the thing we're looking for can be anywhere. The cataloguing has gone miscellaneous. The complexity of the meta-order allows us to follow links until we get what we want. The importance of place is getting replaced by places.
Mark Oehlert recently shared how WIFI connections at conferences backfired:
The grand ballroom is Wi-Fi enabled, and the speaker is using the Web for his presentation. Laptops are open, fingers are flying. But the audience is not listening.
For me, this signals the end of meeting in one place. Digital natives are everywhere when they are online. The feeling, freedom, access and possibilities are valuable. It makes sense to stay tethered to the web. In the near future we will have Meetings of the Mind where each of us is going to our broadband-enabled happy place. A gathering will be everywhere when accounting for the places of the participants. The gathering will seem to be in one place, like sitting on a single screen to read this.
BTW: If you can walk to your happy place, eat from your own garden and print nothing out of the proceedings, you will win the "smallest carbon footprint" prize at some future everyplace conference. You need not be present to win in the old, meet-in-one-place sense, but you will be present from your happy place -- in a sync and async sense.