Go to your happy places

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.


  1. I agree, Tom. To your points about blogging--the interactions between bloggers are really a digital version of Open Space. We set our own agenda by talking about the things about which we're passionate, we "vote with our feet" by commenting or blogging about someone else's post, when it starts it starts and when it's over, it's over and whoever comes are the right people. And it's a much more free-flowing environment.

  2. Thanks Michele. Your additions to this got me thinking we are also becoming more empowered, validated and included in this process. Our choices are yielding results we intended. We are getting what we want. It's easier to believe we CAN make a difference since we can do that.

  3. I agree that blogging is a happy place.

    And the whole notion of "sanctioned stalking" -- well, let me just say once a new blogger gets up the guts to start commenting and communicating with other "experts" or "amateurs" or "people with more experience than me" it gets even more fun. So perhaps commenting is a form of sanctioned stalking as well. Or maybe sanctioned stalking is just another word for engaging someone in a conversation....

  4. Thanks Cammie. I agree that commenting on a blogpost feels as thrilling as talking for the first time with a prominent person at a conference. I've felt both.

  5. Wouldn't it be something if someday (with technology/webcam's/and who knows what's next) video/voice images of the conversation could suspend themselves in 'cyberspace' much like words on the screen do now?

    Now, someone posts, another comments, and I show up several days later - and join in the conversation. Imagine...if there were almost like "hologram" blogs... Now where talking about a "Happy Place" and intense "Meeting of the Minds."

    For those of us who haven't fully walked off the plank or burned all bridges to an actual meeting/conference/etc in an actual place at an actual time...and are amidst migration... are there components of the "Happy Place" "Meeting of the Minds" freedom-self-discovering-community-interaction that we could explore, play and practice with creatively in these settings during the transitions...?

    I'm all for walking-the-plank from the Mother-Ship.... but I currently pay my bills and support my family by her... And it seems (as alluded to in my question - we are in a time of transition... Qute a bit of "discontinuity and disembedding" has taking place, but we are not yet (at least in my perspective) living in the "Reformation"... Much is still in transition... We are in a sense very bi-cultural... print/screen, words/images, actual places/happy places...). Any insights for the journey...?

  6. Jerrell: Thanks for tuning into my excitement about Happy Places and Meetings of the Mind and then taking both further. I agree we are very much in transition now. There are some signs of it soon becoming easier to monetize the content we provide, to "go free lance" with our expertise and to disseminate our value virally.

    Once that's available, it will be time to walk the plank. In the meantime, the mother ship is a good place to be. When it comes to making money without paycheck incomes, we're still in the phase of "doing garage sales while eBay is being conceived" or "selling services through newspaper classifieds while Craigslist is being formulated". Once the online market is established, sellers and buyers will find each other easily.