In a call with some colleagues yesterday, one of the points I tried to get across was the fact that actual physical events no longer need be bounded by four walls and a clock. That, in fact, the runway leading up to the event, as well as the conversation and sharing of information that continues long after the event, can be just as important and useful as the event itself.
The fact of the matter is that not all people can make all the events they would prefer, which is why it's nice to see some of the more cutting-edge Internet industry events getting a clue by sharing in real-time both the information and the conversation for those who, for whatever reason, couldn't transport their atoms.
One of the points I shared with my IBM colleagues in the conversation yesterday was that there are a variety of reasons each of us go to events and conferences. We go to meet new, exciting and smart people. To network. To get out of the office. To learn. To share. To complain. Did I mention to get out of the office? I'm sure there are plenty others.
Whatever your reasons, the great thing these days is that if you don't have the time or inclination to get on an airplane and go from Point A to Point B, the technology is such that you can "tune in" to many events -- real-time, or, if the event organizers had some foresight, after the fact, utilizing podcasts, media streams, etc -- and still gain plenty good information and insights. And, using IRC, chat rooms, etc., you can also participate remotely in real-time.
Speaking of which, if you'll excuse me, here I sit in Turboville in Austin, Texas, but have to get back to a SuperNova panel being held out at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. I'm attending a session entitled "Discussion on the Future of the Desktop."
I'm sorry I'll miss out on the dim sum, but the main course is being delivered straight to my ThinkPad.