One of the neatest things about speaking at conferences on topics you’re passionate about is connecting with like-minded people. And one of the best things is meeting those who are yet to be wholly convinced but are willing to engage in discussion. That means you have to work quite hard to present some persuasive arguments for your point of view.
I encountered many in both groups at the EuroBlog 2007 conference in Gent, Belgium, during dinner on Thursday evening, making for a stimulating experience.
The hottest topic of the many discussed at my dinner table was Twitter. The discussion reflected much of what everyone is talking about – what is it about this texting/chatting/stream-of-consciousness service that is both compelling and confounding? Plenty of opinion abounded. Martin Oetting has a good commentary (in German).
During breakfast on Friday morning, I had the great pleasure of discussing social media and PR with Lucija Medved of the Pristop PR agency in Ljubljiana, Slovenia, and her colleague from Renderspace (sorry, I’m terrible at remembering names and it’s not on the business card). We did a quick video recording which I’m sure will appear somewhere as a videocast. Thanks, guys, it was a pleasure talking with you.
At the start of the two-day conference on Friday morning, I gave my keynote presentation that addressed the broad topic of “Communication Management in Virtual Worlds: The Next Challenge.” Second Life featured largely in this presentation, where I focused on this virtual world from the business standpoint and hoped to get everyone to think about this conclusion:
If this really is the start of something big, those companies that explore the technology now may be in a better position later, much like the first companies to grasp the importance of the web in the early 1990s.
“The transition is coming, and you may not have as much time as you had with the web to adjust to its impact.” – Sandy Kearney, Director of the Virtual Worlds program, IBM.
This was originally planned to be the closing keynote presentation of the first day, and I’m grateful to organizers Anne-Marie Cotton and Serge Cornelus that a schedule change was possible so that I could still participate even if I had to depart immediately after the presentation to get to London and so miss all the other sessions.
Some of the participants have already posted their commentaries. Cindy De Smet, for instance. And Philippe Borremans who I bumped into as I was shooting out the door. Others no doubt will write their thoughts about this event in the coming days.