The richness of being social


Getting together for a chat over lunch – the epitome of being social whether for business or pleasure.

That’s what the photo above suggests to me, a picture of a group who did just that a few days ago at the delightful Petersham Hotel in Richmond, Surrey; people who know each other primarily though online social networks and common interests and thinking, most of whom don’t physically get together too frequently.

The occasion was Jeremiah Owyang’s UK visit following his keynote speech at the Bazaarvoice Social Commerce Summit in London on October 19. Jeremiah is partner and principal analyst at Altimeter Group in Silicon Valley.

My podcasting partner Shel Holtz and I interviewed Jeremiah last month in which we discussed social business readiness, the subject of an in-depth study led by Jeremiah that examined what it takes for an organization to be prepared for social business, what the benefits of readiness are as well as the consequences of unpreparedness and the steps most organizations still need to take, even those ranked as “advanced.”

So when a get-together like the one I mentioned does happen, it adds genuine richness to the moment as well as to the relationships between all of the people. Pictured, from left to right: Jeremiah Owyang, Neville Hobson (that’s me), Philip Sheldrake, Abigail Harrison, Kerry Bridge, Julius Duncan, Jas Dhaliwal, and Benjamin Ellis. Missing from the photo because she had to leave earlier than the rest of us did (we all lingered): Sophie Brendel.

As they say, nothing beats face to face.

[Photo attributed to Benjamin Ellis – and published here under Creative Commons license – but taken with Benjamin’s camera by our table waiter at the Petersham Hotel. Not a bad snapper!]

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.