In the comment section of our discussion this week on Social Media not being ‘social’, Robin Dickinson and I discussed the future of conferences, namely that the future could be a future without them altogether. Robin and I have been discussing this on Skype since July and his point is, ‘why in the 21st century are we still using 1950s conferencing models?’
Many of the ideas of Social Media, like engagement, conversation, friendship, follower, social and discussion, are based around relationship. That’s the whole point: it’s social and it’s relationship.
But I notice a few things that don’t line up that I’d like your feedback on:
- Despite all this talk of community, why do we still idolise content over everything else? Talk about hypocritical!
- Conferences are good becuase they allow people to make and strengthen relationship, but the conferences aren’t actually made for this. Should they be? Or should we be building relationships ourselves anyway?
- The idea of conversation, when considering Dunbar’s number of 150 friends is the max you can handle, means we have to enter into mass relationship. Can we have an ‘online gathering’ whilst still retaining connections? What if people get lost? Or is that their fault?
- How do we operate in a world where we have micro relationships and mass relationships? Do mass relationships just send us back to pushing content again?
- Some people say face to face is best, others say should evolved. How do you scale face to face into mass relationship?
Did you see what I said there? Micro relationships and mass relationships. It brings me back to this diagram from my article on Preaching to the Converted:
I’m unsure about where we go from here, and what the implications of mass relationship are. I’m hoping we can talk it through.
P.S. If you are wanting to get past content and into real connections with real people to really collaborate, you might want to read this.