Virtually Vegas


The New Communications Forum started today in Las Vegas, and here I am on the other side of the country. Although the conference came highly recommended, the timing wasn't right this time. The funny thing is, the blog coverage has been so good that it almost seems like I'm there.

Summaries of David Weinberger's opening keynote started appearing within minutes of his presentation. With writeups like these from Shel Israel, Joseph Thornley, and Paul Gillin, I almost felt like I heard Weinberger speak. (Photo by Josh Hallett)

Just a little later, Thornley was back with his notes from John Bell's session on corporate social media strategy, including a downloadable copy of the presentation.

If you tune in to the IRC back channel, you'll pick up juicy tidbits like where tonight's beercast is happening and what color shirt someone's wearing. The little alerts when people enter and exit the "room" add to the sense of being there. The pictures do a better job on the fashion reporting, however.

I know, social media coverage is no substitute for being there. Despite the good notes, I didn't actually see and hear the speakers. I'm missing out on the front channel of personal contact (and the beer channel). But isn't it appropriate that social media are providing such good coverage of a social media conference? I'd rather be there, but since I can't... Thanks for sharing the goods, everyone.



I'm reading David's evolving coverage of it as well - it's like listening to a commentator doing a sports cast.

Do you fear some of the deeper points will be lost as people are busy trying to blog the blow by blow in near real time - including snapping pictures?

Maybe the beauty of social media is that it is being covered from so many perspectives that a very 'rich' experience can be provided virtually by the collective mass in attendance. What one blogger misses, another covers.

I'm not too concerned about people missing points. For one thing, I've seen at least one speaker clarify a point in comments (sorry, don't have the details handy). There's the point about multiple bloggers putting together a pretty fair picture as a group, as you mentioned.

It's also likely that the people blogging the event aren't the ones who are there to learn, for the most part. Ted Shelton observed that the conference was good for beginners but perhaps a bit shallow for experts. Most of the blog coverage does seem to have come from experts, whether they label themselves that or not.

Which is not to say that "experts" can't learn in a setting like NewCommForum. But they probably can take notes and keep up.

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About Nathan Gilliatt

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