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Valeria, I checked out the About You page to take the assignment seriously. I was curious to dip into it and the Facebook fan page to learn about the people here and how and who I could connect with.

I also quickly realized how hard it is to dig in here and figure that out; the introductions here in the About You page are great, full of details, but it also takes a lot of time to read and think about each person. Maybe that's good, maybe that's bad.

Facebook is kind of the same: unless I'm already friends with someone, I can't access much information about the person to really figure that out.

More information would help create more surface area for connections and relationships to form.

But that's a problem with the tools, not the community; you have tons of great people that read and connect here, and I love reading the comments as much as the posts. The community is ready, but the tool is lacking, in my opinion.

Perhaps in the absence of tools, the path is specificity, to bring the community's focus around particular events, causes, etc, to aggregate and direct people's attention and energy. I'm sure you're familiar with the "blog star" concept that Fred Wilson (avc.com) has written about: the comment stream there is full of ideas about how blogs (specifically, niche blogs) and their communities can have an impact.

Interested in your thoughts.

The real connections usually happen outside the organized part of the event for the reasons you list. I was speaking at an event on a panel today. The best conversation was at lunch with one of the panelists afterward.

If this is how you organize, they must be superior events. Good thoughts here.

Valeria:

Fantastic insight and thought here.

I apply this to the context of the event or meeting. (Since I'm a meetings, event and education professional.) So often, we see the face-to-face event as a onetime experience where we try to connect with as many people (tradeshow & networking) and as much content (workshops) as possible in a short period. Most conferences and events take us out of our daily life and put us within a compressed fishbowl where we try to devour as much we can as quick we can. This is not the best way to learn or experience things. It’s not normal.

When an event professional sees the face-to-face event (which has great marketing potential) within the larger context of a eco-system of community, he/she plans differently. Then every experience with that attendee becomes a touch point, a place to engage the attendee in a new experience. The face-to-face conference is just one experience within a larger evergreen community experience.

Make sense?

Taking your social integration to the events model, it might look like this:

• community planning and building team (includes content, marketing, membership (when thinking about nonprofits and associations), meetings and technology members)
• meetings/events experience delivery team (these are the folks that would design online and face2face experiences including av, education, entertainment, logistics, speakers, tradeshow, etc.)
• attendee touch points (webinars, conference eCommunity, eMarketing, online chats, virtual experiences)
• content and experience development

Just sayin....

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