With attendees frantically updating their Facebook accounts on their BlackBerries between sessions, tweeting notes about the keynote during the presentation, and tapping away on their netbooks during breaks, one can't help but wonder what happened to being social with the people who are actually in the same room. Is social media making us less social face to face?

JEFF DE CAGNA, chief strategist and founder of Principled Innovation LLC, Reston, Va., says we need to think differently about what we mean by social. “It used to be that you were being social when you were interacting with the people who were sharing the same physical space,” but now the definition of “social” has to extend to all those in your community of people who you follow and who follow you on Twitter, your Facebook friends, and your LinkedIn links. “I don't think of it as being less social; I think of it as being social in a different way.”

Like it or not, he adds, this new sociability is here to stay. To learn what you can do to design “double-sided” experiences that are available to both real-life and virtual attendees (and their extended networks), go to meetingsnet.com/socialmedia and click on the “Redefining Sociability” podcast.