Some things are pretty close to impossible to write about. One of the is the experience of using a "social networking" application (for lack of a better term--see what I mean?) My colleague, Sue Hatch, gave it a good shot in the latest issue of Corporate Meetings & Incentives, but it's just not the same as actually experiencing it.
- They offer a social software solution to allow conference (or other event) attendees to register, create a profile, and map other attendees based on similar areas of interest. Here's what DEMO@15 looks like from introNetworks' perspective [click on pic above for a larger image]. Red pushpins represent attendees who have attached a photo or video to their profile. The system also provides an internal messaging system to allow attendees to contact each other to arrange meetings at the event.
I want to use this thing in real life. I really, really do. Bet your attendees would, too. (No, I'm not getting paid to tout this company. I just love their product in the demo form and am eagerly awaiting the chance to use it for a real community, be it hitched to a meeting or not.) I think it's all a part of what Rich is talking about in this post on the TSMI blog, and what Robin Good is caling X Events. We have to stop thinking of conferences as a one-time (or once a year, or whatever) thing, and understand that it can--and should--be just one part of an ongoing conversation.
But, as Rich says, "This is one of those microtrends that may end up capturing entire segments of potential conference attendees before our leaders even pick up on it." Let's not let that happen.
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