Thursday, March 10, 2011
Meetups, Tweetups and Burning Man
On Saturday I’ll be leading a discussion with some of the Tri-State’s most prominent social media voices at the March round-up of New Media Cincinnati.
NMC is a group of professionals, students, special interest bloggers, activists, consultants, freelancers … you name it who share a passion for connecting and sharing with other people in social media channels.
In real life.
We’ll be talking about social media tragedies – deserved and otherwise – but what’s important is that we’ll be talking face-to-face.
But why do we do these things? With Facebook and the Twitter machine and especially Skype and such, really, the Gathering is hardly necessary anymore.
For all the wonders of modern technology humans have an innate desire to be with people like them, people with a shared experience (your awkward family Thanksgivings notwithstanding). We are chromosomally programmed to congregate. Not to herd, but to gather and share knowledge, trade ideas and connect.
Late each summer, 50,000 people who share a common identity gather in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada to build a city that lasts exactly eight days. From the Monday before to Labor Day, artists, nudists, self-expressionists and other opt-in non-conformists pay $200 or more to be with folks like themselves. They can be freaks at home, so why do they fly and drive to a remote desert mesa?
To gather and share knowledge, trade ideas and connect.
These are people who choose to engage in unusual hobbies or to live alternative lifestyles 365 days a year. But for eight days, they’re normal. They’re with their own.
I have a few friends participating in a similar ritual in Austin this weekend. They will, I hope, go home to their respective communities (online or otherwise) with knowledge and ideas to share.
Aside: If you’re interested in New Media Cincinnati event, I should warn you this will not be the standard preso model of #CincySM events. It’s a discussion and I hope to learn a heckuva lot more than I teach.