Relfections on New Media Expo 2008, Part II

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So, Paolo Tosolini and I were chatting at NME 2008 about how so many of us attendees really get what social media is about and how many comapnies still haven’t figured it out yet. However, despite all the talk about cool new/social technologies (e.g. Twitter, Seesmic, PKS, Qik, etc.), we both came down to the same conclusion:

The most important part about social media is the “YOU and ME” — the social interaction that occurs face-to-face.

Indeed, though I blogged about some of the interesting talks that I attended at the expo, the more important part of the conference was really the interactions that occurred outside of the formal sessions — the meetups, the tweetups, the random gatherings at the bar, the impromptu (room) parties, and the hallway conversations; basically, the water cooler effect at any conference (NOTE: For further insight and a great discussion on this topic, read the What Comes Next section of Chris Brogan’s post, as well as watch Greg Cangiolosi’s video from Gnomedex 2008).

Sure, new and social media have really allowed people to connect across space and time (OK, time-zones) and provide (almost) instantaneous updates in text, audio, and/or video formats, but the whole idea is NOT to replace face-to-face meetups, but to supplement them; making for a better, more informed, and more personal experience when you next meet face-to-face. For instance, there was prolific use of Twitter at the expo this year (more so than any previous expo that I noticed), but it was mainly to figure out where people were, so we could meet up F2F.

So having said all that, it would only be appropriate to tell you about some of the really cool/fun/interesting people that I met at the conference (mostly outside of the formal sessions)…

Rene, Annemieke, Erik, and Shwen
Firstly, I give a shout out to my new Dutch friends — Erik, Rene, and Annemieke. I met them at the Corporate/Enterprise Podcasters Meetup (see below) and discovered that we all shared a common passion for combining new/social media with healthcare and pharma. In fact, all three of them currently or formerly work(ed) at a veterinary healthcare company in Holland (recently acquired by Schering-Plough), though Erik and Rene have now co-founded their own New Media company, DigiRedo, which has a strong focus on the healthcare and pharma industry. True to our podcasting geek-ness, we also took turns interviewing each other for our respective podcasts/blogs (I’ll post the interview with Erik very soon)… Needless to say, we all got on like a house on fire and had a blast hanging out during the conference. Gezellig!!

Corporate Podcasters

Next, I should definitely mention Paolo Tosolini and Robin Maiden, both of whom I had met previously — Paolo at every Podcast Expo since 2006 and Robin at the past two PodCamp’s in Boston. The three of us had organized the Corporate/Enterprise Podcasters Meetup and we were pleasantly surprised to have a HUGE turnout this year (probably 20-30 people), indicating to us that this is an area of growing interest…We were thinking that the topic probably deserves a track of it’s own next year. And in case you’re wondering about the pic, the answer is “YES, I am standing on a chair” (these guys are TALL!!!).

Sciene and Medical Podcasters Meetup

Another meetup that I attended was the (early morning) Science and Medical Podcasters Meetup, which Jamie Davis (Medicast) kindly pulled together. Met a bunch of really cool and interesting folks there, all part of the medical/healthcare community.

Overall, I met quite a lot of people this year (both new and old) outside of the formal sessions, including: my ol’ expo buddies – George Krueger & Mary-Lynn Foster (Bigg Success) and Greg Cangiolosi (Blue Sky Factory), (P)NME veteran Mike McAllen (Grass Shack), Matt Gunn and Carina Stanton (AORN), Dane Falkner (Surgeworks), John Blue (Truffle Media), Tracy Evans (Tracy Evans Productions), Karin Hogh (Podblog.dk), Andrew McCaskey (Sales Channel Network), Donna Papacosta (Trafalgar Communications), Eric Larson (Projectline), Ken Piner (FINRA), Ken Arturo (Odeo), and many more whose biz cards I failed to obtain (oops, sorry!).

Shwen, Jason, Vernica, Tom

I had to sneak this one last pic in here of me and the crew from CNET: Veronica Belmont (Tekzilla), Tom Merritt and Jason Howell (Buzz Out Loud). It was kinda weird seeing them in real life, when you’re used to seeing them in a small video player on CNET.TV, but they were totally down to earth and loads of fun… Their talk — Developing an Engaged Community (a.k.a. Don’t Feed the Trolls) — was also funny and interesting, especially their troll definitions.

As you can see, I had a wonderful time at the NME 2008 and met a lot of really good people, mostly outside of the formal sessions. Once again, new and social media technologies surely do play a big part these days in helping us facilitate the pre- and post- conversations, which ultimately leads to the
real value of the expo, which is realized by the people you meet and the interactions that occur face-to-face.
Again: The most important part about social media is the “YOU and ME”!

3 Responses to “Relfections on New Media Expo 2008, Part II”

  1. Med 2.0 » Blog Archive » My Digiredo Interview @ NME 2008 Says:

    [...] mentioned in my previous post, Erik van der Zijden of Digiredo interviewed me for their blog (and I interviewed him for Med 2.0 [...]

  2. Med 2.0 » Blog Archive » Introducing Erik van der Zijden (DigiRedo) — My New Co-Blogger Says:

    [...] — together with his colleagues/friends, Rene and Annemieke — earlier this year at the 2008 New Media Expo in Las Vegas, NV. After spending an evening with them chatting over dinner, we all discovered that [...]

  3. Deirdre Says:

    Here are my issues with f2f medical conferences:
    1. They lack interactivity, presenter speaks for 45 minutes, leaving 10 minutes for questions which is never enough time to really discuss an idea. Online conferences have discussion forums that are active and available 24 hours, sometimes for months if the topic generates sufficient energy. These conversations involve everyone not just the asker and presenter.
    2. They lack real connection. You meet great people and without a forum or project to connect you, they are gone at the end of the conference. Online like-minded people appear over and over and connect you to other like-minded people.
    3. Ageism, sexism, racism, classism all create barriers that prevent people from interacting f2f. When you can’t see the person, those barriers rarely exist online.
    4. Time and money, my university has restricted travel because of budget issues so I get to go to 1 out of province conference this year. I attend 10-15 online presentations every year, most of them are free but even at $800, it’s cheaper than travel costs.

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