Last Tuesday I attended the Building Sustainability Now conference event, from my study, popping out from the event and discussions only to deal with phone calls and other work issues. I also made a good number of new contacts, either through email address exchange or social connections such as Linkedin. Oh and I didn’t use the car on that day.
Phil Clark has posted lessons learnt from the event, which as Paul Wilkinson points out must be seen as a success judging by the numbers registered and attended. Phil has asked for ‘delegates’ feedback so here are my two pennies:
I loved the chat room in the lounge but would agree that there needed to be themed areas, as sometimes the debate was hard to follow. The excellent moderator services of carbon coach Dave Hampton kept the discussion alive, particularly on the climate change debate with Brad, which must go as a classic on on-line forum debates.
However, being used to other forms of online events, I found the interface too static and became tiring too quickly. For example compare with Second Life events where there is action, avatars moving, places to virtually visit, camp fires to sit around and discuss issues, the opportunity to talk in open chat or on a one to one or in a group, to pass information and links to others etc make it a more ‘live’ experience.
The question has been asked- is the industry ready for Web 2.0 ?. I would answer yes, but needs a little nudge and encouragement to join in. The increase in information that is communicated through web2 is increasing all the time, and the cost of attending real events (fees, travel and time away from office) will improve the take up I am sure. And again I must plug the up and coming October Be2Camp event, which will have introduction sessions to web2.0 as well as exploring the leading edge of web2 and possibly web3 communications.
As to costs, I had a choice of event to attend last Tuesday – Sustainability Now – free and I could participate in my own time in my own office, or a Business in Virtual Worlds event – cost £599, travel to London, and a fixed agenda of speakers. Its a no brainer.
Outside of the event, I found it fascinating the twitter conversations that were taking place, on themes and discussions from within the event, illustrating the use of Web2. For example I was able to send a twitter message to Rob Annable, (who was online at the event, but not in the lounge when the discussion was praising his eco-terrace project), suggesting he pop back into the lounge. Reinforcing my view Twitter stands to be the next email and texting killer application.
I did have technical problems in viewing the presentations – Real Player playing up this end – but question why recorded events where played at set times – maybe these should be available on demand
I like the exhibitors place but found a number of questions emailed to the stands still remain unanswered.
As to more international input, there has to be a programme that caters for international time zones to attract. Nothing worst that turning up at an event real or virtual to find everyone has gone home. In fact this may be one of the work-life balance issues that virtual events need to address. I sometimes find myself on line in Second Life debates at 2 in the morning – because they are held in the sunny Californian afternoon time zone.
But saying all that it was an excellent event Phil, well done – and I hope that it will be repeated.