Last night the New England Chapter of AIIM held a holiday social event in Newton, MA. Food and drink were consumed, business cards were exchanged, conversation was had and stories were told. In this highly connected, always on, 140-character world, a nice-sized group of people slowed down, left their iPhones in their pockets (mostly) and reengaged in the art of conversation – and we had a wonderful time!
Looking back over 2012, I attended 7 New England Chapter educational events and 3 social events organized by the Chapter. I attended the AIIM Conference in San Francisco. I participated actively via the AIIM website, the AIIM Community pages, Facebook and Twitter (including infoChats), I read blog entries, wrote blog entries, attended webinars, watched videos, viewed slide-decks and I followed a few discussions on LinkedIn. By far the most rewarding use of my time was attending the Chapter events.
Notice that I didn’t say that it was a “productive” or an “efficient” use of my time, the word I chose was “rewarding.” Social media is a great way to keep the conversation going, to span the barriers of distance, time and time-zones, and it’s even a great way to memorialize bits of the conversation. Social media and online resources are also great ways to participate in multiple conversations with a minimal expenditure of time. Unfortunately, at the end of the day / week / month / year, all of those conversations are a blur of 1’s and 0’s properly organized and rendered by web, desktop and iOS clients. None of those “conversations” became my lasting memories, and most are indistinguishable from their conversation peers unless I step up my act and apply some advanced analytics to the pile.
By way on contrast, I remember specific things from each Chapter event I’ve attended. I remember the people that I met, I remember things people said and I remember the context in which those things were said. I don’t need powerful analytics to figure all that out, the events were so rich, so colorful and so REAL that I simply can’t forget what happened there. We had representatives from three New England states at our party last night. If you call this area home, check out the amazing event we are going to have on January 15th. If you aren’t fortunate enough to live in New England, check it out anyway, we will be streaming the event live to a small group of virtual attendees.#AIIMNE #community #AIIM