I ran into Lucy Bernholz at the first session yesterday. She and I have met in person before, but I’m always struck by how much more interesting in-person interactions are than the online version. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big advocate of how blog and other social media software allows for interactions between people who would otherwise never meet. But nothing trumps face to face conversation. Nothing trumps seeing Lucy dart up to the front of the room half way through the session and stick her iBook with camera accessory up into the air to capture the photo you can see on her blog today.
Emotion doesn’t come through very well online. But it sure does in person. I had a conversation with Susan Herr of PhilanthroMedia, Albert Ruesga of White Courtesy Telephone and Suzanne Perry, one of the driving forces behind the Chronicle on Philanthropy’s Give and Take feature, during one of the post conference receptions. We could have talked for hours — which is funny, if you think about it, because we all interact online. There is something about the emotion behind the ideas we discuss that only become readily accessible when you talk in person. Blogs are great. They have the power to transform our culture because they have the power to transform our relationship with information. But they’ll never replace conversations in the corner of a conference room, or over a glass of wine or cup of coffee.