March begins with superb sun in Cork. Monday starts with follow-up from the inspiration of Friday & Saturday. Life moves on. There is a balance to be struck between the new and the old.
Twitter introduced me to LikeMinds2010. @drewellis just asked me "What did you think? We want to improve things for our online audience." I began my response, but it was too hard to do justice to Like Minds via Twitter.
My first impressions of Like Minds:
(1) I found out about Like Minds by accident, at the last minute. This meant I was always playing catch-up. I already had plans for how I was going to spend Friday & Saturday. Meant I tuned into Exeter while strolling through the streets of Cork. I was tuning in and doing research at the same time. Exciting and frustrating.
(2) My first contacts with Like Minds was via #likeminds. Hash tag contact: I could look at the stream of tweets from people travelling to Exeter from USA, London, even Bristol. This got me into the mood. I started following a few people. Why did I pick those particular individuals? Probably because there seemed to be a mixure of information and personal stuff in their tweets. I was curious to find out whether these new media heads would be friendly to outsiders.
(3) The amount of background stuff was awesome. The Like Minds website and live streaming resources were so impressive. I began to treat Like Minds as a case study in cutting edge use of media. With very little information, I imagined, empathised, fantasisied... I decided I would treat Like Minds 2010 as a case study in my education.
(4) I realised gradually there were many layers to Like Minds. This was not simply a conference: it was some sort of movement. It was also a partnership between commercial heads (big brands and marketing companies) and non-for-profit people. Public and private sector. And there seemed to be a fundraising for good causes element. Like Minds got more and more interesting the more I found out. And I was able to suss all this out while rushing round the streets of Cork, doing my normal business.
(5) A few people contacted me via Twitter. They seemed perfectly normal enthusiasts. I felt I would have been among some of my own kind if I was in Exeter. I'm puzzled: why Exeter? There is a story here. I'm the kind of person who's most interested in the behind-the-front warts-and-all story. The biography of Like Minds is somewhere waiting to be written. I now realise that LikeMinds2010 has a history and context. It's an event in a story that began in the past and intends to change the future.
(6) Better declare an interest: I spent the best years of my life in UK. 30 years 1975-2005. I love the place. I have reasons for coming back to Ireland. But I still love so much about UK that I come over all nostalgic, almost tearful whenever I dwell on how much I miss places like Devon. I'm attracted by Like Minds because it might give me an excuse to pop over (hopefully on Ferry Julia from Cork to Swansea).
Enough @drewellis... you have opened up a floodgate... My readers won't all share my passion for new media, media people and building communities of conversation. I have a meeting with Mary Corbett, Life Coach, in Radisson Hotel in 45 minutes. But thank you so much for tweeting me back. I would love to stay in touch with you.