Thursday, November 08, 2007

Today's image: Ad in NYT. My thanks to Michael Rosenblum.

Smart move by NBC News. Working with the NY Film Academy they develop skilled entry level players.

"What we see depends mainly on what we look for." John Lubbock

"The power of imagination makes us infinite." John Muir

"Either I will find a way, or I will make one." Sir P. Sidney

Mommy, make the boring conference stop: Dave Winer offers up a brilliant idea on involving the world in the upcoming LeWeb3 and Why most conferences suck here....

"...include people and places that are on the network defined by the conference. If it's like last year, there will be people tuned in from all around the world, and wouldn't it be great if we had a way to not only pull in their ideas (and we could do this better, btw) but also their imagery? It would give it a much richer world-wide feel.

One of the exciting opportunities for tech industry conferences is to find new ways to use networking on a world-wide level."

Bravos, Dave!

What Dave Winer says about conferences is important. The business conference is in serious need of reinvention. The architecture, the approach or format, used by most conferences has not changed in thirty years excepting improvements in AV. The panel of usual suspects (talking heads with concomitant ppts) is too often tired and played out. Some conferences are requiring attendees to pay good money to listen to what are nothing more than infomercial sessions. Two most often missing ingredients: interactivity (by design those attending must be involved), presenters held accountable for takeaway (evaluation - as judged by attendees).

The genius of Winer's notion is to involve all that wish to play - using the internet to transcend time and space. Now that's a BIG wow! And it's potentially game-changing.

Thanks to Dave we have verse from Paolo here. Kudos, thanks for joining the conversation!

A good part of my time is involved in adult learning. My colleagues and I believe evaluation is important. It's a significant tool for measuring and improving training impact. On the day job we use Level 4 Eval tools to keep us focused on improving our workshops. Most conferences fail to collect evaluations, those that do are not making the best of the process. For example, too many use the so-called "smile sheet" (i.e., did you like the session? how would you rate it on a scale of one to five?). This single method is not a meaningful evaluation. Smile sheets are one dimensional views that seek to capture how happy or satisfied people were with the session or the presenter(s). Yes, better than nothing. No, not a serious measure.

One thing has changed for me personally. At those conferences where I am invited to give a talk fewer and fewer give me reasons for staying around (beyond the social hang). While I love getting invited to play, I also want to learn. It seems, more often than not lately, that I'm in the night before and out the afternoon of my talk. Fewer agendas are inspired. Not just me here. Others who speak and/or attend have shared the same feelings. My thought is this is not a good sign.

Bonus: Gladwell is back! Kudos, a welcome return.