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Conference Reconsidered

by on March 11, 2012

As a way to “restart” the blog for NASPA Region II, I will be blogging each day of the 2012 conference with my own reflections and thoughts. Thanks for reading!

I’m currently writing my first post from 30,000 feet, making the trek from NY to Phoenix, AZ. Having wifi on my flight has allowed me to keep track of all the buzz already happening at NASPA. I’ve already felt engaged following some of the pre-conference backchannel tweets, especially those coming from the MMKC program today. I’ve been following along the chatter coming out of TPE, from both candidates and employers alike. I’ve seen the photos of reunions on Facebook, and seen the check-ins on Foursquare from friends scattering around the city for a bight to eat. As I comb through my various feeds, I’m drawn to reflect on how drastically social media has changed the conference experience for me and for so many others who are actively connecting with colleagues on the internet. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had “conference friends” – colleagues you see every year and are genuinely happy to reconnect with. You might grab a dinner or sit together at an event. You catch up, vent a little, feel like it hasn’t been a year since you last connected, and then very quickly say goodbye and have little contact until a year later. But now, I have colleagues  friends with whom I’m in some kind of constant connection with on a variety of levels. I see what’s going on in their daily lives, I debate or discuss issues with them on twitter, some I might even catch on some form of instant messaging and say a few words now and then.  I look forward to conferences in a way I didn’t quite before. I still look forward to the learning and dialogue that will happen over the next few days as well as the celebrating that happens at the receptions in the evening, but I also look forward to making that very human connection and re-connection with friends I get to virtually “see” on a regular basis. I guess you could say for me it’s “Conference Reconsidered”.

So for those of you active on social media, how as it changed your conference experience? How are you going to make the most of the next few days?

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From → NASPA 2012

One Comment
  1. In the same way that Facebook made high school reunions pointless, social media has added a new depth to conferences for me. Talking online, via skype, googlehangout, twitter, blogs, etc. Nothing beats being able to actually sit down, talk in person and create a memory with a colleague.

    Let’s face it – you may not remember that funny tweet, or that first tweet of connection but you will remember the brussel sprouts you ate in Philly at a small restaurant in good company (in this case, you (Chris) and Robyn at NASPA 2011.

    Twitter has made meetings like that even more possible because I’ll be honest. Without the Twitter connection I have with so many, there is no way I’d be walking up to people inviting them to dinner.

    So yea, it is the Conference Reconsidered and I look forward to going to them…and no I still have no desire at all to go to a high school reunion, that’s the only thing Facebook is good for these days, personally.

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