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Notes from 2012 NTC - Day One

A great day at the 2012 Nonprofit Technology Conference so far. Wanted to send some quick notes.

The Hilton in San Francisco is absolutely buzzing with activity. (Now that I write that, I realize what a lame analogy it is. But picture a really, really busy hotel lobby with people connecting, re-connecting, networking, re-networking. Not sure if that is “buzzing,” but that’s it.)

My day so far has been full of a bunch of different connections:

  • Started with a meeting with GoodThreads CEO Brandon Hance. Great guy. I love what they are doing. Lots of applications for our clients. 
  • That led to a short (and then later, a slightly longer) conversation with Debra Askanase, also known as @AskDebra. If you are in social impact in the Twittersphere (odd that the previous phrase probably makes sense to a lot of people), you know who she is and what she does. She was very complimentary about Event 360’s content strategy, which meant a lot coming from her. 
  • Interesting meeting with the guys at Avectra, the leading association management software. I’m somewhat familiar with the space from a past life. Interesting to hear about the social integration in their platform. Interestingly, they are one of many groups who found out about me through this post
  • Great, great inspiring meeting as usual with the fantastic Jane Kim of Ink-Dwell. So thrilled to be working with her. 
  • The usual fantastic exchange with the incomparable Pat Walsh and Scot Chisolm of StayClassy. Nothing more to say about that. Need to go find them down on the floor somewhere. 

Countless other interactions. I’m getting lots of comments about my session coming up on Thursday, so no pressure! Gotta practice some crunching on that dataset. My session is taking place Thursday at 10:30 Pacific, and if you’re not here you can register to watch it, and lots of other great sessions, online at 2012 Online NTC. Check it out!

More to come…

Can You Hear Me Now?!?

This morning a Facebook friend of mine share a link to an article by Daniel Gulati in the Harvard Business Review entitled “Facebook Is Making Us Miserable.” Delighted with the obvious irony of learning about the article through the tool it critiques, I gave it a quick read. I would recommend it to you as well.

I found the article interesting and the implications more so. Clearly Facebook can broaden our connections with others, as evidenced by the fact that a friend from Israel shared the article with this Indiana boy and inspired comments from locations far and wide. And I will say I try to avoid the trap of thinking that anyone or anything can “make” us miserable — we do that all by ourselves!

Those two things aside, the article resonated with me. While Facebook has broadened our connections, has it deepened them? I’m not sure. 

More than Facebook specifically, it strikes me that the author is really commenting on the slow blending of our personal and professional lives — inexorably we’re moving to a place where our separate circles are not separate, where there is no distinction between different spheres, and, perhaps most sadly, where we feel compelled to share in order to stay connected.

Perhaps technology is not the culprit and these are human dynamics in any day and age — if you want social connections you have to be social, and the more you are the latter, the more you have of the former. It could be that we simply need to get over ourselves.

At the same time, something tells me that the game is changing. Not only are the rules different, but we’re on an entirely different field — one on which we’re all kind of muddling around looking for friendship and intimacy by broadcasting our lives, nonstop, over our own heads. Only no one can hear us, because we’ve each drowned out the rest of the players with our own megaphone. The louder we yell for connection, the harder it is to hear everyone else yelling too…