Over the past year, the more events - especially presentations - I've been to, the more I've noticed the bloggers and tweeters in my midst. And how rapidly they're propelling themselves from the back of the room towards the front.
Now initially, I thought blogging conference presentations was a great idea - a fantastic way to spread the speakers' words to a far wider audience. Twitter seemed a very good option too: capturing that nugget of great thought and sending it into the twittersphere. But now I'm not so sure.
Thinking about it, how is it possible to really listen and learn while trying to keep up a running commentary? Isn't there a danger that you simply reflect at the most superficial level rather than really locking onto the nuances of what any speaker has to say. It struck me most recently when I had a blogger and three different Twitterers feeding back on the same presentation. All had a lot to say, but little of their opinion actually converged. I didn't get much sense of the speaker - just what these people had to say...and that was less than useful.
Equally, last week I was in on an event where lots of people were blogging away. When it came to questions at the end, none of these people had anything to ask. Had they really been listening properly? What's the point of a live event if there's no live interaction?
I guess I'd rather people listened, digested and then fed back.