The World Blogging Forum carries a name that made things complicated since the very beginning. When i got the invitation for the first edition, last year, was a bit confusing and it was difficult to believe that was not a joke.
The real problem for people like me that attend more than 60 conferences and more than a hundred events per year is always to be able to select carefully where to go and to avoid specific kind of events. I totally avoid marketing events without any content and events with a specific goal: sell something. I also try to avoid events where i don’t have the chance to learn something.
So when i got the first invitation last year and i discovered that a student organization was behind the event i accepted. I was also a bit confused when there was not an actual preparation of the talks and since 2 minutes before going on stage anybody of us was exactly sure about what to say.
Maybe that situation can disappoint people, but then something happened. We suddenly realize that our specific demands in terms of event organization are driven by the search of efficiency. But that was not the context of efficiency, it was the contest of knowing each other and take great experiences one from the others. And this is exactly the mood that i wanted to have during the 2010 edition just concluded in Vienna.
I was asked to talk about prosumers and the best that i could get to such a general audience was my personal experience. Of course i give speeches all the time and i wanted to apply all the rules of a good presentation, so i prepared something a bit inspirational, with some case history too.
The issue that we had during the #WBF2010, and i’m sure that Ritchie who organized the event very passionately will agree on, was the lack of glue on the stage. Yes we were really different one to the other and our background and specialties were so many that of course the audience lost the thread. Actually because the thread was not very clear even to us on stage.
I have to say, that for us was much easier, when you are on stage it’s very easy, you just talk and show off your story. No big deal. But when you are on the audience and you don’t find a very clear path from one speaker to the other, well, it’s really difficult to follow.
And that is exactly what happened. Lots of tweets were really far from the talks on stage and also the problem was that some of us are professional presenters, like me, Livia Iacolare and Andrea Vascellari. But others are not, so of course some presentations are easier to follow and others are a bit more complicated.
I also decided to take the company i work for on stage, including 123people in some of the slides and taking from it the two case histories in my presentation. I think that that move didn’t like to someone in the audience, because at the end of my presentation there was an argument regarding 123people. Well, i can pretend to be totally out of the company when i get out of the door of the office, but it doesn’t work. I cannot pretend that I live in Vienna because of the weather or the food. I decided to move here to follow my passion and my careeer, and definitely my company. I’m not going to take away a part of myself because someone feels pissed off by the presence of companies on a stage. I brought some content to show my experience, you can decide to take it and try to understand my point or you can just decide you are not interested, no problem. I’m totally fine with that.
But you know, you can’t attack me without expecting a proper reaction, because you have the right to disagree with me and to express your disagreement even in a tough way, but you need to have a point. Being pissed off just because you don’t have anything else to say, it’s not a good point, i’m sorry.
At the same time i don’t understand why people are asking to take down the twitter-wall behind the stage. Some say because it distract the audience, some other because people can follow twitter on their own devices, some other say that it’s simply useless.
I find it interesting for different reasons. First of all, it gives you an immediate perception of the mood regarding the event. The more the tweets are focused on a topic and the more the presenter is engaging the audience. But the best engaging ever is when there are no tweets during the presentation and a huge storm of tweets right after. It’s also funny sometimes because a joke can spread in the room, very quickly. In my opinion the twitter-wall is nice and should be kept. And for those who think that it distract from the stage (usually the most scared about that are the speakers), i only say that an interesting speaker cannot be afraid of a twitter-wall, if you have great content and a great way to deliver it, the twitter-wall will support you in spreading your idea.
I also loved the great job that Ritchie did in the organization side. We had a great location, a great food and even with a tight schedule we were able to enjoy all the time together. A great thank you to Mihaela, Matthias, Eric, Andrea, Livia and all the other people for the great time together.
I just want to conclude with an advice for the bloggers who attended the #wbf2010 and to those who followed us online:
Be constructive, be nice and be critic (non necessary in this order).