Shel Israel, who co-authored the excellent book on Blogs and Blog Marketing, Naked Conversations, with one of the world's most famous Bloggers, Robert Scoble (ex-Microsoft and now PodTech), was in Montreal today as the keynote speaker for InfoPresse Magazine's Web 2.0 conference. The half-day event was held just downstairs from Twist Image HQ at the ex-centris movie theatre.
Shel is a kind soul. For the past several years we've been connected via email and through our individual Blogs. He always takes the time to comment, add insight and be a part of the conversation. He's a prime example of walking the talk. When InfoPresse called me several months back to inquire about speakers for their Web 2.0 event, I selfishly recommended Shel (we had never met in person and I wanted to hear his insights in person). Even though he is knee deep in his latest project, Global Neighbourhood, he graciously accepted InfoPresse's invitation.
After the opening session this morning, I came upstairs for a business call. I was scanning my email and noticed a Google News Alert for the term "Montreal." It was a post from Shel titled, InfoPresse Talk Notes. I looked out of our office down to the ex-centris lobby and saw Shel at a table working on his laptop. We had a quick chat to get introduced, but as the story goes, it felt like we've met many times before in the past.
During his presentation I could not even keep pace with how many times he used the word, "conversation." While, I live the social media space, it was fascinating to hear how many kinds of conversations are taking place (hint: it's in the millions), why we're all taking part (hint: because we can and it's easy) and what this means for society as a whole (hint: democratization of media and content). Couple that with the marketing implications of equal mind share voices and you can imagine the mental fireworks that were going off in my noggin.
Tonight there was a meet-up (graciously slapped together by Montreal Blogger, Marc Snyder - great job mon ami) where over thirty social media digerati hit Café Melies for drinks and dinner. It was a veritable who's who of the Blogosphere with representation from Pow! Right Between The Eyes, Instigator Blog, Start-Up Spark, Billions With Zero Knowledge, Scene From Here, Stars Of The Web, In Over Your Head, PR Pro, Canadian Podcast Buffet, Michel Leblanc, Regret The Error and so many other shining social media stars.
The "live" conversation was simply mind melting. I'm kicking myself for not having the M-Audio MicroTrack handy. One of my key learnings is that it does take the online global community and leveraging the power of social media to get over thirty people in a room from all walks of life with different interests. Through this power of connectivity online, we're able to connect in person around one global theme: these naked conversations. It has nothing to do with how little you're wearing and everything to do with connecting candidly to people - like-minded and otherwise - in the interest of personal development, growth and knowledge.
Damn, I'm loving Blogs all over again.