Can’t we all just get along?


Sigh, well I see I’m not the only one who noticed that some of us were a little more concerned about meeting people based on their technorati rating, rather than having a meaningful conversation. Lord knows, I was guilty of at least one OMG, vanity tweet during the conference (maybe there were more, but I don’t want to know about it). That was the reason for my last post on In Practice, and exactly WHY I did not name drop in that post. I realized about Tuesday or so, that I was not liking some of what I was seeing both in myself and others. Rather than talk about others, I made a choice to change my behavior and talk about ideas, instead of folks with good technorati ratings.

We all have to protect our time. Look at what Scott is saying about how overwhelming it all is with all that information, and face-to-face interactions on top of it. I just concentrated on the sessions, meeting people, and twitter, in that order. My reader is full, I haven’t really looked at the NECC 2008 Ning, and that’s what’s kept me sane (that and naps).

Who knows, maybe Scott was concerned about me stalking him, although I think we had agreed to talk at NECC prior to going there, and we have a long running practice of me asking for his time, and making arrangements. I do that, not because he is “famous” but because he is very busy as a professor and father, and time is a finite resource. Still, I think Scott made a mistake in how he framed this particular problem, and I saw something similar happen on my staff this year, when someone talked about a particular shortcoming they saw in some staff members, and didn’t mention who is was. When you drop a bomb like that post, people begin to wonder, “was that me he was talking about?”

What I think we all need to ask ourselves when we have a conversation with others is this, is it about your vanity (and/or theirs) or is it to share something of substance, or just have fun (the last two are what we should be aiming for)? If it’s the former, you’re not just wasting a FB’s time, you’re wasting your time, and that is a precious commodity. Treat it with some respect.

by posted under conferences | 7 Comments »    
7 Comments to

“Can’t we all just get along?”

  1. July 4th, 2008 at 6:59 am      Reply JenW Says:

    Alice –
    thank you for continuing the conversation over here — I started it at Scott’s and followed you here…………hmmmm, does that make me a stalker.

    One of the things I missed MOST about being at NECC this year…..F2F Necc, was the conversations…….but not about TECH….but about life.

    In fact, usually when I go to conferences, that is one of the last things I do want to talk about — because people are so much more than the tech they hide behind………and when you get to know them as “THEM” and not as “FB” or even “WFB” — the bottom line is, they are regular people……..and we are all struggling to get a handle on this thing called “TECH.”

    I cherish the conversations I have had that have had NOTHING to do with tech and look forward to having more at upcoming conferences………….

    And I have to heartily agree with one of your final comments about not being specific when dealing with problems. My admin always does that — and the people who are innocent are wondering “what did I do” and the people who are guilty just look around the room wondering who they might be pointing at.

    I look forward to getting to know YOU at the next conference we go to.

    Thanks again!

  2. July 4th, 2008 at 1:21 pm      Reply Bethany Smith Says:

    I’m glad I didn’t know you were famous before I talked to you – otherwise we may have never met – just kiddin 🙂

    I agree with you that there seemed to be some walls built, and I was guilt of not talking to some people that I had intended to. However, I made so many great connections, I can’t imagine anymore that I could have fit in!

    It was a pleasure to meet you and I hope to discuss more with you virtually!

  3. July 4th, 2008 at 1:47 pm      Reply Lisa Parisi Says:

    Why can’t we all just get along? I loved meeting everyone and didn’t even realize there was a problem until I read Scott’s blog. I found everyone gracious and friendly. My best times, however, were sitting for meals or drinks and talking. That’s when the conversation and learning really took place for me. And I am glad I had you as part of that learning. Thank you.

  4. July 4th, 2008 at 5:38 pm      Reply alicemercer Says:

    Behtany, I didn’t realize people “knew” me until I got to NECC, so I really don’t think of myself as “famous”. That was the SCARIEST thing about talking to people at NECC is having all sorts of people recognize me, and know me/my blog/my work. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no FB, but I didn’t realize how “out there” I was until that happened. But, that as they say is another story. I LOVED talking to you, and look forward to getting to know you online.

    JW: We will see each other at ILC I hope. I’ll be doing my first statewide conference presentation, so I’m a little nervous. Many people asked after you at NECC, so you were missed.

    Lisa, few people have become so recognized for their awesome work, so quickly. What you’ve done is amazing, and the stories about your year teaching in Texas were definately a highlight of my trip. I will be sharing that for years to come.

  5. July 8th, 2008 at 3:14 am      Reply Scott McLeod Says:

    Hi Alice,

    I loved that we finally got to meet each other at NECC this year. I wish that we’d had more time to talk in San Antonio but I know that we’ll continue our Skype conversations!

    I deliberately didn’t name any names in my post. I am uncertain that I even could have done so – the post was intended to sum up a variety of comments / feelings that were sort of floating around at NECC. I also tried to frame it in such a way that we all would reflect not just on our own behavior and thoughts but on our collective responsibilities to each other. I don’t know if that was a ‘mistake’ or not, but it seems to have generated some interesting thinking and conversation.

    Keep up the good work, my blogging friend!

  6. July 8th, 2008 at 8:31 am      Reply alicemercer Says:

    Scott, I think your intent, and what you talked about was spot-on, but you had two things in your post that can led to misunderstanding, the general statement without names, and using sarcasm. Still you got folks thinking, and I for one noticed some of this behavior from both sides (fb being famous bloggers, fanboys/girls, etc.) and it had that unpleasant feel of a middle school cafeteria break.

    Wonderful meeting you and other folks at NECC, and I look forward to future conversations.

  7. July 8th, 2008 at 8:32 am      Reply Bethany Smith Says:

    Scott, I think that if you had “named names” it would have made this issue more petty than it really should be. Establishing that there was an issue that existed and then generating dialog is the mature way to go. Hopefully, it will break down some of the barriers that have been put up recently.

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