At my first #140Conf in London in 2010 Stephen Fry explained that twitter was, ‘human-shaped, not business-shaped.’ I’ve yet to find a better description to describe Jeff Pulver’s 140 Conference events.
There are very few established ‘experts’ – and the ones that are are not of the self-appointed variety. There are no lectures, no how-tos, no vendor pitches… there’s no ‘this is what I did – you should do it too…’ and there’s no simmering rivalry between the presenters [otherwise known as characters]. 140 Conferences are about honesty, humanity and real stories of how social media has contributed to changing lives and about search for meaning from the real-time Internet.
There’s always lots of laughs; no shortage of hugs – rather than handshakes; and they re’s raw emotion – and sometimes tears; but what strikes me most is that 140 Conference events are about community. There’s a sense of shared purpose amongst #140Conf attendees – they are there to find ways to use the real-time internet to make the world a better place.
I’ll post more about my specific experiences of this year’s event in the coming days, but as I decompress from the last three days in New York it strikes me that what defines 140 Conferences are the moments of shared humanity. They are opportunities to look beyond the digital souls of our online community and know that we’re not alone in wanting to make the world a better place. I can’t think of a better testimony to both the value of the real-time Internet and The 140 Conference – can you?