Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thoughts on Location and Local

I mentioned PodcampXL and an interest in doing one locally back in July which is when Eric Rice first mentioned it. Its nice that I was interested, but until now not much had happened with that.

Recently I took a road trip, which was prompted in part by a need to reflect on where I am and where I am going. Of the many topics of thought one was about location and community. Between twitter and Second Life, and the chatrooms of BlogTV, Ustream and Operator 11, and the recent advent of Seesmic a lot of what I think of as my community and my friends with like interests are found all over the globe. This in and of itself is not a bad thing. We are living in an increasingly global society, that is one of the effects of fast ubiquitous communication. However, when it comes at the expense of the local community that is a problem.

Sure I do have friends locally and a community that I live within, but the majority of the local community has no idea what I'm talking about when I talk about global friends, video on the net, cool new technologies, and the desire to think deeply of the consequences and future of these technologies. For that discussion I go to the net.

The network will always have a broader pool of people with similar interests. Yet at the same time the ease of finding such people with such interests over the network sometimes causes a person to overlook the local. Case in point, I was visiting Seesmic in San Francisco and Loic pointed out that there were a lot of seesmicers in Colorado. I had noticed that, but the truth is that I have not yet met any of them. In a sense it is kind of silly. People with similar interests are living (figuratively) in my own back yard and yet we wave from the distance over video.

So...that brings me back to PodcampXL. I know, it sounds like a super big podcamp (extra large) but as Eric Rice describes it the focus is local, extra local perhaps? Community comes together from doing things together. Sure gatherings are nice but what seems like the next step for me is to start working on this PodcampXL. It is inspired by podcamp but the focus is participation and presentation - of one sort or another - by all. I'd like to see this PodcampXL be the start of something rather than just a great event. Afterwards I'd like to keep the discussions going the working together going. How that works isn't clear to me, but it shouldn't be - it should come organically from the process of the PodcampXL.

Rather than describe the ideas of how I envision PodcampXL and make everyone scroll through my thoughts I will write more on my PodcampXL idea in the next post.

1 comment:

Paul said...

I became much more aware globally having lived in Iceland in the late 80's. Now, it appears that I've got more friends and family, globally, than I do locally. Even those "local" friends, I catch up with, via global internet connections on twitter, or Seesmic or via one of the other plethora of Socnet tools we have. Yes, the continuation of the XL needs to be generated from those in attendance and not a pre-ordained result or desired outcome of the event.