I appreciate the gesture. And attend I will. And write I will.
But like Stil, I attend very many of these sorts of events, and am of the mind that liveblogging them, or live tweeting them, unless one has an especially cogent observation to make, actually detracts from the value of attending the event.
So, I’ve made a decision. I will attend the event. I will occasionally tweet if I or a speaker or another attendee has something especially noteworthy to say.
But I’m not going to live blog. Rather, I’m going to make notes, compile them, and post a summary tomorrow evening or Saturday.
Once I’ve had the opportunity to digest the material from the event.
Here’s why. After attending a great number of these “big thinking” events – TED, TEDx, Interesting South and others (that don’t annoy me nearly as much as they do Stil) – I find that trying to digest the content and report on it in real time dramatically reduces my experience of the event. I don’t focus on the speakers and other attendees. Rather, I focus on rapidly getting out what I think at the time is the message those watching might want. I don’t absorb.
In a breathless, media right now, attempt to broadcast my own and the presenter’s message, I actually dilute the experience for myself and others. It’s a mile wide and way less than an inch deep.
And that’s not what I want.
I want a rich, deep, relevant, cognitively expansive experience where my own interaction with the event is rewarding. I want to be, as Jay Rosen notes, “the people formerly known as the audience”. And I want my fellow attendees to do the same.
To do that, I need to focus on being at and in an event. Not scattershot partial attention.