Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 28 seconds

Giving it a Name: Virtually-There #eli2015

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 28 seconds

Today I felt like I really had to find a word for this thing I feel, and that others have told me they feel… that I’m there virtually but it feels like I’m there physically… with people I’ve never met physically.

Today during #eli2015 keynote, I tweeted about something I didn’t like. Michael Berman retweeted it so I went in to check his tweets, then the hashtag, then found myself responding to Laura Gogia, Gardner Campbell, Cindy Jennings… and I realized what was happening… it felt like I was sitting next to people I know and we’re having a whispered conversation (isn’t it so cool how twitter allows you to do that seemingly politely while someone’s talking?). And I really felt like I was there. I’m pretty sure they weren’t all sitting next to each other (were they? because later, during the #tvsz game presentation, I discovered that 3 of the most active participants, two of whom I know from before, were sitting next to each other on the same table physically and they felt it helped).

Which brings me to the #TvsZ game. Andrea and Pete were there presenting. We were all scrambling to finalize tiny details until just before, making tweaks, etc., because it takes a while to get this “just right”. And then during the actual game, I was handling two scout accounts which got really overwhelming so I just decided to watch the game and see what was happening. I loved the intensity of the game and how some ppl really got into it… there was enough interaction between the players that I felt the need for scouts was low… later got feedback from Nana and others that missions rather than recruitment would have helped. We actually did have a mission planned but I think in the flurry of it Pete and Andrea didn’t find time to introduce it (I am assuming that physically, some ppl needed help and were going at a slower pace than others and needed time to get into things). A few ppl took off – some ppl played online and were not there  – that’s almost half the players today, which was really cool. Pete and Andrea posted some photos from the session which was really cool to see 🙂

I had side discussions afterwards with a few people which again was awesome. God, I love virtual conferences when there are ppl I know. And I hate them, because I wish I was there with them. Story of my life, for the past year or so, anyway 🙁

Y/day I had a weird #eli2015 day.

There’s something to be said for attending a conf presentation while having dinner with my daughter, getting up to dance with her when her fave songs come on… and (don’t kill me for this) keeping the earpiece in my ear, connected to my iPad while getting her ready for bed. It beats having to leave her behind to go to a conference (don’t have the heart to do this yet).

But there was also the annoying. My office had paid for an extra pre-conf seminar and I got home and there was a red light on my DSL indicating no internet, and my DSL provider was not answering calls after work hours (wtf!) so I scrambled to get 3G working, used on device as hotspot for the other (the one w/o 3G is more updated so worked better) – eventually the wifi worked again and I could go back to my laptop – but overall it was a scramble to participate. Some stuff worked better on my laptop, other stuff on my iPad… all of which was a reminder of how fragile virtual participation can be for someone from my part of the world… on a 10 hour time difference… and I’m a lucky one with high-speed internet, 2 laptops, 2 iPads and an Android phone to switch between. Man. And I still sometimes have connectivity problems! And that’s without electricity cuts! (luckily)

So… I’m virtually-there, but in many ways, it’s a very fragile “there-ness”. It is what it is…

If you meet someone I know at ELI, give them a hug, will ya?

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