One the things generating a lot of discussion about the RSA’s agenda at the moment are the balances between online connecting and face-to-face meetings. I found a lovely description of one person’s experiences into the online world of blogging and creating communities in a new publication by Community Links called Making Links . It includes some unique perspectives on community by some well-known people like Gordon Brown, David Robinson, David Cameron and Phil Beadle.
Russell Davies started blogging and built up a good readership. He describes blogging as ‘networking for shy people’, but ‘not in the horrible commercial sense of networking – serial small talk in the hope of opportunity – but the sort of networking that a village has, or a workplace, or a hobbyist club; like-minded people who help each other out, point each other at new like-minded people and generally see that what’s good for the network is probably good for them.”
What a nice way to describe networking in the way we collectively seem to be trying to achieve through opening up the RSA networks.
Russell started online, but soon began arranging spontaneous coffee drop ins, and people started turning up in greater numbers. In June this year Russell arranged a people’s conference called Interesting2007 and 300 people turned up to short presentations of interesting topics, which included How to split a log with an axe, Ibsen and The Muppets, Appearing on Oprah and the History of Knots. You can watch some of the talks Here
Russell writes, “My blogging experience has taught me that technology can create real, important, sustaining connections between people separated by geography and all sorts of other things. It’s taught me that generosity can be its own reward but that there’s also real tangible benefits in sharing your ideas and your time with people.”