Don’t tell the dogs


Did he say ‘park’? I’m sure he said ‘park’.

Later today I’ll be chatting with some folks from the EuroPCom conference, where I’ll be hosting a Rápido session examining ‘What makes you feel European?’ We’ll be on a Google Hangout from 1pm UK/2pm CET – do join us if you can – hosted by Mathew Lowry, Europe’s leading light on all things online community-related. Mathew is running a workshop on this very topic at EuroPCom.

Also joining us is Charlélie Jourdan, whose session at EuroPCom will explore ‘Images that tell a story’. Mathew recently wrote about the horrors of ‘park and bark‘ conference sessions, where keynote speakers are wheeled in to reel off their pre-fab PowerPoint and wheeled out again.

The word ‘conference’ originally meant ‘conversation’ and although it has been used in the current sense of a formal meeting since the late 16th century (says Online Etymology Dictionary), there are many reasons why we need to rethink the way conferences typically run. That’s why Rápido came about in the first place.

So what brings Mathew, Charlélie and I together is a shared interest in opening up the digital realm to more effective communication, and drawing on the best of digital capabilities to enhance the experience at events we still, for want of a better word I suspect, call conferences. (That’s not to ignore ‘unconference’ but it hasn’t quite grabbed the mainstream imagination yet.)

It’s just as well that I was only typing the words ‘park and bark’. If I said them out loud my daughter’s two dogs would be off the sofa and nibbling my elbows, thinking that a W-A-L-K is imminent… sorry guys!

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