Jen McClure has pulled off another great event, and as with past NCF events, my favorite conversations were in in the "hallway." Among the many people I connected and reconnected with this year are Joe Thornley, John Cass, David Parmet,Tom Foremski, Chris Heuer, Howard Greenstein, Brian Solis, Chip Griffin, Laura Sturaitis, George Vasquez, Brian Oberkirch, Tony Obregon (my friend and former partner in crime), Adam Zand, JD Lasica, Tom Abate, Phil Gomes (who is looking more and more like Lenin -- that's a compliment, Phil), Dan Forbush, Andy Abramson, Jennifer Jones, John Hallett, Debbie Weil, the "Shels" (sounds like a dreamgirl band, but I am of course talking about Shel Israel and Shel Holtz) And there were many other people that I met this year -- many do not yet blog -- from many different types of organizations that are delving deep into social media.
The great thing about NewCommForum is the context that Jen has provided for meeting people -- people you read and hear about all year round, but rarely have the opportunity to meet face-to-face. As I have often said, the socialization of the Web has greatly improved the way we communicate online. Still, there's a lot of room for innovation in the offline world. I like what Jen has done to help close the gap between the early adopters and the rest of the business world. I also like what Chris Heuer and Howard Greenstein are doing at Social Media Club, which has been organizing numerous social-media events throughout the U.S. They are moving surprisingly fast. But what really impresses me is the format that they are experimenting with -- "the world cafe," an easy-to-follow process for running highly interactive, socially gratifying meetings and "unconferences" (cf. barcamps). It's the offline equivalent of social media, and I expect we're going to see many more business events organized this way.