This is part prediction, part prayer.
Some of us, when we meet face-to-face,
will be taking notes on our computers. Some of us will be taking notes on networked
computers, passing notes, sharing and comparing notes. Some of us will be taking
notes for the rest of us, on computers that are connected to a central display
device, so we can all work together at the same time, on the same page. Some
of us will be on networked computers, sharing and comparing notes with people
who are not even in the same meeting room. Some of us will be participating
via computer and speaker phone, via laptop and pay phone, via palmtop and cell
phone. Some of us will be lurking online, dropping in from time to time, adding
our instant messages the instant the message comes to us, hyperlinking off to
some other virtual location, and then hyperlinking back with new information.
At one time or another, we'll all be on our computers, talking and typing at
the same time, creating and filling in blanks, brainstorming and forming. At
other times, none of us will be on our computers. We'll be playing games. We'll
be learning from each other. We'll be mingling and singling each other out.
We'll be writing things down on slips of paper and sticking them on to walls.
We'll be drawing on whiteboards, on flip charts, on long sheets of butcher paper.
And then, at some other time, we'll gather our selves and our ideas and funnel
them back into the collective database, to share beyond the limits of space
and time. Some of us will continue sharing and comparing notes after the meeting,
picking up where we left off, elaborating, following up, hyperlinking each other
to relevant resources and even more relevant people, posting presentations and
preparations for the next meeting. So, the next time we meet face to face, it'll
seem as if we never stopped meeting, as if we've been meeting all along, and
that this particular meeting is a continuation. As if we were on this long walk
together, and sometimes we went off on separate paths, and sometimes we came
back together, and all the time we were on this same long walk, this same amazing
And with all the modalities available to us, we will come together out of choice.
Because there are so many other ways we could choose to meet, when we are with
each other in person, we will be with each other as persons, as whole participants.
We will be at our best with each other because we will be able to choose the
medium that lets us get beyond personality, to the purpose, to the person. And
it will be fun.
About Bernie DeKoven
||Bernie has spent more than thirty years developing new games
and technologies for collaboration. As Dr. Fun/Staff Designer with Mattel
Media, Bernie helped create the team and the products that helped Mattel
earn $200 million in the first year. He originated new game concepts, facilitated
creative brainstorming meetings and worked with the entire staff to generate
more fun at work. Through Technography.com,
a consulting, training and publishing effort focused on improving the productivity
and effectiveness of collaborative meetings, he published Deep Fun, a book that business author Tom Peters
has called "an ingenious blueprint for a communication and networking