I’ve been attending Supernova for years. It has always been one of my favorite events as it combines a unique blend of big thinkers, practical idealists and the future of the Internet. I have always taken away some great “content and contacts” to chew on. As a matter of fact, it was at Supernova four years ago that I first sat down with Ben & Mena in a hotel lobby to chat about Six Apart and before you knew it, I was living in San Francisco and working there [things like that just happen at Supernova].
The theme of this year's conference is The New Network. I think it is highly apropos as we are living in the midst of a renaissance of the impact of the network on businesses and relationships. Social software enriches my life tremendously and at the same time it adds some unique challenges. I am often asked about specific tools and features. This is only natural, as the landscape is genuinely confusing. However, I think some of the biggest challenges we currently face are not learning new technologies but learning new modes of behavior.
Traditional roles, organizational structures and behaviors are breaking down and reformulating in exciting new ways. But a “behavioral code of conduct” has not yet been codified into our individual or corporate DNA. We face a myriad of challenges that include:
- How do we handle the current onslaught of information?
- How do we develop meaningful connections with all the individuals available to us in the flattening world of the New Network? Do we want or need to?
- How will companies and customers find each other in the future?
- How do we deal appropriately with the amplification and distortion of encoded modes of behavior online versus off-line?
- How do I ensure access to the Network now that my living breathing existence is more reliant on connectivity than ever?
- Who owns my online data?
- Who sets the standards?
- And, once we have identified all these issues, how do we find a common language from which to address the confusion?
These are BIG questions being passionately discussed and debated across the across the Net and face to face at Supernova. Tomorrow is the Unconference event, Wednesday is Challenge Day and Thursday and Friday are the Main event. Kevin and Jeanne work very hard to create an event with layers of dialogue and format in order to encourage varying points of view and as many voices as possible to be heard. It's like peeling an onion and I really enjoy the variety.
This year, I was thrilled when Kevin asked me to
co-curate the “Markets & Relationships” track, as it
addresses many issues that are near and dear to my heart. Specifically, the
impact the New Network
is having on how individuals and companies interact and the need for
smarter more genuine interactions moving forward. My dear friend Jerry Michalski has graciously stepped up to facilitate the day and we have an amazing array of really smart folks in the room lending their voices to the next evolution of the Relationship Economy. We have practitioners in the formal sense of the word and a great round-up of innovators doing cool stuff at the close of the day.
In the spirit of the theme of the conference, we encourage everyone to contribute, not just the "official" speakers [we like to refer to them as catalysts]. People drive the New Network, so we are inviting any impassioned folks to speak up. For starters, if you are already blogging about any of the themes of this year’s conference we suggest adding the Technorati tag “supernova2007” to your posts. There is also a Supernova channel on Jaiku and a myriad of other ways for you to jump in.
With all the media being created around this conference, it will be fun to see where it takes us. Make sure to check out the ConversationHub for pointers to posts, twits, photos, livestreams of sessions and more.
I am a huge cheerleader for this event. I don't hide it. I look forward to a week of really interesting 'food for thought'. Let the conversations begin.