Monday, March 06, 2006

The importance of old communications

The New Communications Forum is over. Bloggers are back to their laptops. The world still is turning. One of the biggest learnings I had from last week's conference came about 30 miles away from our hotel in Palo Alto, unconnected from our hotel Internet, where Risley and I held a very low-tech forum of our own.

We headed to City Lights Books in San Francisco to check out the literary bachelor pad for some of the best thinkers, writers and activists. Ginsberg. Kerouac. Ferlinghetti. As a teenager, I read a lot of Kerouac and Burroughs. Their commitment to their art and the real, harsh reality of their times drew me in. Being at City Lights Books was a field trip into a long-pondered world. As Risley said, it's one of those places people should visit before death.

After absorbing City Lights, we headed next door to Vesuvio for some liqour and discussion. Over beers and bourbon we talked, face to face, about the state of the world. We talked about art and literature and where our industry is going. We talked about our respective generations and the economy.

Risley and I sit about 15 feet from each other and pass each other on the way in and out the door. But most of what I really know about Jeff, I've learned through his blog. Sitting down and shooting the shoot was long overdue and evidence that in this age of "new communications" there is a valuable element of relationships at risk.

The New Communications Forum solidified the power of new media and online communication, however, those forms can only take us so far. At some point, you have to hear the clink of ice in a glass and listen to a person's tone change during conversation. You have to be humbled by bound books and black and white photographs of authors who would kick the cyber ass of most bloggers on the 'Net. You have to change your chatroom url to a local bar address. You have to unplug.

2 Comments:

Blogger Olivier Blanchard said...

Amen. Especially that last part.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Berta said...

GREAT blog. It is one of my favorites.... so insightful and cohesive. Don't you love a "mother review"?
I would love to have a copy of the picture. It is so "you".

12:24 PM  

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