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I am on my way to SAP Insider this Sunday. And I must admit that I am excited, becuase I feel that without these physical meetups our community can not thrive. I am of the firm belief that without these physical interactions we can not become closer. The written online word is too crude and can be interpreted in too many different ways ; whereas my intonation of voice and my gestures and body language can tell so much more. With all the social media devices to connect, blackberry, twitter, cubetree, bpx community.. I wonder.. are we getting further apart ? How can we turn it around. Get closer, forge closer connections ? Of course only at events that can happen. Yes I am concious about the carbon footprint. But I still feel we are people. And people need hugs.

See  in essence hopefully I see you all at SAP Insider ! or see you at  SAP TechEd 09 !  Please yank my sleeve !

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  1. Mark Yolton
    Hi Marco –

    I, too, notice that social media tools and technologies give us tons of ways previously unavailable (or too inconvenient) to make new connections to new people, to renew old friendships and acquaintances, and to keep in touch more efficiently with people.  However, I also notice that I have a lot of “loose connections” to many, many people (do I really have 381 “friends” on facebook, 302 followers on Twitter, and – gulp – 708 connections on LinkedIn? … do I even know 708 people?).  Obviously, most of these people are not strong connections (many of them connect with me because I have a fancy title at work).  However, thru social media tools I also re-connect or maintain ties with people I really do have stronger “real life” connections with … for example, just this week I re-connected with three cousins I lost touch with over the years as we all got older, moved around, got married, and basically moved on thru life.  I can share with my far-flung kids and friends, and get their reactions, simply by posting a status update to facebook.  I also get insights into people I wouldn’t normally have — what things they find funny or interesting, where they’ve gone for the weekend, how their careers are evolving, what they’re really thinking about…  Still, there’s nothing like seeing people in the person at events in the same physical space to forge tighter ties.  I suppose that, like with anything, there are the pros and cons – but my personal ROI of social media is definitely in the positive column. 

    M.

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    1. Marco ten Vaanholt Post author
      Mark,

      I am with you.. Some media devices have been able to reconnect me with  long lost people. But you have to be a good time manager in order to make sure you do not spend more time online than really forging strong face to face relationships. They luckily still are stronger than the ones forged online.

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  2. Gretchen Lindquist
    Funny you should mention it, Marco. The Economist has an interesting article this week on the limitations of social networking, which I commented on in my ASUG blog. While one may have a large number of connections in a particular network, for most participants there are generally much fewer with whom two way interaction is the norm. I agree that at least occasional face to face meetings help strengthen the connection to those in your network. I know that I feel much more connected to those I have met at SAP events. For me this is the number one payoff for attending ASUG/ SAPPHIRE, Community Day and TechEd. The education is great, but the networking is even better.

    Gretchen

    (ASUG.com login required)http://hosted.jivesoftware.asug.com/blogs/security

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  3. Shengtao Tan
    Social media, as human’s hands and feet, expands our connection or experience further than before. Nevertheless, are they real?! I reckon they will wither quickely without in-person meet up. According to psychological research, language itself can only convey 5% of the information to other peopele. The tone, gesture, body language, eye movement and etc. do the rest (i.e. 95%). Online connection only send your 5% information to other people. One sentence can be intepreted in diffierent meanings.
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