I like Jeff Pulver. He was the keynote speaker at Amuta 2.0 – an event aimed put on by Illuminea aimed at letting non-profits make use of social networking tools like facebook and twitter and blogs. Pulver, a pioneer in the voice over IP industry, said all the usual things – brand yourself! Be passionate! Nurture community! OK. Great. You uh… learn something new every day.
Pulver also talked about his childhood – spent on his HAM radio rig. Apparently he spent a lot of time on that because when he went to his high school reunion, lots of people had no idea who he was. He seems to have glommed onto the Internet effortlessly thanks to his previous HAM radio experience. Except now, people know who he is. He has reached the 5000 friend plateau on facebook, 6,521 followers on twitter – and largely on the strength of his name brand recognition, filled up this event beyond the room’s capacity – at 100 NIS a head! Well done.
But yeah… I’m here more to be supportive than to learn anything – though I am willing to be surprised. Now I am listening to Caryn Green of CrossRoads (they work with teenagers at risk in Jerusalem) who will be followed by award winning blogger and cartoonist, Dry Bones’, Yaakov Kirschen, Aharon Horwitz, co-founder of Presentense and Alan Abbey, Website director of the Shalom Hartman Institute.
There are a number of familiar faces and everyone here seems to be so very, very earnest. I think the thing that doesn’t get said a lot at these events is that while there are endless tools that can be used to help you connect and communicate with others, one needs to make a serious cost benefit analysis vis-a-vis how one uses one’s time. I find that in my experience, the more we write, the more we are read. Networking events are nice and all, but does our audience really care?