Well all good things must come to an end and as I write this I find myself at Toronto’s international airport awaiting my flight to LA and then home.
Quite a few people have asked me how I’ve found Canada and particularly how I’ve found meeting some of the b5media gang. Instead of a long series of posts on the different aspects of the trips or a long essay like post on the topic I thought I’d write a list (surprise surprise):
- While there are some great online tools for collaboration available – meeting face to face is definitely a more productive exercise and adds a completely different dynamic to working relationships. More on this over at Mark’s blog.
- Online and Offline persona – I’ve had a theory for a few years now that people’s online and offline persona generally match up – this was again confirmed for me. I met 15 or so bloggers and coworkers over the last week and in each case the reality was remarkably similar to what I’d imagined these people to be like.
- Canadians are a very friendly and generous group of people – Despite their ability to make every sentence sound like a question they are a fun and good natured lot on the whole (or at least those I met).
- Toronto reminded me a lot of Melbourne – Perhaps it’s to do with the weather which while I was here was either grey and gloomy or stunningly blue skies (although it was a fair bit colder), or perhaps it’s the part of town that I stayed in and the many cafes and restaurants or perhaps it was the people. Can’t quite put my finger on it but while there were obvious differences – there was also a similar ‘vibe’.
- Jet lag sucks – I thought I was over my jet lag two days into the trip but unfortunately ever second night since arriving I spent most of the time staring at the ceiling. Needless to say that despite the face to face meetings (see point 1) I became less and less productive as the week went along. I hate to think what I’ll be feeling like in 26 hours when I land again in Melbourne (hopefully everything is running on time).
- Skype Video Rocks – while we didn’t think we would, it turned out that V and I used Skype video calls everyday to keep in touch. It was great to be able to not only hear the voices of her and little X but to see them. Definitely helped a lot with keeping home sickness at bay (although I’m itching to get back now).
- New Media Opportunities Abound – one of the great things about meeting face to face with some of the b5 gang is that the result of our planning, dreaming and brainstorming was a lot of wonderful possibilities. In fact the challenge for a new media company like ours is not to come up with ideas but is to work out which ones to run with and working out how to implement them. While I obviously can’t speak about specifics of what lies ahead for b5 I’m really excited about our plans that we have as a team but also by the wider blogging space.
- Is New Media A Global Space? – I’ve been asking this question for a few years ago now. On some levels I would answer yes – blogging in particular has a way of leveling the playing media field and giving people from far flung parts of the globe a voice. However – while there is definitely an global thing going on there are some definite perks of being in a North American locale. The critical mass of people interested in the space is one (going to a three meet-ups in the last meet that would have attracted 250 people illustrated this well for me – at Melbourne meet-ups we’re lucky to get 10 people showing up). As a result of this critical mass people tend to meet each other and are more able to communicate in ‘normal’ business hours and business partnerships tend to flow. I’m still a big believer in the global characteristics of blogging and new media – however at times those of us who find ourselves spread far and wide do face some challenges that others do not (still pondering this one – so forgive my half finished thoughts).
All in all it was a very positive trip filled with a variety of activities, challenges and experiences. I’m feeling quite drained as a result of it having used a lot of brain power and it being a very people oriented time (I’m an introvert used to working largely alone) – but satisfied that we got a lot done. My only hope for next time is to see a little more on a sightseeing level (something that we’ll do as a family in April next year).
I think I’ll leave it at that as my points are becoming longer and more effected by my lack of sleep. I’m more more will come in the weeks ahead as I get home and return to a normal routine.
Don’t expect much live posting from me for a few days – I’ve got more posts coming in the Christmas and ‘Quick Tip’ series to cover the time.
Lastly – we’ve migrated most of ProBlogger over to the new server. The job boards needs to be brought across (should be in the next few hours) and then we should be back to normal. Thanks again to Aaron for his work on this.
Now it’s off to catch a plane!