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Strengthening Online Relationships Offline: a Deeper Look Into SMX Social Media New York

A computer can’t think like a person. You can program a computer to mimic human response, but this falls short. The concept of artificial artificial intelligence, such as the Human Turk attempts to have humans fill in the subjective gaps for machines, but this is still human operated.

Similarly, E-Commerce sales promotion cannot convey all the dimensions of a product. Smelling, tasting and touching an item we want to buy is more meaningful than just seeing an item and being able to rotate it online.

Communication with people over the Internet also limits the depths of our relationships. Yes, it is fun and easy to chat and email with friends, but there is a human element that is missing. You can’t pick up body language, and unless you’re in audio/video, you will miss tone and perhaps never even see what people really look like.

So, how does all of this apply to the SMX Social Media New York?
You will get top notch liveblog updates of the SMX event on some of these sources:

Aim Clear Blog

Search EngineJournal

SearchEngineLand, care of Vanessa Fox

SearchEngineRoundtable as liveblogged by Tamar (see some of my questions to Garrett Camp, co-founder and chief architect of StumbleUpon)

Still, reading about what happened at the event can’t be compared to actually being there. I communicate with a lot of people online every day. Email, instant messaging, Twitter, you name it. Since this was my first SMX event, although I’ve chatted with many of those in the field, I did not know these people from face-to-face interaction or anything beyond their avatar. Meeting with folks like Tamar and Marty has been a great experience. Watching Tamar’s level of anxiousness and excitement on her first speaking event and hearing more about Marty’s survival through cancer are lost in translation. Connecting on a deeper level strengthens the bonds that we have with our contacts and friends. Looking forward to speaking with you all on our final day of the conference!


  1. mike b  - geeks

    So true…..i feel even worse that i missed the event!

  2. brian

    @mike: it is a good event. Lots of good speakers.

  3. Chris Winfield

    Great to meet you in person Brian – glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Wayne Smallman

    Social Networking on-line is just one part of the whole personal branding matrix.

    We all know that a “friend” on StumbleUpon or Digg does not a real friend maketh. So getting out there, pressin’ the flesh and smiling like a idiot for several hours can often work wonders…

  5. brian

    @chris: pleasure meeting you as well, and yes – this event was a lot of fun. Good presentation you had – please let us know when it will be available.

    @wayne: sometimes people actually want to hear what you have to say. Come up with something original, and you’ll save yourself hours of smiling like an idiot. 🙂

  6. Wayne Smallman

    Brian, I’m already sold! I’ve done the talk thing myself a few times.

    I got asked to fill a slot in Manchester (England) recently at a Web2.0 gig, but that didn’t come off…

  7. Jason Falls

    Bravo! I can certanly echo the sentiment as you know. It was nice to shake a hand, smile and interact without the machines between. Be safe travelling back. See you in the ‘Ville.

  8. Russ @ bombay potatoes

    Drat, anothe rgreat event missed. One day I’ll catch up, really I will.

  9. brian

    @wayne: sounds cool that you were asked. Sorry it didn’t work out.

    @jason: thanks for the support and hope to see you again soon.

  10. Dan and Jennifer

    The funny thing is that we thought our page rank was going to go up because our Google traffic has gone up over 50% in the last few weeks… But like most blogs we lost two points, going from a PR5 to a PR3.

    We say schools out! Forget the grades, it’s all about the traffic…

  11. brian

    @dan and Jennifer: I’m finding that PR isn’t necessarily relating to actual Google traffic. It’s just plain weird.