I find it interesting when I’m attending an event and I start to see lots of ‘news’ articles about the event or summaries from people that attend – before the event is even over. While daily summaries and more typical news stories that report just facts about what happened seem to be OK to me, I’m perplexed by the posts and summaries that people write when they’ve only had a very short time to process or digest the information. Isn’t part of learning and sharing that information back having the opportunity to let that experience formulate more internally?
For instance, even during the first day of SXSW, and TED for that matter, there were countless posts about what was happening there and its impact on the future. This seems to be generated more by a ‘race to be first to post’ and wanting to capture SEO credits rather than by a desire for quality and introspection in what gets shared.
Sure, there are people with the uncanny ability and it does happen where anyone can see or hear something and instantly be able to make an incredibly detailed and introspective post or piece about that particular new topic, tool or idea you just saw at an event or story – but it is more rare than the countless posts that seem to go up.
What about the post you would write 3 weeks, or a year after learning of that new thing from that event you were at. Yes, it wouldn’t capture as much buzz initially because it isn’t part of the media hype cycle at the moment, but it could be incredibly more valuable because you took the time to really process it, put it to the test, and report back your additional findings.
Don’t get me wrong, posting summaries of what you’ve learned and other ‘quick’ news bits are great and sharing that information is valuable. Just be sure you’re not fooling yourself into thinking that the quick to launch piece you’ve written half way through or just after an event is as good as you could have made the overall summary of what your take is on that event.
This of course means that now that’s it’s a couple weeks later I guess I should get around to writing about my experiences at TEDActive and SXSW this year. More on that later.
Spend the time when you’re learning something new or at an event taking in everything the event and the participants have to offer – not trying to get your post about it published.
The also relates to Clay Herbert’s favorite conference hack which I agree with 100%.