Without hesitation, I will say that SXSW 2005 was a great experience from both personal and professional perspectives. I’ve been struggling for the last two weeks though – trying to determine exactly what is different now.
Near the end of last week I figured it out: I hear voices.
When I read the blog of someone that I met at SXSW (especially people that I spent more than a few minutes with), I can hear their voice in my head as I read. I hear them emphasize certain words, I hear their pauses, I hear their unique accents. I have a much more complete picture in my mind.
Their words come to life – like they are telling me a story instead of me reading a story. I find myself curiously more “drawn in” by other people’s blogs, and I feel more engaged in the communication as though the words were somehow written for me. I know they weren’t specifically written for me, but my perception of them as such is my reality.
So now I have a number of questions, and I’d really love to hear your answers: Am I the only one that hears voices? When you read the blog of someone you met (at SXSW or another conference perhaps), does it change the way that you perceive that blog? Does it change the way you perceive that person?
I’m interested in hearing other people’s thoughts on this, because I am very interested in the implications for online communication and how we use blogs in business. Does online communication change when you’ve also had significant and meaningful offline communication with people?