Saturday, November 17, 2012

The future is part of it

Today I have been sitting here creating slides for my presentation at TFT12, the first ever virtual, global ITSM conference.

The event starts in New Zealand at 10am, local time, on December 5th, and finishes up 24 hours later in North America. 24 speakers will take to the virtual stage during the course of the day, speakers chosen by their prospective audience over the past 4 months.

Make no mistake, this is BIG, and it is just the start of a semi-annual event that will bring the benefits of knowledge exchange, normally reserved for physical conferences, to anyone with an online device. If you can't tune in live you can arrange for the sessions to be pushed out to your knowledge locker (Evernote, Instapaper....) or you can view online later, at your leisure.
© artcop -

This is all brought to you at no charge and without having to hand over your personal details via a registration form. This really is all about giving back to the industry, no strings attached.

This event marks the start of a revolution, a dynamic change in the way information is offered and taken. This is no partisan event, although it is being supported by SDI, it is an ITSM community happening. This is a crowdsourced, crowd-shared, viral event. Its success should sound a warning bell to traditional membership organisations.

Membership organisations have thrived in the past because they provided a way for people with similar interests, careers, network with likeminded individuals. Annual conferences were one of very few opportunities to talk about advancements in technology, new ideas and just get to know the other people who worked in your field. These were opportunities to hear the wisdom of international speakers and local luminaries and, like Christmas, these chances came but once a year...and if you didn't belong to the organisation you were left out in the cold. That world is yesterday, the future is social!

So, what is the future for traditional member subscription organisations? What can they offer their membership that they cannot get for free from somewhere else? What are the benefits of handing over, not insignificant, amounts of cash and  sharing your personal information? Most have information stores behind login screens for exclusive content, problem is that, nine times out of ten, that same content will be available elsewhere on the net for free. There are the discounts on books, but you would probably need to buy quite a number of books before you would recoup your costs there.
© Arcady -

I am a pretty loyal association member. I have memberships with a number of industry and other organisations, and I will probably stay a member, but really not because of any particular value that I get from belonging. I can't remember the last time I logged into the membership area of any of the organisations I belong to. Mainly I stay because I respect what these groups are trying to do, I just think they need to take a deep breath and come up with some real member benefits because, while they will probably always keep members like me, it will become harder and harder to gain the financial support of new entrants to our industry who know that the wisdom they are after is just a few keystrokes away, at no charge and with no strings attached.

The future is NOW, you need to be a part of it, break out of the shackles of traditional memberships, and look for innovation, excitement and real community. TFT12 is just the beginning...join the revolution!

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