Wednesday, 16 June 2010

It's good to talk

There’s no substitute for going out and meeting people. If I go to one meeting I will come back with enough stories to keep me going for a week – and it’s all down to good old fashioned face-to-face talking.

New technology is a great thing, but there is no substitute for meeting people in reality rather than virtually on line. And it’s so interesting when you do meet people in the real world after working with them for sometimes years online.

This weekend I went to my first festival since the 1980s when I saw Elvis Costello at Glastonbury. It was a much smaller venue but equally entertaining. Lazonby Live is now in its third year. Set up originally to raise funds to build a new kitchen and dining room for the village school, it is now a firm part of the local calendar and any money raised is shared between local charities.

I went to the event to video a local Celtic band, Drumlin, set up by violinist Barbara Gilberts on Music for Life. But I ended up meeting several people who I had built up email friendships over the past 18 months since we launched the Eden Valley Messenger.

People knew who I was because I was sporting a very trendy Eden Valley Messenger polo shirt, but I had no idea who they were. Unlike the old days when most interviews were done on the telephone, I didn’t even know the sound of their voices as most contact now is via email.

But the one good thing was, after the shock of putting a face and voice to the emails, was that the first face-to-face conversations were like those with a well known friend. Email can never replace human contact, but it’s a starting point for getting to know people.

And if you would like to see the results of my visit to Lazonby Live 2010, here’s a link to one of the videos.


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