Jeff Pulver: #140conf NYC: It’s All About Soul

I have been thinking about #140conf NYC since I left the stage of the 92nd Street Y the evening of April 21st. On many levels we had a pretty amazing event. Over 1,000 people shared the experience in person and more than 170 people shared the stage in 76 different sessions. The crowd was not just a NYC audience. A large percentage of the people attending the event traveled to the conference from across the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. The live broadcast on Ustream, added a worldwide audience of 77,728 unique viewers / 128,664 total viewers. And on twitter, we were also one of the top 10 trending topics of the week.

Looking back at the conference, there were moments that were just surreal to me on both a personal level and business level and a lot of great content and energy was shared.

This iteration of #140conf was more about the evolution of our collective soul and the underlying effects on both our relationships with each other and the effects of this on businesses, institutions and organizations. Once again we had a chance to experience humanity and for some, the serendipity of the moment.

I enjoyed having Education as a focus of #140conf and the opportunity to provide a platform for educators who are changing the way they connect with their students because of the effects of the real-time internet. Overall, I especially enjoyed providing a platform to friends who might not have been that well known by our attending audience whose presence on the 92nd Street Y stage gave them a chance to get discovered by the #140conf community.

Looking at the event schedule ( http://nyc.140conf.com/schedule ) I am reminded about how great the speakers we had were in sharing their message. For example, Chris Lehmann was the first person to receive a standing ovation at the event. (Watch his session here ).

If you would like to catch up with the content shared at #140conf, it is now all available on-demand. Simply visit: http://nyc.140conf.com/schedule and click on the "Watch This" link.

I believe we are now in the very beginning stages of a social revolution which will redefine, maybe forever, the way we do business. The transition will be slower than some might expect, but as companies are discovering the benefits of listening to what their customers are saying using social communications, individual customers will discover the innate power they have (but don’t always know it) by simply speaking up, sharing their knowledge and often times serving as unpaid but passionate brand ambassadors The balance of power is shifting. A new era in buyer/seller relationships is being defined. And unlike other revolutions, this isn’t so much about the power of "we the people" but rather  "me the people." For the first time in a long time, our individual voices matter and each of us can effect change. When we work together, the chaining together of multiple "me’s" does empower a stronger and more powerful "we" the people but the point is that each of us matter in our own right and that at any given moment, any of us can and maybe will stand up and effect change. This shift will have possible dramatic effects in many other parts of the business, social, environmental, political and other ecosystems.

For the past year I have been exploring the effects of the emerging real-time internet on business while fighting the perception that #140conf was just a "twitter conference." I also took a gamble at the end of last year when I decided to reduce the price of our tickets to $140 for the two-day event. I left NYC with no regrets with that decision.

As the content DJ for #140conf, when I was working on the mixing of the schedule, I tried to share the voices of as many people from a variety of backgrounds and geographies as possible. My hope was for the people on stage to connect with various people in the audience and that at the end of two days, the effects of the worldwide systemic change the emerging real-time internet is having on our lives would become more obvious.

It will be the people at corporations, institutions and political organizations who allow themselves to connect with their digital souls who will maximize their respective company’s returns on investing in the real-time ecosystem. Don’t confuse the hugging you might have seen at the conference as #140conf not being a business event. Because it was. Maybe more business focused than we might appreciate.

I would like to believe that some of the connections made face-to-face at the event will have a positive effect for many of the attending delegates in the weeks, months and years ahead.

The conference happened because of the support of our speakers, delegates, sponsors and the volunteers who helped out with the on-site and some friends of mine who worked behind the scenes leading up to the conference. I appreciate the time everyone gave being at #140conf and the distances many of our speakers and delegates traveled to be there with us. I thank the work of everyone who contributed to the success of the event.

#140conf NYC was sponsored by: Kodak, gyPSii, Answers.com, Avaya, Best Buy, Jabra, tap11, Virgin America, Yahoo!, bing, keenkog, Oxygen, Phone.com, sprinklr, Roger Smith Hotel. I thank each of our sponsors for their support of the #140conf events.

I also thank the members of the media and various bloggers who helped amplify and tell our story. In just a few days, we had Forbes, WSJ, Washington Post, Publisher’s Weekly and many others reporting. A summary of coverage to date may be viewed: here.

I am now working on the sessions for the upcoming #140conf events planned in Washington DC (June 17th), Tel Aviv (July 6th), Los Angeles (October 5/6) and London (October 26/27). If you have suggestions for topics you would like to see covered at future events or would like to either speak at a future conference, please let me know.

There are also the #140conf meetups. Please visit: http://meetup.com/140conf for an updated list of #140conf meetups currently planned.

To help cover the on-going costs of creating/producing/hosting the #140conf events, it seems I am always looking for sponsors. Any leads/suggestions/connections/contacts in this area are always welcome. :)

Best regards, Jeff