Ben Herring, your Infonomics editor-in-chief here, checking out the brain trust and diversity at the AIIM Pre-conference workshops!
In the posthumously published memoir of his early years in Paris, “A Moveable Feast,” Ernest Hemingway said he launched his profound career in English literature simply by trying to write “the one truest sentence” that he could.
I’ll tell you the one truest statement I can say right now, banging this out in here on my laptop at The City of Brotherly Love, amid paradoxes aplenty. The big paradox: Enterprise 2.0, content management and other information technologies are all about things that you do electronically, collaborating virtually with people and information. So: Why do we need an in-person meeting? Right? I’ll tell you why -- paraphrasing Papa (although I’m sure this will send him spinning in his grave)—because…and here is my one truest statement …You can’t email a Philly Cheesesteak!
And if there were ever a time and a place to say to say to hell with cholesterol and C reactive protein… this is it! And Philly Cheesesteak was indeed the choice of the many folk from around the world who have traveled here to take preconference workshops to achieve Practitioner status in the six core AIIM ECM classes.
Lunch was at Philly’s famed open-air Reading Terminal Market, in biz since 1893, which has the ambiance of Washington, D.C.’s Eastern Market on Capitol Hill, or the famed French Market in New Orleans. I opted for the somewhat healthier Chicken Gyro at Kamal’s Middle Eastern Specialty, one of dozens of vendors, but finished it off with fries and a coke in to ensure a sense of immoral parity.
Meanwhile, back at the convention hall ... “Man needs tall buildings that he might grow,” a wise man once said, and that sets the scene here pretty well. It’s a truly gorgeous spring day in Philly, and the massive Pennsylvania Convention Center, with its soaring, multistoried windows and sunsplashed hallways, resembles nothing so much as a 21st century cathedral.
Despite the recession, there is a palpably buoyant spirit in the air, as I meet friendly students like Steve Durham of San Diego County’s Dept. of Env. Health; Chris Petersen of Unisys; Lewis Eisen, an attorney with the Canadian government’s Fisheries and Oceans office; Karl Mayrhofer of Fabasoft in Austria, Dianne Betzinger of ConAgra Foods, or Janne Turunen, a management consultant from Helsinki, Finland.
I think this takes us to the second whack on the paradox wheel: Neither can you email a handshake-- and people are eager to network, make new friends, and, more than anything, learn. In person.
“I’ve got a job that’s made me deal with an e-portal site that had content management problems,” said one student, Lynnette Maldonado of Defense Finance and Account Service in Indianapolis.
“Customers couldn’t find data that was posted on the Intranet, and where do you go to get information on how to deal with this? Where else do you go to get all of this in one place? The content management information that AIIM puts out there is really helpful in helping non- technical people like me understand what the issues are and how to attack them. We are just now moving into email records management, and this is giving me the ammunition to bring it up through the management chain to get a decision on policy.“
TO BE CONTINUED. . .
TO BE CONTINUED. . .--Ben