Video Conferencing vs. Face-to-Face meetings (including for G20 Summit)

After experiencing myself (live) the G20 Summit in Toronto last week-end, and based on some of the numbers: 

Face-to-Face meeting at the G8

 

$1.2Billion of security cost, over 19,000 police officers, 900 people arrested, 10,000 words in a final agreement with little results as it is so difficult to have 20 global leaders agree in such a short period of time on so important global issues, and different agendas. 

 As collateral damage, not yet included in the cost of the gathering, downtown Toronto was turned into a ghost town for a week and a war zone for 2 days, and devastated by organised groups of violent protesters, who came to get their message out by broking windows & doors of major brand’s stores, destroying cars from the media teams, getting police cruisers in flames, scaring people, and breaking the law, and this goes for any world summit as G8 and G20. 

 Do we learn any lesson? We have to think about others ways to host our leader’s workshops and meetings, using all the fantastic technologies available today, that all businesses use nowadays: Audio and Video conferencing, collaboration tools to share live documents online etc… 

I totally support this idea, especially in time of economic crisis, deficit, expenses cut and insecurity due to international terrorism. On the other side, political leaders keep saying that the face to face meeting of the G20 is the only format to discuss sensitive issues and come to some kind of agreements. 

Indeed, there has been some scientific research done on the effectiveness of face-to-face meetings versus video conferencing and the results show that face-to-face meetings are more effective in producing tangible outcome and more likely to result in agreements than technologies as audio-video conferencing. 

Body language, face expressions, eye contacts, feelings, emotions are important factors, and more than 40% of our intuitive communication comes from non-verbal sources.  Also being together in a room produces a sense of a shared mission which is more difficult to create over the internet. 

Video conferencing offers good capabilities and some effectiveness but is still imperfect: the delay between audio and video feeds can confuse human brain, and can disconnect the words from the intended context. 

In conclusion no technology available today can beat face-to-face meetings in term of effectiveness…but at what price? 

The cost of this G20 meeting was over $1 Million per minute of meeting!!! 

So what do You think? Video Conferencing or Face-to-Face meeting for the next G20 Summit ? 

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#2- Is my digital Avatar changing who I am ?

  

What does Your Avatar looks like ?

 

 With our “profiles” being created across the internet on social media and social networking and sharing web sites, such as Facebook, Plaxo, LinkedIn, twitter, flicker, MySpace, Bebo, Windows Live/MSN, Picasa, YouTube, SecondLife (and thousands other, in 2D or 3D) and containing so much of our personal information about what we think, what we do, what we like and don’t like, who we are or who we want to look like, we are creating a digital twin of ourselves, an “Avatar”, and our human identity is evolving.       

If you are reading this blog, it means you probably already have a digital identity, and the more information we put about ourselves, about our identity, our family and friends relationships, our day-to-day life activities, our professional endeavours, photos of our “moments”, we are duplicating our memories and really giving birth to a digital persona, getting more accurate by the day.       

Many people don’t even really give to that digital persona the kind of privacy they use for themselves in real life, others are just getting aware of the risk involved and are starting to enforce the privacy settings available on these social networks.       

Interesting enough, your “friends” also contribute to the avatar by tagging you in photos, videos, and  by commenting on yourself or your thoughts, which give an additional light, about how others perceive you, and may sometimes reveal more about you than you would like.       

These avatars are more and more commonly used by vendors and research firms to do some marketing research and surveys, to target, market, sell or buy some stuff, to investigate before hiring someone etc…       

However the most interesting fact is the impact the avatar can have on some of its creators, as it can take a life on its own, diverging from what its creator really is, or just giving a different profile by accentuating some of its characteristics, and as a reverse psychology may end up changing the way he is and who he is.       

As a result, digital identities can transform the way we communicate, the way we socialize, the way we project ourselves, it is certainly already changing our society and may be event in the end the way we act and who we are.       

So, What does Your avatar look like, and is Your Avatar changing who You are ?  

1- Size does matter: what is the right size for a unique mobile device ?

My first mobile phone, in the late 80’s was huge and mainly usable in my car only, with a heavy transmitter in the trunk, and the price per minute was a luxury, then my cell phone got smaller and smaller and I could carry it anywhere in my pocket, then I had a Palm, then I jumped on the first Blackberry coming to market, and my latest Blackberry is smarter but bigger as all the new Smart phones, bigger and bigger. My charming wife, an Apple Fan, of course uses an iPhone and dreams of an iPad, while my youngest daughter uses a phone with a keyboard, mainly to text her friends as well (hopefully with an unlimited text contract!) and an iTouch for emails, twitter and youtube…They play music and videos, they take pictures, they are wifi enabled, they are more and more powerful and can run apps, but still all those smart devices are quite big and still too small to really be used as a professional computer.

Meanwhile, my laptop is getting thinner and thinner, the screen smaller and smaller, as well as my wife’s iBook, and my son’s Netbook is tiny tiny. Yes, we can use it as a VoIP phone at home,  in an hotel room, or this type of places, but not really convenient on the road or streets, as an example.

Now, the problem is, we are still carrying two devices, as smarter as they are, and I suppose everyone, just as I do, really wish to carry only one, so the BIG question now really is: What size is acceptable for a unique mobile device ?

We had tablets on the market for quite some time, but nobody was buying it, until Steve Jobs, the Marketing Genius, launched its iPad and created a market for it. However, 3G or not, Wimax or not, CDMA or not, I feel these tablets are still too big and certainly will not replace a phone. By the way, the new tablet RIM is supposedly working on is just a companion to be connected to a Blackberry, still 2 devices…

Also check the video of this Nirvana phone developed by Open Kernel Labs and Citrix, the sky is the limit: http://bit.ly/9Bfvtf 

So what size and when ?

 

Hello world!

Hello everyone, and Welcome to my blog.

I am just setting up this blog environment today (or should I say tonight !!!), and I will start blogging soon about my favorites topics:

IT, Green IT, Telecom, Next-Generation Network, Wireless/Mobile, Digital Marketing, SEO, Experiential Marketing, and of course last but not least Social Media/Social Networking.

Stay posted…provide your feedback and engage in discussions.