Authenticity and Transparency in the Same Room

Filed as Features on May 15, 2007 6:02 am

I had the most thrilling and inspiring experience this weekend. I spent my time with over 100 authentic and transparent bloggers — people — talking about what they believe and care about. One rule was the only order of the day – be nice. Talk to each other like people, like friends from whom we might learn, and learn we did.

I kept hearing echoes of The Cluetrain Manifesto.

A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter—and getting smarter faster than most companies.

The people in that room had great brains attached to their hearts. They spoke about their passions. They asked and answered questions. They participated. They conversed.

Oddly enough, I didn’t hear a negative word said. Negatives weren’t needed. Somehow, we knew that negatives require defending, but positives move things forward.

It was sharing.

People can make such progress when they’re not worried about being criticized for their ideas. That’s the power of respect.

They said these things and more.

I think what I loved best was the DEEPENING of the dialogue and the relationships.
How cool that you were the catalyst in creating this dynamic event of some of the most genuine people I’ve ever met! –K

I went for the people — the hugs – and of course also to pick these incredible minds. I got my fill of the latter and was left wanting lots more of the former. –-E

. . . .the reason why we accomplished so much business was BECAUSE there was so much love in the room. Imagine if all business worked that way… think what could get done. –T

I had the time of my life and learned SO much from everyone there.
The selflessness of those attending was striking…no agenda other than to help each other tell our story to change the world.
Period.
…and we did. –T

A bunch of bloggers, in a meeting together for a day and a half, had a conversation. They found a way to teach and learn, to share information, and to communicate with authenticity and transparency . . . in the real world.

Imagine that.

We can change the world.

Liz Strauss writes about changing the world at Successful-Blog and folks who hang out there participate.

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  1. The Blog Herald: Bloggers Changing the World - Liz Strauss at Successful Blog - Thinking, writing, business ideas . . . You’re only a stranger once.May 15, 2007 at 8:10 am
  2. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on May 15, 2007 at 12:33 pm
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    It was the start of a global conversation. So many people with so many diverse backgrounds, blogs, histories, and lives, all coming together to share and communicate, to learn from each other…it was amazing. While it didn’t resemble it, I’d say that the first Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference will be thought of as the Woodstock for bloggers of its time. A birthplace for new and innovating thinking based upon mutual respect and sharing.

    It was amazing. I’m so honored to have been such a small part of the event.

  3. By Liz Strauss posted on May 15, 2007 at 2:57 pm
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    Hey Lorelle,

    Woodstock, without the mud and dugs — and babies being born. :) I hear what you are a saying there was music in the air in the words, in the smiles, in the communiation. It was apparent in every contribution and thoughtful innovation.

    And the way everyone way helping and helpful was a blessing, in full meaning of the word “goodness.” In other words, it was jazzed. :)

  4. By Franke James posted on May 16, 2007 at 10:38 am
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    Liz – You are so right and you said it so well. “The people in that room had great brains attached to their hearts.”

    At SOBcon, you assembled a group of ‘change agents’ in one room. I know as I sat there listening to everyone speak, I wondered if they understood the power that they wield. We are the new media. Increasingly newspapers turn to blogs to check the pulse of what is going on in the world.

    On the plane ride to SOBcon, in Chicago, I sat beside a 60-year old businessman. We got to chatting and he railed on and on about corruption in the pharmaceutical and financial industries. He was mad at the injustices he had seen throughout his career and that he was seeing now. He wanted someone to stand up and tell the truth about how individual shareholders were getting fleeced, how drugs were being marketed aggressively without proper testing, and unnecessary deaths were resulting. I said, “You should write a blog. You could speak out about all these wrongs you are telling me. You could help to change things. It could become a real passion for you and launch you into a whole new career. Give it some thought.” He pulled out the newspaper and showed me specific news stories, and told me lurid back stories on some of the newsmakers. He continued to complain, bitterly at times. Finally I said, “You should write a blog. You’d be perfect for it.” But as the plane landed he concluded he probably would never write a blog, “I have to be careful, you know. I have a wife…”

    I had to laugh at the truth and fear embodied in that statement. Bloggers can represent the conscience of the world. In our blogs, our electronic journals, we can stand up for what is right and speak the truth. And when that truth is spoken by many, and spreads widely through the web, our voices become much louder and we can be heard. We can influence change. All we need is the courage to speak. We have the microphone and it’s live.

  5. The James Gang Idea Log » We have the microphone. And it’s Live.May 16, 2007 at 11:18 am
  6. By Liz Strauss posted on May 16, 2007 at 1:57 pm
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    Hi Franke,
    If I said it well, you said it with a story — even better. Look at the chance we’ve already made within outselves. . . .

    Once there was a time when we thought we couldn’t make a difference, wasn’t there?

  7. By Dawud Miracle posted on May 17, 2007 at 7:04 am
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    I second Lorelle. It seems a global conversation is what started at SOBCon…and that’s exciting. What furthers the excitement for me is how this room of strangers came together as though they had known each other for years. And that, it seems, is the power of the conversation. I hadn’t met Lorelle or Franke before, but immediately we had a kinship. Truly it was magical. And all possible because a few people decided to share who they are – first in their blogs, then in a conference room in Chicago. Amazing, isn’t it?

  8. By Liz Strauss posted on May 17, 2007 at 8:17 am
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    Hi Dawud,
    That is the power of the conversation — talking with true listening. What an amazing conversation it was. I watched it start when the first person arrived and spread like a virus as each person came along.

    It was nearly impossible not to be part. The allure and intrigue of so many welcoming faces ready to share. Wow!

  9. By Wendy Piersall posted on May 17, 2007 at 9:40 am
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    I, for one, am still having a hard time putting the weekend into words – it’s rather unconversational of me, to be sure. :)

    Easton’s comment “I went for the people — the hugs – and of course also to pick these incredible minds. I got my fill of the latter and was left wanting lots more of the former” is not only a great summary, it brought a tear to my eye.

    Perfect.

  10. By Dawud Miracle posted on May 18, 2007 at 11:32 am
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    I’ve always seen the internet not as a bunch of computers connected together, but as people connected – globally. We can all certainly go overboard at creating cyber relationships to the point that we don’t ‘live’ in the world.

    Yet events like SOBCon prove to me the power of the web. We brought together more than 100 people who had mostly not met each other. What we all found were friendships. Liz, I feel like I’ve know you and Wendy – and even Lorelle – for years. SOBCon just gave us the chance to be together physically.

    I think that’s why it’s difficult for many of use, such as Wendy and I, to put into words what we experienced. It just sort of goes against our logical minds that we could ‘meet people for the first time’ and have these deep, open, real connections with them. Isn’t that WOW?

  11. What Makes Your Heart Sing? - Liz Strauss at Successful Blog - Thinking, writing, business ideas . . . You’re only a stranger once.July 13, 2007 at 11:41 pm