Convergence Colliding in Chicago

Chicago New Media Summit concluded tonight. I didn’t attend. At first I was excited by the great idea of rallying around Chicago’s talented new media folks and pushing us toward the leading edge. Worthwhile endeavor. But as the waves of email blasts announcing presenters rolled on and the fees got discounted (but not within range of many nonprofit and grassroots activists), I started to get more and more uncomfortable. I just wasn’t feeling an authentic connection.

Tonight the event concluded. And in my inbox is another email blast celebrating…and announcing some next steps. Here is what I posted in a comment on my profile page:

1. A microsoft event? I predict Chicago will not be the center of innovation, geekiness, and cool media, should this be focused on Microsoft. See bubblgeneration blog last couple years for ideas on what sort of companies and their models which could support this sort of “convergence” here.
2. Moving to a microsoft platform? Please don’t move me over. Why oh why would you move a community?
3. Talent, ideas, and code? Collide? What happened to people. New media is in huge part social media. People. I do not aspire to think of myself as a “talent” to be commodified. I am a social creature yearning for connection and thriving by sharing ideas, sparked by the synchronicities common to a flourishing community.
4. And what does all this have to do with the Chicago bid for the olympics? Do I need to behind that to be here? Seems like a pretty big agenda to not be supper-de-dupper clear about it.
5. I do appreciate the notice about fees and our grassroots friends in our latest email blast. Thanks for coming around to our value (after the fact).