PC Forum 2006, “Erosion of Power: Users in Charge,” was the last PC Forum: “It had a great run, from 1977 to 2006, and we decided to end it before anyone asked us to,” says Ester Dyson’s Release 1.0 website.
Would anyone really ask for it to end? Probably not. Gatherings are good, and this prestigious gathering is even better. But it does raise the question of how many gatherings we need and what forms they should take now that blogs, wikis, webinars, video conferencing, and other technologies are allowing us to participate in larger gatherings and share our ideas at a faster pace with less cost and without the discomfort of travel.
It’s no surprise that Esther Dyson is sharing her ideas for an upcoming CNET presentation before the actual presentation. It’s easy. It’s an opportunity to get feedback and refine the ideas. Will it reduce the number of attendees?
Still, sitting at a computer doesn’t feel as effective as meeting face-to-face, forming bonds, waxing visionary over a few drinks, and this seems to be true even for young adults who grew up staring at a monitor.
Terrorism and pandemics notwithstanding, events that can bring industry luminaries together, shine a light on key trends and technologies, fuel innovation at companies, and give journalists something to write about will still be popular. But over time, many will likely disappear, and others will change formats to include more online presenters and attendees.