The conversation | Seth Godin

Seth has put together what he calls a:

short manifesto about the future of online interaction

It's a call to look at the processes and concepts which have made the shift from in-person to online as a result of the pandemic, taking square aim at meetings and lectures in particular. He raises some valid points:

  • Most meetings boil down to an opportunity for someone to show off or demonstrate their status;
  • Good meetings may include an element of discussion or a venue for raising questions, but it's an imperfect system still;
  • Lectures/education are just sequences of long meetings where discussion is almost dissuaded and attendance/engagement is maintained via withholding grades, diplomas etc.

His hope is that we can use a change in circumstance to evaluate and address these issues by redefining meetings, both for education and for work. If a meeting is about transferring information, replace it with a memo or a recorded tutorial. Meetings are only truly useful when they're for transforming information (his words, which I like). And the best method of transforming information is through conversation.

Seth has had success with using Zoom's breakout session features to manage that process, effectively using the main call to present an idea or problem, then sending students into breakout rooms to discuss.

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