One + January 2011 - (Page 42)

> > H I G H -T EC H H U M A N I T Y HOW BAZAAR THE BAZAAR MAY HAVE BEEN THE MOST IDEAL, IMPROMPTU AND PERFECTLY MANDATORY MEETING OF ALL TIME. These late-Middle Ages market days were social and business gatherings where people were as likely to discuss politics, religion and local gossip as they were the price of grain or the quality of meat at the last stall. I expect people remembered and valued the quality of social and intellectual connections as much or more than the actual booty traded—though the trading is what brought everyone to market in the first place. Today, in the era of TED and TEDx (and their many imitators), we find conferences desperate to prove their pure intentions. We gather not so much to do business, but to elevate our conversations, enrich our minds and improve our practices. And while these high-minded goals are worthy of our time, money and attention, they will not turn a gathering into a must-attend event. When I think of events that really gain momentum from year to year—the ones that exemplify the values of a particular trade, industry or culture—I cannot help but be reminded that at the very center of these meetings, sometimes unacknowledged, is a marketplace of one kind or another. At the first convention I ever attended (the American Booksellers Association Expo), there were plenty of talks and panels about writing books, working with authors and even using non-traditional sustainable materials for printing and binding. But the real meetings—the mandatory ones—were going on behind the convention floor’s pipe and drapes, where publishers took orders from book chains, where agents sold the subsidiary rights, where we authors signed boxes and boxes of books for people whose very livelihood was made reselling on eBay. It was disillusioning at the time; a young author realizes he’s just a cog in a huge industry. But from the perspective of the convention itself, this buying and selling—this marketplace—made the event mandatory for any and everyone in the business, so much so that for a publisher not to attend meant something was wrong. Think of any show that has become central to the constituency it serves, and you’ll find the same sort of core marketplace. The Auto Show is a terrific place for the public to eye new concept cars, but it also provides a platform for auto manufacturers to debut their new models to the press. BY DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF << 42 one+ 01.11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of One + January 2011

One + January 2011
Energy of Many
The Future is Sharing
Strategic View
Fans, Dry Ice and a $600 Extension Cord
Top Spots
Job Resolution
The Laws of Attraction
How Bazaar
What’s Cooking in 2011
Another World at Our Feet
Middle East Central
More Than Amusement
The Future Looks Brilliant
How to Develop a Virtual Event
Tales of Adventure for the Newly Independent Planner
Idea Man
Your Community
Making a Diffrence
Until We Meet Again

One + January 2011