April 21st, 2009 by susan

I’m not exactly sure how it was set up, but I was recently invited to an event by a dear friend on Facebook and after taking part, realized that it was a successful example of folks getting together momentarily in time and space.

In this case, it was as a memorial on the one-year anniversary of her mother’s passing. I received e-mail notice and checked in to see the number of people invited, who would be attending, and the request to share a story or two about her mom with the others. It was noted that the event was scheduled for a particular date and time period, in this case, April 19th, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm (Tennessee time–that’s one of the glitches, that you have to specify time zone or else everyone’s thinking differently).

This idea could easily work for conferencing or discussion that needs a rapid input of ideas from a group, i.e., brainstorming session. Despite its silence and lack of visuals–although Pat did put up some nice images of her mom and the family to add to the sense of closeness–there was a feeling of sharing and the imagination puts the attendees sitting ‘somewhere’ with their fingers on a keyboard. People drifted in and out, not all online at the same time (whereas this could and would likely be a requisite for a group discussion), and it seemed that some just left the application open and wandered back in to check new comments or add a thought.

All in all, a lovely experience to share this particular span of time with a high school best friend in remembering her mother and offering support in the grieving process.  But I can also see this as a viable means to hook up a group for anything from classroom discussions to topical groups to meeting points.

Leave a Reply