Australia and New Zealand aren’t exactly best mates. We’re more like siblings -- fighting over top bunk and drawing imaginary (but very serious) lines around our “stuff”. But we have much reason to believe that Australia-New Zealand relations are on the brink of improvement. And really, what better, more modern way to forge a friendly future than by the means of technology and social good?!
Exactly the reason why we, Net2 local organisers from Adelaide and Melbourne (Australia) and Auckland and Wellington (New Zealand), are meeting up 24-25 August in Australia’s creative capital downtown Melbourne for a cuppa and a brainstorm thanks to a Net2 regional grant.
We may argue a little over Olympic Gold medals, the pavlova, and best Rugby team... but don’t let it fool you. We’re like family down here and we’ve got a keen eye to bring our Net2 groups together for some regional inspiration and collaboration. We’ll spend the day planning and strategising for the first-ever #Net2downunder regional event in November. We’ll wrap up the day Net2-style with a Melbourne meetup and presentation from the visiting local organisers on online tools for working better together.
Of course, there’s a thousand topics we could’ve chosen. Why online tools?
Lindsey Talerico-Hedren (Net2 Auckland): The Net2 down under group first met over a few Tweets. We’ve never actually met in person but we (Google) hangout often and have planned our Melbourne meetup using 100% online tools including agenda, presentation notes and budget. It made us realise how much we take online tools for granted, but also how incredibly dependant we are on them for the efficiency and ease of our work as marketers, communicators and consultants. That’s knowledge we want to share.
The Net2Melb group is really starting to attract a great group of people. What has been the main contributing factor to this and how will they take to the topic of online tools?
Richenda Vermeulen (Net2 Melbourne): A range of factors are contributing to Net2Melb’s growth. The main three: Featuring speakers from leading not-for-profits, promoting the event through Twitter, and using the meet-up platform to socialise the offline experience.
How will they take to online tools? I think not-for-profit staff hear a lot of hype about new systems and “the cloud” but are unsure of what to use. The Net2 Melbourne group will ask great questions and hopefully feel equipped to use tools and have the right conversations with their managers.
Stephen, you have a lot of experience in this area, what is the biggest misconception people have about using online tools?
Stephen Blyth (Net2 Wellington): The single biggest misconception is thinking online tools facilitate themselves, that by using them, work automatically flows. But even online tools need a great facilitator -- someone who will help draw out ideas, encourage participation of the tool, ease tensions, and show people the ropes. Working together online is becoming more and more common and paying attention to how to get the most out of being online together is time well spent.
Ben, you’re deeply immersed in the online world. Is meeting in person still relevant when we can share so much so easily online?
Ben Teoh (Net2 Adelaide): If there’s anything I’ve learned about connecting with people online, there’s still nothing like meeting face to face; That’s why I’m really looking forward to this regional get together!
Communications is a complicated thing and you miss out on a lot when you’re only communicating over text or voice. Video chat’s stepping up its game and #Net2downunder is a great example of what can be achieved with group video chat - but it’s still not the same as being in the same room as someone.
Until we get those holograms working, face-to-face meetings are still going to be the best way to build solid relationships with other people... and anyway, I think we should be putting more effort into developing teleporters first.
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Catch up with #Net2downunder via the hashtag or follow the local organisers on Twitter @hellobenteoh, @richendag, @lindseytalerico, and @sablyth.