Thursday, May 21, 2009

Final thoughts on PMI EMEA

I didn't get to see much on the last day of the PMI Congress in Amsterdam, I had a flight to catch.

I did see Bas de Baar talk about social media. His presentation was one of the best I caught. Social media as he described it is about conversations. We seek out groups or affiliations to have these conversations with, such as the #pmot group on Twitter. We make assumptions about people in our group based on their membership in the group, which can be the basis for conversation.

One interesting statistic he provided, about 1% of people are making the content in social media, another 9% comment on what's out there, and the other 90% are just passive readers. This statistic is in line with participation in professional organizations. I have heard the statistic that it's about 5% that are active contributors.

So to get going on social media takes 3 steps. The first step is personal. You have to overcome your fear about using social media and just start using the tools. From here you move to the stage of professional use. This is where you begin to build your reputation. Finally, as a project manager you can start using social media to help in your project (my article on use of twitter for project managers can be found here).

Social media is here to stay. The specific tools like Twitter may be replaced with other things, but the general concepts will stick around, so if you haven't jumped in, it's time to start.

Based on some of my conversations, I think the general consensus of the congress was that there were some good presentations but more that were aimed at a basic level of project manager. The networking opportunities were good. The rumour was that next year is going to be in Milan.

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