Are you trying to navigate the world of real-time internet in your personal or professional life or both?
Long Island based #140 Character Conference is helping people connect in a meaningful way and share stories on how the internet and social media are changing their lives, said founder Jeff Pulver. The “140” in the title refers to the number of characters social networking site Twitter allows in a “tweet.”
On Monday, Pulver took his show on the road with a #140OnBoard tour of Long Island wine country. In between their stops at , , and , Pulver said participants had meaningful discussions about how the influx of social media has changed them.
“We’re addressing how life is affected by the evolution of technology,” Pulver said.
Monday’s bus tour was the first and they were not sure who would sign on. Pulver said he was surprised by the randomness of the participants and was surprised that most of the people on the tour were not from Long Island. Other tours will take place in New York City and Philadelphia.
“Some of them were experiencing Long Island for the first time. We attracted people from Manhattan and elsewhere,” he said.
Pulver said he was pleased when people from the East End met up with his group at the wineries, but his goal is much larger. He said the real-time internet has introduced a “me the people not we the people” thinking and his #140conf addresses this in several forums.
The group hosts Tweetups, conferences, parties and road trips to bring like-minded people together and discuss the impact of technology. Conferences feature shorter sessions with individual talks set to 10 minutes and featured speakers limited to 15 minutes and may focus on everything from technology in education to the upcoming #140conf Small Town in Hutchinson, Kansas on Sept. 20.
After a few hours on the bus, Pulver said the group was acting like old friends. This interaction is important, said Pulver, because everyone’s lives are changing parallel to technology and they need a place to connect with like-minded people.
“It’s difficult to have meaningful relationships outside of education and work,” Pulver said.
Pulver said the Internet is touching people in ways they never thought possible and participants often wonder what effect real-time social media will have on the future. Making a profit is not what drives him, Pulver said, it just “feels right” to help people share their visions and inspirations.