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Some people say that the Internet de-personalises our interaction with others. That we struggle to communicate fully and need to resort to silly smileys to convey emotion.
But at the same time the Internet is an enabler. It allows us to reach a far wider audience than previously without effort.
Only ten or fifteen years ago if we wanted to advertise an event, we might place an ad in the paper. Or post it on a community event noticeboard at the supermarket, the university or Clearlight in Rundle St.
Now we can easily reach thousands of people by posting in a forum or a blog, and that has brought about a whole new range of fantastic community activities like Meetup groups such as NetSquared Adelaide.
Trampoline is another such group. Originally started in Melbourne, it has now spread to Sydney and a group has formed in Adelaide too. It's great for meeting people and sharing information about things that you are passionate about.
The format is casual and flexible - participants are invited to share their knowledge in informal short (20 minute) sessions.
At the start of the day people decide on a range of topics that they would like to talk about. A timetable is worked out, although sessions do run simultaneously. If you find a session not to your taste, then just leave and go to another.
Past topics have included:
The 1000-Year Old Human
How to Juggle
Mass Collaboration, Free Information and the Semantic Web
Complexity and Chaos
how to create flavoursome meals
The sessions are $10 per person - it's all about sharing the knowledge. Outside of the meeting day, conversations can continue on Twitter or Google Groups.